Tonight I close a chapter in my journey. I’ve finally reached a place that I had been longing for for years. A place, though too distant in the universe of dreams to be perceived, that kept me going when my legs gave way.
I’ve pushed through the dirt of perfectionism, through the burden of pleasing people, through the weeds of needing others approval. All my life I used to think I had to do something substantial in this world, something so grand and groundbreaking that I would finally be given the blessings to exist.
I thought my self-doubt was progress, I thought my nature was inherently wrong and needed adjusting. I thought the world outside me had gotten a memo that I had missed. I thought that was why I always found myself on the peripheries.
When constant attempts at becoming someone else culminated in a misery so profound and so dark that it still haunts me, I thought, man, I can’t keep living life this way. I can’t keep hurting like this whilst the people I’m performing for won’t approve of me, validate me or care for my pain.
And that’s been a very intense and at times dangerous journey I started in May 2012. The only lead I had was my intuition, because I had no idea what it is I was seeking save a feeling, and I clutched to that feeling like a bloodhound sniffing for a trace.
My intuition demanded that I follow its lead and not question it, or else it’d leave me to my own devices. Just like the journey Musa calayhissalaam took with Khidr.
I discovered so much, too much to recount, but here are some of the highlights
* The world isn’t in need of fixing. It’s perfect the way it is. It’s just that we’ve lost connection to the way it is, and we need to rediscover that.
* One’s reality is shaped from one’s intentions. If one is hell-bent on their self-doubt, they’ll have a reality continually gives them reasons to doubt.
* Every event that stirs up emotions in us is a golden lesson. Every person we meet is a teacher, even if they hurt or harm us. For then they’ll teach us what we don’t want to become. Again, if your intention is to dismiss your importance, you’ll miss these falling stars.
* Focus is a creative power. Whatever you brood over, you reproduce in your mind. You literally feed it energy!
* To the extent that we avoid our pain and our shadow, we are distant from Allaah. Because in pain lies a sense of submission that isn’t found elsewhere, and in embracing one’s shadow lies a sense of humility that remains elusive otherwise.
* It’s necessary to validate your childhood pain, even if that means that your parent/s will be responsible for harm – even if it was unintentional. You can separate a parent’s bad actions from their good nature. It’s not exclusively mutual.
* Love is in giving, not getting. But before you can give to someone else, you must give yourself.
* Whatever exists in this world started as a desire.
* What we see in our lives are like the leaves of a tree whose root lies buried. If we want to understand something or change something, we have to go to the root.
* Don’t try to convince people of what you really mean. They heard you just fine, they just don’t care to let go of their preconceived notions.
* Don’t try to change people. If you can’t vibe with them, move on.
* For each time you honour your creative urges and random thoughts by expressing them, more of you is born. And each time you hold back to keep the peace or for fear of ridicule, more of you dies.
* Your life’s legacy lies in birthing yourself and fighting people’s urge to bury you, just like they caved in to pressures and buried themselves.
* You can never go wrong in expressing your truth.
* Aim to be the person Allaah knows you to be in the dead of the night.
* Give up control, and you’ll get internal safety
* What you get is a reflection of what you’ve given. For good or bad.
I’m not going to change the world. I’m not here to save anyone. I’m not here to make peace in Somalia. I’m not here to be a champion for people or a heroine.
I’m just here to live as fully and authentically as possible. I’m here to listen to people, sit at the feet of elders, marvel at nature, laugh, starting a gazillion projects I never finish.
I said a chapter was closed tonight, what does that entail? My journey isn’t over till my soul meets its Maker. I’m hoping to embark on a new chapter where I live with (!) not (?). A chapter where I walk with a straighter gait, speak with more conviction, love with more vigour, dare with more enthusiasm.
I’m hoping to go on this leg of the journey as the retrieved and authentic me.