ramadan regressions {1}

I feel exposed by Ramadan. There’s a naked energy that envelopes one. No hiding places. I’m not fasting , due to medical reasons, but even so I can’t escape the intense energy that is causing repressed emotions to come up to the surface. As if gravity is no more.

I feel bad when I see everyone being joyous and congratulating each other on the advent of Ramadan because I don’t feel that at all.

But I recognize it’s a good thing, being faced with myself like this. Focus. It’s painful but I’ll be using this month to tread on painful ground. I’ll let it cut me, deep. Perhaps that’s the only way the pockets of buried trauma can find a release.

I’m afraid of being engulfed by these emotions, as if they are pissed for having been shoved aside for so long that they won’t let go of me, ever.

I’m afraid of being locked in a lifelong purgatory, inside my emotions.

I feel claustrophobic in my soul.


 

The first thing that happened to the prophet -peace be upon him- wasn’t that he was told about Allaah or what his mission was going to be. He was made to be vulnerable by being told the guidance he was searching for lay in the one thing he was unable of doing: reading.

He felt broken, hopeless, stuck. But, the purpose wasn’t to make him read. It was to eradicate the notion that ability depends on one’s competence. His certainty was knocked off because that’s an impediment to transformation. His mental map of reality was wiped clean. He was ousted from his comfort zone. He was thrown into the bottomless pit that is the unknown, head first.
He was torn up, for days. His wife, Khadija was his rock. She picked his spirits up and reassured him that this was a good thing. That he was a good soul who wouldn’t fare ill.

Allaah was effectively telling him; impossibility would be the creation of you, humans, thus possibility is only a matter of bringing something into existence. Trust Me, and I’ll bring miracles into existence through you.

_____________
× And they say: “When we are bones and fragments (destroyed), should we really be resurrected (to be) a new creation?”
See they not how Allâh originates creation, then repeats it. Verily, that is Easy for Allaah.

× Say (O Muhammad) “Be you stones or iron,”

× “Or some created thing that is yet greater (or harder) in your breasts (thoughts to be resurrected, even then you shall be resurrected)” Then, they will say: “Who shall bring us back (to life)?” Say: “He Who created you first!” Then, they will shake their heads at you and say: “When will that be ?” Say: “Perhaps it is near!”

(Al-Isra 17:49-51)
____________

co-creation: opening up to the unknown and letting Allaah work through you.


 

مَا أَصَابَ مِن مُّصِيبَةٍ فِي الْأَرْضِ وَلَا فِي أَنفُسِكُمْ إِلَّا فِي كِتَابٍ مِّن قَبْلِ أَن نَّبْرَأَهَا إِنَّ ذَلِكَ عَلَى اللَّهِ يَسِيرٌ
لِكَيْلَا تَأْسَوْا عَلَى مَا فَاتَكُمْ وَلَا تَفْرَحُوا بِمَا آتَاكُمْ وَاللَّهُ لَا يُحِبُّ كُلَّ مُخْتَالٍ فَخُورٍ

¤No calamity befalls on the earth or in yourselves but is inscribed in the Book of Decrees, before We bring it into existence. Verily, that is easy for Allaah.
¤In order that you may not be sad over matters that you fail to get, nor rejoice because of that which has been given to you. And Allaah likes not prideful boasters.

Al-Hadid [57: 22-23]
These verses mention three things: the events that occur, the goals we seek and our failures.So, nothing happens chaotically, it’s all measured. The unknown isn’t an enemy or a maelstrom of suffering.

If we fail to get what we aimed for, we shouldn’t beat ourselves up about it because it might be that our efforts culminated in something different from what we envisioned. We did our part, and the outcome was never ours to claim. If we get it, it’s a gift we’re grateful for. If not, it’s a sobering moment to think about all the other times things have manifested effortlessly that we’ve taken for granted?

and if we do get what we want, we shouldn’t feel entitled as if we achieved that by our own measures and therefore identify ourselves with outcomes. This would impede our growth, and it’s why sometimes we fail to achieve what we strive for; to detach us from a fixed mindset.

We’re being taught to surrender to the divine order, and trust that although we can’t avert pain or attain all that our heart desires​, we’re well taken care of. The plans put in place are perfect. If they weren’t, it’d affect the rest of the universe since it’s all interconnected, and a change in one part has a ripple effect on everything else.


 

Amor Fati

You can’t cheat the truth

It lurks in your hiding place

It hides in your dreams

It’s carved inside your eyelids so that it’s the first thing you see when it’s dark

It casts a shadow on the faces whose gaze you long for

Relentlessly it pursues you

Diligently it embraces you 
It won’t let you go until you let go of the folly that you can outstrip who you truly are..  .

Homebound

The root of gratitude to Allaah is radical self-acceptance of everything you are – flaws and all. This is because your soul is a unique creation bestowed to you by the Creator and it’s one of the most majestic of blessings. You contain miracles that defy imagination or comprehension, so taking yourself for granted is taking Allaah for granted. 
This self-acceptance can’t occur unless you’re completely vulnerable. Many a times, we approach God like a parent we have to impress to gain their approval. Our egos are tied to evading our weaknesses and flaws, but by doing so we put up a wall between us and the Divine, between us and our soul. 
So, self-acceptance can’t happen without humility. Being aware and cognizant of your human abilities and limitations. Changing from a goal oriented mindset to a process oriented mindset. From a fixed mindset to a growth mindset. From perfectionism to mindfulness. 
Amongst His names are ar-Ra’uoof , the Gentle and al-Ghafoor, the concealer of faults
He won’t use your weakness against you. He won’t punish you for it. It’s what makes you a marvel, how despite your flaws you are wholesome and transcendent. That makes you more noble than angels, you know that? Because angels have no free will in the sense that we do, faced with temptations and impulses. When we overcome our innate evil, we are more noble than had we not had that struggle to begin with. 
There are a lot of things in you that would amaze you, if you only were more forgiving of yourself, the way Allaah is. He knows who you are deep down, you can’t hide that. The pinnacle of gratitude would be to focus on living in a way where you’re more cognizant of your true nature even if it means others would deride you for it. 
Ihsaan. To worship Allaah as if you were seeing Him, for even if you don’t see Him, He sees you. 
Ibadah. Literally means yielding, surrendering. That’s what the essence of worship is; surrendering control and image. An act of worship devoid of surrender and vulnerability is void of substance because you have not been transformed. You’ve kept the unknown, the powerful energies at bay by operating on autopilot mode, a mindless facade. You’re not there until you’ve been through thick and thin with your connection to Him, preferring to die a thousand deaths before you let go of faith.

The point of worship isn’t to sing God’s praises because He’s absolutely not in need of that. But it’s to allow you to flourish and transcend your ego under Divine support. Self-actualization can be extremely distressful and threatening if we don’t tread carefully. Like opening an aircraft door mid-flight . 
Faith allows us to fall off cliffs, trusting His promise to give us wings. Faith allows us to face doubts about Allaah’s existence without caving under the weight of the opposites because faith without doubt is not faith. It’s dogma, certainty, arrogance. 

No, it’s to feel the doubt and trust anyway. It’s to know that your faith isn’t a way to escape life or difficulties. It’s the only way to immerse yourself fully in it because you go in blind in situations and face things that scare the living daylights out of you, all because you trust Allaah has your back. Like He did Musa before the sea was split and they were caught between the vast ocean and pharaoh’s army closing in on them. 
So, don’t fear going astray or being annihilated. If you seek the truth in yourself, you’ll always find your way back home. Find your true north beneath all those lies you’ve been telling yourself and disguises you’ve been hiding behind. Remove everything that would make you deviate from your true north.

Ambitionz az a Writah


#I think God creates writers with porous souls and eyes like black holes that absorb everything. And before a writer can become a bona fide writer whose work touches souls and transcends time, they are made to suffer. They dissolve in the acid of apathy of people. The world in its entirety seeps through their encased ego by brsouls are borne out of the world and not into it, and they are essentially catapulted out of this dimension.
I don’t know why, maybe it’s because they pen thoughts and thoughts are the building blocks of worlds and souls? And to discover what to write about, they have to use their own soul as a laboratory?


#Invest in the one who is grateful for what you give because that means that they know how to receive love, and won’t feel entitled.
And love someone who is patient with difficulties for that is one who won’t bolt when you reveal the parts of you that sends uncomfortable shocks through his unmet parts.


#Whatever i lack is with Allaah. Others can’t give me what Allaah hasn’t given me. And they can’t deprive me of what Allaah has given me.

I’m whole and complete. Allaah doesn’t require me to be something or someone I’m not because that would entail that His act of creation is faulty, subxaanah.

He created me to be precisely who I am. But I need to be aware and discover the clues He’s left for me and to reconnect with Him through the symbols that transpire in those clues. My purpose is to be gratefully aware, mindfully enduring.


#Ya don’t have to worry about making people stay, or figuring out whether they are about to leave. Just promise yourself this: to never leave yourself just like the sun doesn’t cease to become star when night falls. When you become grounded in your core, people and things will naturally find a home in your orbit. But that can’t happen if your commitment to yourself is wobbly.


#I’m kept sane by understanding the insanity of the world, and I gain will to live through the words of the dead. I live in this world but my spirit is in another realm. I enjoy solitude for it affords me the company of those who left telepathic messages in books and HTML codes.
My independence of mind is my hazmat suit.


Truth cleanses
Love moisturizes

Truth gives direction
Love is: motivation

Truth gives form
Love is : colour

Truth is creation
Love is: miracle


 

Rebecca Solnit

The desire to go home that is a desire to be whole, to know where you are, to be the point of intersection of all the lines drawn through all the stars, to be the constellation-maker and the center of the world, that center called love. To awaken from sleep, to rest from awakening, to tame the animal, to let the soul go wild, to shelter in darkness and blaze with light, to cease to speak and be perfectly understood.

  • Storming the Gates of Paradise: Landscapes for Politics

The stars we are given. The constellations we make. That is to say, stars exist in the cosmos, but constellations are the imaginary lines we draw between them, the readings we give the sky, the stories we tell.”

  • Storming the Gates of Paradise: Landscapes for Politics

Worry is a way to pretend that you have knowledge or control over what you don’t–and it surprises me, even in myself, how much we prefer ugly scenarios to the pure unknown.

  • A Field Guide to Getting Lost

A path is a prior interpretation of the best way to traverse a landscape.

  • Wanderlust: A History of Walking

 

Writing is saying to no one and to everyone the things it is not possible to say to someone.

  • The Faraway Nearby

 

How will you go about finding that thing the nature of which is totally unknown to you?(Plato)

The things we want are transformative, and we don’t know or only think we know what is on the other side of that transformation. Love, wisdom, grace, inspiration- how do you go about finding these things that are in some ways about extending the boundaries of the self into unknown territory, about becoming someone else?

  • A Field Guide to Getting Lost

 

Despair is a form of certainty, certainty that the future will be a lot like the present or decline from it. Optimism is similarly confident about what will happen. Both are grounds for not acting. Hope can be the knowledge that reality doesn’t necessarily match our plans.

  • Men Explain Things to Me

To write is to carve a new path through the terrain of the imagination, or to point out new features on a familiar route. To read is to travel through that terrain with the author as a guide– a guide one might not always agree with or trust, but who can at least be counted on to take one somewhere.

  • Wanderlust: A History of Walking

But hope is not about what we expect. It is an embrace of the essential unknowability of the world, of the breaks with the present, the surprises. Or perhaps studying the record more carefully leads us to expect miracles – not when and where we expect them, but to expect to be astonished, to expect that we don’t know. And this is grounds to act.

  • Hope in the Dark

Hope locates itself in the premises that we don’t know what will happen and that in the spaciousness of uncertainty is room to act. When you recognize uncertainty, you recognize that you may be able to influence the outcomes–you alone or you in concert with a few dozen or several million others. Hope is an embrace of the unknown and knowable, a alternative to the certainty of both optimists and pessimists. Optimists think it will all be fine without our involvement; pessimists take the opposite position; both excuse themselves from acting. It’s the belief that what we do matters even though how and when it may matter, who and what is may impact, are not things we can know beforehand. We may not, in fact, know them afterward either, but they matter all the same, and history is full of people whose influence was most powerful after they were gone.

  • Hope in the Dark

If the boundaries of the self are defined by what we feel, then those who cannot feel even for themselves shrink within their own boundaries, while those who feel for others are enlarged, and those who feel compassion for all beings must be boundless. They are not separate, not alone, not lonely, not vulnerable in the same way as those of us stranded in the islands of ourselves, but they are vulnerable in other ways. Still, that sense of the dangers in feeling for others is so compelling that many withdraw, and develop elaborate stories to justify withdrawal, and then forget that they have shrunk. Most of us do, in one way or another.

 

  • The Faraway Nearby

 

The possibility of paradise hovers on the cusp of coming into being, so much so that it takes powerful forces to keep such a paradise at bay. If paradise now arises in hell, it’s because in the suspension of the usual order and the failure of most systems, we are free to live and act another way.

  • A Paradise Built in Hell

 

Paradise is not the place in which you arrive but the journey toward it. Sometimes I think victories must be temporary or incomplete; what kind of humanity would survive paradise? The industrialized world has tried to approximate paradise in its suburbs, with luxe, calme, volupté, cul-de-sacs, cable television and two-car garages, and it has produced a soft ennui that shades over into despair and a decay of the soul suggesting that Paradise is already a gulag. Countless desperate teenagers will tell you so. For paradise does not require of us courage, selflessness, creativity, passion: paradise in all accounts is passive, is sedative, and if you read carefully, soulless.

  • Hope in the Dark

Creation is always in the dark because you can only do the work of making by not quite knowing what you’re doing, by walking into darkness, not staying in the light.

  • The Faraway Nearby

 

Resistance is first of all a matter of principle and a way to live, to make yourself one small republic of unconquered spirit. You hope for results, but you don’t depend on them.

  • Hope in the Dark

 

He ceased to be lost not by returning but by turning into something else.

  • A Field Guide to Getting Lost

 

To dig deeper into the self, to go underground, is sometimes necessary, but so is the other route of getting out of yourself, into the larger world, into the openness in which you need not clutch your story and your troubles so tightly to your chest.

  • The Faraway Nearby

 

A labyrinth is an ancient device that compresses a journey into a small space, winds up a path like thread on a spool. It contains beginning, confusion, perseverance, arrival, and return. There at last the metaphysical journey of your life and your actual movements are one and the same. You may wander, may learn that in order to get to your destination you must turn away from it, become lost, spin about, and then only after the way has become overwhelming and absorbing, arrive, having gone the great journey without having gone far on the ground.

  • The Faraway Nearby

 

I wish that I could put up yesterday’s evening sky for all posterity, could preserve a night of love, the sound of a mountain stream, a realization as it sets my mind afire, a dance, a day of harmony, ten thousand glorious days of clouds that will instead vanish and never be seen again, line them up in jars where they might be admired in the interim and tasted again as needed.

  • The Faraway Nearby

 

What we dream of is already present in the world.

  • Hope in the Dark

 

Some portion of Woolf’s genius, it seems to me, is that having no notion, that negative capability. I once heard about a botanist in Hawaii with a knack for finding new species by getting lost in the jungle, by going beyond what he knew and how he knew, by letting experience be larger than his knowledge, by choosing reality rather than the plan. Woolf not only utilized but celebrated the unpredictable meander, on mind and foot. Her great essay Street Haunting: A London Adventure, from 1930, has the light breezy tone of many of her early essays, and yet voyages deep into the dark.

  • Men Explain Things to Me

Holosynthesis

The people thrown into other cultures go through something of the anguish of the butterfly, whose body must disintegrate and reform more than once in its life cycle. 

In her novel “Regeneration,” Pat Barker writes of a doctor who “knew only too well how often the early stages of change or cure may mimic deterioration. Cut a chrysalis open, and you will find a rotting caterpillar. What you will never find is that mythical creature, half caterpillar, half butterfly, a fit emblem of the human soul, for those whose cat of mind leads them to seek such emblems. No, the process of transformation consists almost entirely of decay.” 
But the butterfly is so fit an emblem of the human soul that its name in Greek is “psyche,” the word for soul. We have not much language to appreciate this phase of decay, this withdrawal, this era of ending that must precede beginning. Nor of the violence of the metamorphosis, which is often spoken of as though it were as graceful as a flower blooming.

Rebecca Solnit (A Field Guide to Getting Lost)

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