To be kind to myself I have to remain present in the distressing moments. To remain present I have to let go of the defenses I’ve built to protect myself from pain that triggers intense existential conflict. It just seems so easy to drown it all out… but I’d be drowning parts of me that are desperate for a gasp of breath…
Absence is the presence of disconnection; presence is the absence of disconnection.
And disconnection is mighty loud. Existentially marooned, it takes home in thoughts, words, concepts, ideologies, plans, goals, action. Underpinned by a separation from the divine in whose connection context for existence is found, it can’t let you slow down or silence the mind. In lieu of the life force that originated through the soul and runs a quiet stream of creativity throughout the human collective, we’re forced to create mental islands to protect us from drowning, and we must keep toiling because the natural flow of that life force erodes away all that we’ve built up; it honours no separation.
We can never stop because disconnection is existential death. We must never touch the floor. We must never know ourselves.
I realize that women contribute to this in a major way by way of the Cinderella/damsel in distress conditioning we are subjected to where we expect a man to save us from danger and fear. So when men show vulnerability – nonresistance to fear – it pushes us back into a conflict because we realize there’s no one to save us. And it may feel easier to beat the insecurity out of the man so that he can be a rock and protect us and provide certainty for us.
Toxic femininity is the foundation for toxic masculinity and I don’t know when we’ll admit it. Mothers mould boys into being the men they become. And that requires more scrutiny and investigation than is afforded rn. I’m not saying mothers make boys become a certain way but by virtue of bringing some biases and expectations on to their psyche and having them ‘become the man of the household’ very early on, they set up a certain dynamic and dichotomy that leaves little wiggle room.
What men need isn’t validation or compliments. They need to be held to the truth and given the space to think out loud without expectations or script. And unless they do that, unless they talk about what’s hurting them about a situation instead of going into blame and fighting mode then that space is revoked. Positive reinforcement of their true selves. It ain’t about good or bad, but about being real and taking ownership of the consequences of that. It doesn’t matter if people think less of you. Masculinity isn’t a socially reinforced script, it’s something divinely created and it won’t come out until you meet yourself in truth. No one can take away what God created, but they can make it seem so by making you hide parts of yourself. And that’s on no one but you.
Our free will is directly connected to perception and it is in our perception that our greatest power and sovereignty lies. Perception is how we interact with the cosmos, and all that changes is the angle and depth that we stand in relation to the divine reality.
What we’ve been convinced however is the inversion of that (inverting truths is a staple of mind control and the mental enslavement of diabolical entities); that our perception is reality and that we control how we feel about it. In other words, if we feel bad it’s our fault and we have to do everything in our power to change that – by any means necessary. This is extremely damaging and corrupting for several reasons :
- It makes us self-absorbed, literally.
- The foundation and baseline is shifted from Truth as guidance to Pleasure.
- We’re made to focus on what’s impossible to control because emotions are autonomous responses to our perception of reality. That is, emotions are kind of like the axons in the nerves that transmit electrical pulses; they are the connection between our perpetual reality (phenomenon) and the divine reality (noumenon). As such, they aren’t wrong or right and just inform us of the state of our holistic well-being.
- Our thoughts are made to seem divine by erasing the line between what is and how something appears to us. Our subjective field of experience is magnified, often intruding on others as we superimpose our perception on their reality. In other words, our perception becomes the Truth and any feelings that reflect anything incongruent with that will be fought and replaced with an activity that reinforce our beliefs. Our lives then gradually become echo chambers where we lose touch with the metaphysical world and the divine reality.
- Instead of transcending the ego, the ego transcends us to overpower us. Mind becomes master.
I wonder what it makes me when I’m transparent and honest 100% of the time, and yet when push comes to shove the other person just hides or disappears instead of sharing their honest to God truth about their circumstance. Am I a buffoon? Have I not shown – amply – that I care not for performance or expectations? Was my vulnerability in vain if it’s that easy for someone to prefer to ghost with no warning than to at least own what’s making them feel like they have to hide?
I’ve tried to withhold my feelings in cases such as these because I know it’s a long shot to have people stray from their automatic behaviour to think consciously and be mindful. But where does that leave me, when I constantly have to dumb myself down in this manner? Am I too not engaging in some sort of charade when I’m not honest about how this actually impacts me? Perhaps that’s what the pain is. I wish they would spare me the confrontation. I wish I didn’t have to take that final painful step out of the shadows to make my feelings known.
The opposite of unconditional love is toxic guilt. Toxic guilt arises from conditional love where someone will have you fit into a pre-determined template of love that demands that your behavioural patterns align with that template. And where you don’t, you’re not afforded understanding or having space held for you ; your non-conformity to expectations is interpreted as intentional and malicious.
Do not accept it or be tricked into thinking that this person was legit hurt. Their ego was hurt because they suddenly felt a loss of control. Whatever loss of control conjures in them will be automatically put on you as if you caused that distress and inner turmoil (when in actuality they stem from lifelong core wounds they never want to face).
I’m turning 29 in December and this year had me looking at my life with disappointment. I felt I hadn’t done enough, although I know I put in 200%. I just didn’t understand where those efforts went. Then yesterday it dawned on me that I spent those years breaking free from societal/cultural conditioning and withstanding the pull of conformity and group think. I was spending my last breath on remaining grounded in integrity. My 20s is characterized by all the things I consciously didn’t do:
- I didn’t get married to the wrong person(s) just for the sake of settling down. If my heart ain’t in it, I ain’t with it. Periodt.
- I didn’t leave a word unsaid or a regret. Not one. Yes, I have embarrassing and crazy stories of saying zany stuff to people that is so out of left field (99% took it well), but I’d rather have that than guilty conscience.
- I didn’t betray or deceive anyone. Not one person. Not one.
- I didn’t die, though I seriously wanted to.
- I didn’t remain in situations and paths that I felt misaligned with. This was one of the most difficult recurrent things that I had to do. But I did it.
- I didn’t leave a stone unturned in my quest for existential fulfillment and just exploring whatever caught my curiosity.
- I didn’t leave prayers.
- I didn’t hang out with people I felt I didn’t vibe with. I’ve spent a whopping 80% of my 20s in solitude.
- I didn’t rush to conclusions.
- I didn’t let ego prevent me from making someone feel better
- I didn’t let fear hold me back from exploring the unconventional and uncertain
- I didn’t let people’s judgments and mockery prevent me from wearing my niqaab (one of the most easiest decisions to make yet difficult to contend with solely because of the constant backlash)
- I didn’t let people’s idealization and expectations hold me back from removing the niqaab when I felt it in my heart.
- I didn’t let social isolation affect my hope. Instead I turned to my visions of a new paradigm altogether.
- I didn’t let my suffering spill over on others.
- I didn’t let my suffering prevent me from being there for people who needed me, regardless.
- I didn’t let odds be a factor in my hope in Allaah.
- I didn’t let my pain be a justification for anything. I’d rather own up to why something is difficult for me than invest energy in justifying why I’m not doing it.
- I didn’t let cultural taboos of opposing parents especially mothers prevent me from breaking free from the very toxic relationship I had with my mother and finding a balance between being authentic and being respectful unconditionally (took me over a year to find that balance but it worked wonders because my mother and I have a better relationship now than ever).
- I didn’t seek revenge on the people who hurt me deeply. Most of the time I didn’t even try to tell them about their monstrous characters. Just left them and left it to Allaah
- I didn’t lie to any authority or commit any crimes.
- I didn’t cave in to social pressures and threats of social isolation (that did become a reality I’ve learnt to live with)
- I didn’t let compliments and flattery to get to my head.
- I didn’t let people taking advantage of me to get to my heart.
- I never chose anything above Allaah and a clean conscience. Never. Life would have been unbearable had I crossed those lines.
- I didn’t let my external reality or obstacles dictate my outlook on life or my prospects.
- I didn’t allow myself to slacken or do the morally irresponsible or inconsistent shit I’d see others get away with.
- I didn’t allow myself to harbour ill or resentment towards another. I’d acknowledge it when I’d feel it, but I’d never invest thoughts into bolstering those claims.
- I didn’t let the world obscure my truth. I’d rather die than be inauthentic for just one moment.