Fulfillment vs. Achievements

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. I didn’t betray or deceive anyone. Not one person. Not one.
  4. I didn’t die, though I seriously wanted to.
  5. 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.
  6. I didn’t leave a stone unturned in my quest for existential fulfillment and just exploring whatever caught my curiosity.
  7. I didn’t leave prayers.
  8. 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.
  9. I didn’t rush to conclusions.
  10. I didn’t let ego prevent me from making someone feel better
  11. I didn’t let fear hold me back from exploring the unconventional and uncertain
  12. 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)
  13. I didn’t let people’s idealization and expectations hold me back from removing the niqaab when I felt it in my heart.
  14. I didn’t let social isolation affect my hope. Instead I turned to my visions of a new paradigm altogether.
  15. I didn’t let my suffering spill over on others.
  16. I didn’t let my suffering prevent me from being there for people who needed me, regardless.
  17. I didn’t let odds be a factor in my hope in Allaah.
  18. 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.
  19. 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).
  20. 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
  21. I didn’t lie to any authority or commit any crimes.
  22. I didn’t cave in to social pressures and threats of social isolation (that did become a reality I’ve learnt to live with)
  23. I didn’t let compliments and flattery to get to my head.
  24. I didn’t let people taking advantage of me to get to my heart.
  25. I never chose anything above Allaah and a clean conscience. Never. Life would have been unbearable had I crossed those lines.
  26. I didn’t let my external reality or obstacles dictate my outlook on life or my prospects.
  27. I didn’t allow myself to slacken or do the morally irresponsible or inconsistent shit I’d see others get away with.
  28. 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.
  29. I didn’t let the world obscure my truth. I’d rather die than be inauthentic for just one moment.

What are the odds

When you seek something you’ll be tested with all the blocks you hold against it.

If you seek guidance, you’ll be tested with feeling really lost.

If you seek love, you’ll be tested with feeling misunderstood or lonely.

If you seek joy, you’ll be tested with depression.

If you seek stability, you’ll be tested with chaos.

If you seek truth, you’ll be tested with confusion.

If you seek peace, you’ll be tested with conflicts and turmoil.

If you seek fulfillment, you’ll be tested with frustration and being stuck.

By keeping your focus on what your heart seeks you’ll be forced to endure the tension that comes from being present to, and aware of unwanted circumstances. That tension becomes the hermetic seal that facilitates a spiritual alchemical transmutation. The glo up may sting a bit, but best believe it’s in the pipelines.

Hocus-pocus

All of societal convention and norm is based on 2 things : obedience and profit.

Obedience : To bridle and suppress your inner authority – emotions – so that you have no choice but to surrender to outer authority in order to escape existential chaos.

Profit : A return on investment on anything you’re given. That is, nothing is unconditional. This is used as bait-and-switch mindgame where you’re lured in by apparent incentives and then shackled by guilt and fear.

It’s an indenture to keep you trapped in the system of lack until you’re old, when most of your life force has been usurped by others.

This can be microcosmic ; parent-child relationship, student-teacher, etc. Or macrocosmic ; citizen-government, employee-employer.

The devil is in the details

I realized that I’ve always gotten the short end of the stick in my general interactions and relationships with people because I put them to the task of dividing the stick, thinking they would do me justice. I let them dictate who I was by what I did, thinking they would be fair and just. I really did. I was taught this, that people were objective witnesses of me and if I didn’t get the desired validation it’s because I wasn’t worthy of it.

It’s not easy to find your way out of social conditioning, to find the crack in the simulation to realize it’s not really you and that the system isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. In fairness, we’re extremely rudimentary and limited as humans. We know more about the external world than the internal ; the psyche. So we’re bound to project everything outwards and have that be the be all, end all. Of course, there will be those who manipulate this blindspot to their favour.

Man down.

The whole Tina Knowles and Richard Lawson debacle where people were saying she emasculated him and you shouldn’t disrespect your man, makes me so uncomfortable.

A man should be and feel respected, supported and appreciated. However this shouldn’t come at the expense of self-censorship or monitoring oneself to not trigger any uncomfortable reactions in him. A woman isn’t the custodian of a man’s feelings.

A woman isn’t the custodian of a man’s feelings

Halllooowww? Can you hear me? A man who feels emasculated by a woman’s self-expression is immature and entitled af! Are people seriously suggesting that a woman bow down to his ego? Yo, this is so whack especially because I hate men like that. They disgust me. For real. I would never ever ever marry a man who is that fragile and who I have to coddle and hold myself back just in case. Let him talk!!

Men need to learn to communicate instead of relying on women picking up on their cues and emotional needs

And women are the maintainers of the status quo precisely through this dynamic of keeping a man comfortable where he is. Men need to learn to own their emotions, to own their space, to express their truths, to cut off toxic women who leech on them, to enforce boundaries, to self-regulate, to give up the external glory for inner stability and transcendental meaning. To find an outlet for masculinity through contributing, not collecting.

Men need tough love, not more coddling. They’ve been coddled far too long and their initial reaction to women taking a step back is being resentful and joining movements like MGTOW (men go their own way). It’s quite literally like a child throwing a tantrum, threatening the parents with plans of running away from home.

Sweet love

Your strength is gauged not by how much you can repress your true feelings (as opposed to visceral reactions triggered when threatened) but by how impervious your emotional body (heart) is to your mental body (mind)

That is, strength is measured by how ineffective mind control, manipulation, and the sway of the mind is on one.

+update

To put it another way : it’s the ability to tolerate inner conflict and the dissolution of coping mechanisms of the ego.

I believe this is the premise of Dąbrowski’s theory of Positive Disintegration.

Freedom from admiration

Made this my whatsapp dp. First time I’ve been able to put up a pic showing my fat arms and double chin. Lord graced me with a face that doesn’t betray the true numbers on the scale (3 digits!). But I’m done hiding and I don’t even have to explain why I gained over 100 pounds in the past 4 years.

I’ve survived worse than judgements and snarkiness and rejection. My body has been the real mvp for surviving ME. It took all my self-hate, all my homicidal tendencies turned inwards against myself, all my efforts at dying. It took it like a champ and protected me. Didn’t develop cancer or any other serious disease that would be a reasonable outcome to how I’ve been living since I was 16. It could have turned the comfort eating into physical danger, but it just created cushions to embrace me, to protect my emerging fragility from the world.

And even though I’ve been fat for a few years now, I’ve always felt fat because of my body dysmorphia. Even when I was battling anorexia and bulimia as a 13,14 year old. That’s what made it easier for me to hold space for myself and not react everytime I met my disappointment in the mirror. I understood that I can’t be fighting several battles at once, and once I deal with the root issues, the external will follow suit. And it surely has. It hasn’t translated to a snap back because there’s so much else to me that is more important right now. Things that strangers on a bus can’t readily perceive. And it’s fine.

It’s fine that people become shocked when they see me. What happened? For a long while I just wanted to lose weight to avoid those glances and intrusive comments. I wanted to bury myself because of the shame. Because people couldn’t see my battles, my victories, my injuries and my progress. But it’s fine. Because I shouldn’t have to rest on people’s perception of me. It taught me, it forced me to accept myself unconditionally, even at my worst. It forced me to see myself even when I felt there was nothing redeemable or noteworthy about me. I was forced to break the conditioning that my worth lay in my proportioned curves that for so long had been the envy and admiration of many. I fell from grace, it felt like. But was it grace? To have parts of me admired for meeting certain arbitrary conditions that were liable to fluctuate? No. It was a pyramid scheme. It led me to believe that I, as Mulki, was being loved. No. People were loving the image that they could project on me. They loved what I entailed, what I represented, but not who I actually was. And I conflated what I represented with who I was, so sweet was the validation.

And I don’t care that my skin is glowing because that only makes me more self-conscious about my hyperpigmentation that looks like a 5 o’clock shadow. I’d rather pass on zooming in and evaluating bits and pieces of me. If you cut out the parts you admire about me, you’d have rotting bloody flesh on your hands. Yuck.

No more posts.