Be in limbo for as long as you feel in limbo. Don’t microwave your growth. Don’t force a conclusion when there are a couple of chapters left. People may not want winter to come or for summer to come back in spring, but remember that for as long as you’re connected to your truth you force people to adapt to your heart’s timing – that is, if they want to be in your life. If not, clear out the weeds that choketh your path. If they can’t understand the function of your essence then they are in the wrong place. Don’t accommodate for the tourists.
The times when it seems like nothing is happening no matter how you try, it’s because you’re ripe for healing and it’s your choice then, to pluck the fruit and eat it, or crush it underfoot in your eager stampede away from yourself.
There’s something deeply fulfilling in being able to sit in the twilight of my soul where the extremes of emotions meet, where what was once a cause of civil war becomes a peaceful vigil.
I feel like I’ve come full circle within me. I no longer run away from my darkness, seeking to chase the dawn because the darkness is not my enemy anymore. Just because I can’t control it doesn’t mean it’s nefarious. It’s in the realm of uncertainty and the unknown that the divine works. A divine I’ve been travelling towards for 5 years, meticulously restoring the templates distorted by my parents. I think kids see their parents as divine entities and if that perception isn’t challenged in adulthood it comes to represent God and the unknown.
I hold conversations with Allaah whenever I’m faced with the surge of something new within me, and instead of scrambling for defense, I can let go.
It’s allowed deeper parts of me to seep into my consciousness and come to light because I know that above all fear is Allaah. Beyond my control is Allaah.
I no longer am negotiating with my fears. I’m free because I’ve finally learnt to trust the One who created life and death, destruction and inspiration, darkness and light. It’s by His balance that all things are eternally in order. The unknown isn’t an empty void I have to be the guardian of in order to ensure the safety of the world. The unknown is a place of comfort where my hopes lie nestled when brutalized by a shallow world.
I’ve started to understand myself instead of listening for mistakes. I’ve started to study the shadow that I cast, and it’s no longer a lifeless silhouette. It represents my sleeping potential. Instead of viewing myself through the judging perspective of the outside world and measuring myself by outcome, I see myself as an expression of a sovereign being. My soul is not defined by right or wrong, just like there is no right way for bees to buzz or an ideal height of the oak tree. Nature just is. And the mind has no jurisdiction in trying to cut it down to fit in with a preset model of what should be.
The mind’s role is to be a keen observer of what the soul unfolds, not its dictator. And in finding my ties to the divine, I’ve overthrown that brutal regime.
Now all there is is an open field of potentiality and love and my work in creating meaning from what arises has just begun.
Growing contemptuous of my messy, insubordinate life that refused to bend to my will, I escaped. I threw it all away, stomped off in existential defiance. If I can’t have what I want, then why stick around pain and humiliation?
Alas, I met the same fate of Jonah. My escapism threw me overboard into the depths of despair where I was swallowed by the mother of all frustration; existential crisis.
And so, here I am before you, feeble, acid having dissolved my surface, exhausted from trying to fight my fate. It took this much to make me face myself. God, I’m stubborn!
But being stuck, being imprisoned by existential depression had the paradoxical effect of freeing my true, sensitive self that was silenced and tyrannized by my ego. I guess Allaah had to orchestrate events that would silence and tyrannize my ego to free me, like the breaking of a chrysalis to make way for the emergence of the butterfly.
Trusting people, you can never know what they’ll do to you. People tout not trusting and being aloof as some potion of invincibility, not knowing that they are playing themselves harder than anyone ever could. The risk of being authentic and vulnerable is outweighed many times over by the cost of not being so. Not giving people the benefit of the doubt and mistrusting them is essentially lying to them because you’re not showing up fully. You’re filtering everything they do or say through your fears, and thus always feed them negativity, even if you try to be positive.
You do this long enough, and who you are will atrophy and be replaced by this lifeless, reactive bot that doesn’t know how to love. You learnt how lovelessness and manipulation feels like, now get out of that space and be the type of person you like to attract. Because you do know that love doesn’t just happen when someone eradicates all signs of doubt and fear? The doubt and fear is within you, and the danger is that in a bid to minimize the angst you seek out people who don’t push your buttons, and consequently who aren’t able to see all of you or to grow with you. Manipulative people are especially adept at not setting off the alarm systems, whereas normal people with no agendas will stumble and be awkward at times. It’s like taking to a small pond because it feels safer than the vast ocean. But then you’d have to stifle the urge to swim and dive and explore. That’s the payoff.
When I say be open, I mean be real. With yourself. Check in with your emotions, your intuition. Say and do what you’d do if you had no fears. Make a fool of yourself. Don’t compromise on yourself. You’re not too much, too intense, too weird. You’re not for everyone, just like orange isn’t everyone’s favourite colour. Doesn’t change the fact that orange is a miraculous manifestation of light . You can only be that free if your love is free. If you’re not bogged down by needing validation or assurance back. Show up the way you want to be accepted, and let the vibes take care of the rest.
Pain is how you expand. Growth is how you heal. Love is how you’ll be able to come around again and again, like the trees that defy the harsh autumn winds by blooming again come spring…
I continually betray myself to be loyal to others. i wage war against myself to keep the peace with others. i hide myself to let others be visible. i dim myself to let others shine. i hold my breath waiting for permission to exhale.
why? why do i do this? because i believe, ardently so, that my existence is meaningless, without impact or importance. to check my vitals, i need the affirmations of others, and to do that i must serve them. what else would i do with a barren life?
I have to retrace my steps back to my childhood when i established these mindset as a way to interact with the world and it is extremely daunting. but what other choice do i have? continue to live on the grounds leveled by my 8 year old self? 11 year old self?15 year old self?19 year old self?
I’m starting over.
Make everything you do or aim for unconditional. Dream? Unconditional. Love? Unconditional. Worship? Unconditional.
Focus on giving of yourself, that way you won’t be cutting any corners and you won’t be avoiding yourself by outsourcing your state of being to extrinsic motivation. Also, it’s the best way to learn about yourself and what you actually like, since you won’t be afraid of alienating people who supply you with love. Unconditional giving= unconditional being.
You’re a unique expression of Allaah.
Let that sink in.
You’re the creative expression of Allaah’s, a sign from His universal signs.
And you won’t see that until you’re true to yourself. Until you honour everything that rises in you and trust that more than you trust what plays out in front you, you’ll be cut off from the divine energy.
What making du’aa does is that it frees you from the stalemate between the polarities that you’ve identified with, and in that surrender you are lifted above the battleground.
If you identify with a state of mind or a mood or outcome, that inevitably has a dark side, a yin. So you’ll forever be fighting and attempting to exclude the onslaught of the oscillating energy, the ebb.
But if you’re released from that, you inhabit your own natural rhythm where you’re not attached to any polarity or point. Your focus is on being grounded in your consciousness where the moment flows in and out of.
So it’s not necessarily being detached, because there’s a resistance in identifying with detachment. You’re afraid of the disappointment of things floating away, so you may take to detachment as a way to bypass that.
It’s not about constructing a way to eliminate suffering or betrayal. You have to understand that inner peace isn’t a fluke, and suffering isn’t a flaw. They are both points on a spectrum measuring your well-being. Inner peace isn’t meant to make you comfortable, but to let you know when you’re aligned with yourself. And suffering comes about when you’re resisting pain, because you’re misconstruing what it’s teaching you. The reason why falls and failures are integral to life is because that’s how Allaah’s will is made manifest; through the contrast between what you perceive and the truth. Failure is simply when your perception has reached its end.
The ultimate goal of life is this: to be humble and reliant on the guidance of Allaah, and to be of service to humanity by filtering everything through love.
What does that entail? It means that your intentions are rooted in truth and your efforts are directed towards a balanced interaction with the outside world.
So it’s not so much about being all positive, in fact if your supposed positivity is rooted in a nerdiness of validation or attachment to positivity, then you’re harming yourself by being inauthentic.
Doing good to others isn’t gauged by the arbitrary satisfaction of others, but by the transcendent truth. So you may criticize someone or in other ways do something that is seen as negative, but because it’s rooted in your authentic expression and fight against falsehood, it’ll inevitably have a good impact. Again, this is a process refined through mindful self-awareness and an openness to being proven wrong.
It’s a fluid process that forces you to be cognizant of your capacity to be false and evil, as well as bringing down the barriers we’ve erected to keep us safe.
When we internalize an incident ( usually negatively), we’re erecting a barrier.
When we identify with people based on how they make us feel, we’re erecting a barrier.
When we dismiss something out of hand because it doesn’t seem relative, we’re erecting a barrier.
We have to revise our world view if we categorize everything to “good vibes” and “bad vibes”.
Because how would you know a good vibe if the truth, your truth, makes you so uncomfortable that you run away from yourself? How reliable are your feelings if they are disconnected from your intuition?
When we’re disconnected from our intuition, we become blind and unable to navigate an increasingly complex world where so much is happening at once. To offset the anxiety, we barricade ourselves in, we look for “safe” people , which really means familiar even if familiar is toxic, and in general, cutting down the world to fit our limited scope of understanding.
The intuition is a tether that allows us to explore the universe in its vastness and the human experience in its depth because ultimately our trust doesn’t lie with what’s malleable and subject to change. Our trust is in our intuition, and that in turn is connected to Allaah who created everything seen and unseen, and Who alone can inform us of what is actually good for us in the long run.
حِيَ إِلَى نُوحٍ أَنَّهُ لَن يُؤْمِنَ مِن قَوْمِكَ إِلاَّ مَن قَدْ آمَنَ فَلاَ تَبْتَئِسْ بِمَا كَانُواْ يَفْعَلُونَ
And it was inspired to Nuh: “None of your people will believe except those who have believed already. So be not sad because of what they used to do.
وَاصْنَعِ الْفُلْكَ بِأَعْيُنِنَا وَوَحْيِنَا وَلاَ تُخَاطِبْنِي فِي الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُواْ إِنَّهُم مُّغْرَقُونَ
And construct the ship under Our Eyes and with Our Inspiration, and address Me not on behalf of those who did wrong; they are surely to be drowned.”
وَيَصْنَعُ الْفُلْكَ وَكُلَّمَا مَرَّ عَلَيْهِ مَلأٌ مِّن قَوْمِهِ سَخِرُواْ مِنْهُ قَالَ إِن تَسْخَرُواْ مِنَّا فَإِنَّا نَسْخَرُ مِنكُمْ كَمَا تَسْخَرُونَ
And as he was constructing the ship, whenever the chiefs of his people passed by him, they made a mockery of him. He said: “If you mock at us, so do we mock at you likewise for your mocking.
وَقَالَ ارْكَبُواْ فِيهَا بِسْمِ اللَّهِ مَجْرَاهَا وَمُرْسَاهَا إِنَّ رَبِّي لَغَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ
And he [Nuh] said: “Embark therein, in the Name of Allaah will be its moving course and its resting anchorage. Surely, my Lord is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”
وَهِيَ تَجْرِي بِهِمْ فِي مَوْجٍ كَالْجِبَالِ وَنَادَى نُوحٌ ابْنَهُ وَكَانَ فِي مَعْزِلٍ يَا بُنَيَّ ارْكَب مَّعَنَا وَلاَ تَكُن مَّعَ الْكَافِرِينَ
So it (the ship) sailed with them amidst the waves like mountains, and Nuh called out to his son, who had separated himself (apart), “O my son! Embark with us and be not with the disbelievers.”
قَالَ سَآوِي إِلَى جَبَلٍ يَعْصِمُنِي مِنَ الْمَاء قَالَ لاَ عَاصِمَ الْيَوْمَ مِنْ أَمْرِ اللَّهِ إِلاَّ مَن رَّحِمَ وَحَالَ بَيْنَهُمَا الْمَوْجُ فَكَانَ مِنَ الْمُغْرَقِينَ
The son replied: “I will betake myself to a mountain, it will save me from the water.” Nuh said: “This day there is no saviour from the Decree of Allaah except him on whom He has mercy.” And a wave came in between them, so he (the son) was among the drowned.