Sacred scars

I feel the most positive and encouraged that I’ve felt in all my 13+ years depressed.

These past 4 months in particular have been especially taxing as I did a deep dive in shadow work and fostering my inner divine feminine, which entailed encountering several negative women archetypes.

And I can finally see how the dark connects to the light and I finally have an answer to a question that’s been echoing throughout my journey ; is my suffering worth it? And it absolutely is. I dedicated the best years to doing something that I had absolutely no concrete proof or precedence or peers in. Only a persistent intuition and faith in Allaah who was guiding me and teaching me throughout it all. I never expected that anything would come out of it. I did it to save my heart, frankly. I keep telling Allaah, if it wasn’t for Your active presence in my life, I would absolutely have committed suicide because there’s no way I’d keep living in a dreary and ruthless world like that. I was always one step away from the edge. So my shadow work was never a spiritual bypass or an attempt at keeping a facade. I’ve been in the midst of the muck for so long that everyone associates me with reclusiveness and as someone with wasted potential. And I genuinely don’t care that people look down on me. If they do hold me in high esteem it’s always for the most fickle and shallow reasons, so it doesn’t mean much. I say all that to say that my shadow work was never something I set out to do but as someone with compounded emotional and mental fracture and deep trauma, and as someone whose mind works at a different pace and pattern than most, the only way I’d find healing is by creating it myself. I started trekking out into trying to get somewhat of a grasp on mental health in 2008. I’d read self-help books that did more damage because they were deceptive in their promise and connected to ego instead of universal truths. I kept ending up in dead-end alleys which would lead to suicide attempts each time. A lot of trial and error, restarted by surviving and realizing that the only way to get out of the rock bottom is by finding a way to scale the walls. I became numb but had to keep my focus locked on that faint light at the distance to keep from succumbing to the overwhelming darkness I was immersed in. It’s haunting, seductive, tempting, the darkness, and to fold feels as easy as water rolling into a glass from a jug tilted at an angle, pouring it out.

There’s nothing to prepare you for that. It feels like a primordial battle on a wider scale, like this has been done before, and there are so so many half-way graves and remnants of people who didn’t make it out. I feel connected to their spirits and it’d give me added incentive to not only make it out for myself but to finish the trek on behalf of those who died trying.

How does a woman find her Self?

She honors the truth about her personality with its strengths and weaknesses, its saints and demons, its natural aptitudes and forgivable flaws.

She honors her feminine body that was created for the purpose of protecting, nurturing, and giving birth to new life. This is a real body of flesh and blood, an awesome body that is the incarnation of life, a beautiful body of rounded softness, a terrible body that is subject to the decay of death.

She honors her soul, that part of herself that is most in touch with the unconscious realm of instincts, intuitions, fantasies, emotional rhythms, and dreams. This is where she discovers her unique creativity.

She honors her spirituality in both its feminine and masculine aspects. She honors masculine spirituality, which finds expression in conscious attempts to approach the divine through words, prayer, doctrines, scriptural studies, and meaningful rituals within the bounds of organized religion. And she honors her more instinctive, feminine spirituality, which often manifests in personally meaningful rituals and feelings of awe and connectedness that are experienced through music and bodily movement and in physical, natural settings. The feminine approaches the Divine Being when she dances alone in a moonlit forest cathedral beneath overarching branches, when she listens to the music of the universe in an island sanctuary, or when she swims at midnight in a watery temple beneath the waves.

She honors her heart, her tender
compassion for all humanity, her sense of deep connection to others, her emotions, her feelings, her need to preserve and nurture life, her power to sacrifice everything for those she loves – and her ability to wound them.

She honors her mind. She establishes a relationship with her masculine way of thinking and acquires the courage, knowledge, and energy to actively pursue her goals and ideals so that she may persevere in her quest for individuation. And she respects her special feminine kind of wisdom – the wisdom of the understanding heart.

Finally, she is willing to suffer. She endures the suffering that always accompanies the pursuits of individuality and of intimacy with others.

And she deals with the rage that comes from seeking to discover and honor her true identity in a world that does not value the feminine.

– Jean Raffa, The Bridge To Wholeness : a feminine alternative to the hero’s myth

Inferno 


That’s the thing about going over the edge, expecting to be crushed : your limitations get annihilated mid-air, and you land in a new dimension where things bend to your molding. What can flames do to me when I readily put my truth to the test? Answer : everything meant to harm me helps me get clear about what I am.

For that I’m ever grateful to Allaah, for not having left me in a pool of suffering. He taught me how He generates possibilities by the removal of insurmountable impasses I’ve experienced, and how He converts difficulties and suffering to the most valuable experiences.

 
I was stopped and destroyed by everything on this planet. Fought tooth and nail to keep my individualism and idealism – however starry-eyed it may be perceived – afloat and I died hundreds of times. I died when my attempts at recreating an image that wasn’t my truth kept failing. I died in my parents eyes when my smarts didn’t culminate in much. I died when everything I used to navigate this world dissipated, slowly but surely. I died until I realized that the parts of me that were dying were the parts preventing me from living, fully.

 
That’s where I get my unstoppable attitude from, because I draw my inspiration and strength from a place alien to this world, and that’s where I get my courage from. There’s something about facing death and existential destruction that makes fears inconsequential.


قَالَ أَفَتَعْبُدُونَ مِنْ دُونِ اللَّهِ مَا لَا يَنْفَعُكُمْ شَيْئًا وَلَا يَضُرُّكُمْ

Ibraahim said: “Do you then worship besides Allaah, things that can neither profit you, nor harm you?” 


أُفٍّ لَكُمْ وَلِمَا تَعْبُدُونَ مِنْ دُونِ اللَّهِ أَفَلَا تَعْقِلُونَ

” Fie upon you, and upon that which you worship besides Allaah! Have you then no sense?” 


قَالُوا حَرِّقُوهُ وَانْصُرُوا آَلِهَتَكُمْ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ فَاعِلِينَ

They said: “Burn him and help your aaliha (gods), if you will be doing.”


قُلْنَا يَا نَارُ كُونِي بَرْدًا وَسَلَامًا عَلَى إِبْرَاهِيمَ

We (Allaah) said: “O fire! Be you coolness and safety for Ibraahim !”


وَأَرَادُوا بِهِ كَيْدًا فَجَعَلْنَاهُمُ الْأَخْسَرِينَ

And they wanted to harm him, but We made them the worst losers.


وَنَجَّيْنَاهُ وَلُوطًا إِلَى الْأَرْضِ الَّتِي بَارَكْنَا فِيهَا لِلْعَالَمِينَ

And We rescued him and Lout  to the land which We have blessed for the ‘Alameen (mankind and jinns).


وَوَهَبْنَا لَهُ إِسْحَاقَ وَيَعْقُوبَ نَافِلَةً وَكُلًّا جَعَلْنَا صَالِحِينَ

And We bestowed upon him Ishaaq , and (a grandson) Ya’qoob . Each one We made righteous. 


وَجَعَلْنَاهُمْ أَئِمَّةً يَهْدُونَ بِأَمْرِنَا وَأَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْهِمْ فِعْلَ الْخَيْرَاتِ وَإِقَامَ الصَّلَاةِ وَإِيتَاءَ الزَّكَاةِ وَكَانُوا لَنَا عَابِدِينَ

And We made them leaders, guiding (mankind) by Our Command, and We inspired in them the doing of good deeds, performing Salaat , and the giving of Zakaat and of Us (Alone) they were worshippers.



Al-Anbiya [21:66-72] 

Spiritual minimalist 

I keep my load light on my journey to my Lord.
I cut to the chase, strip off the excess, boil it down. The truth is always horizontal, never vertical.
I’m a soldier of Allaah’s. And I’m at war with myself. Or rather, I’m warring against everything that doesn’t belong in me. Things that have morphed into my being, attached at the core. The pain of ripping it off is inexplicable.
It feels like death, on some levels. You just have to close your eyes, brace yourself, breathe deeply and let yourself be run over by the freight  of fear. Choo choo choo
I always ask Allaah,

‘ what now? Where should I go?’

After a moment, I feel a light thud in my gut.

” You’ve got  (1) intuitive message”
Sigh. I feel the rush of having found something to sink my teeth into. But my gut faintly flexes because I know that with each mission…a part of me has to die. Gulp.
I’m often called to uncomfortable territories, and if it weren’t for my reliance on Allaah that transcends my fear, man… I don’t know.
I often, like 95% of the time, find myself in agitating, embarrassing, weird, confrontational situations. Situations where people look at me like.. is she crazy? Like, actually insane? And I don’t blame them because in that moment before the meaning of it all unfolds and we all go ‘ ahaaaaaaaa nooow we get it’

I doubt myself.
But like Ibraahim calayhissalaam was commanded to leave his wife and infant son in the middle of nowhere, whilst he probably thought they’d perish, Allaah’s wisdom prevails. And like Maryam calayhassalaam was told to go back to her people after she had given birth to Ciisa calayhissalaam, and she probably thought she’d be ostracized or worse, Allaah’s promise is never broken.
And while I’m not comparing the calls of my soul to waxyi, I do know that these calls are divine in nature. And I know that the divine can’t be deciphered except in silence and seclusion. Not a physical seclusion, necessarily, but a mental one where one has to close the door on the world, and just observe it through the window.
The burning bush.

The Mount of Tur

The cave of Hiraa

The mihraab of Zakariya

The belly of the whale

The prison in Egypt
A soul must be light in order to bear the uphill climb. And it must be spacious in order to house new truths. And it must be humble in order to take L’s . Cuz you know what?
The biggest winner in the hereafter is the one who has let go of the most in this life.
رَضُوا بِأَن يَكُونُوا مَعَ الْخَوَالِفِ وَطُبِعَ عَلَىٰ قُلُوبِهِمْ فَهُمْ لَا يَفْقَهُونَ
“They are content to be with those who sit behind . Their hearts are sealed up (from all kinds of goodness and right guidance), so they understand not.”
(At-Tawbah 9:87)

A Heroine’s Journey

badassery

The title is a play on Joseph Campbell’s monomyth The Hero with a Thousand Faces. It’s been brilliantly depicted through an INFJs perspective here.

It’s very painful. I don’t know how to explain what’s happening other than through an analogy; it feels like I’m giving birth whilst having my skin ripped. Everything I’ve grown attached to and used as a crutch has been dissolved and I feel like I’m falling into a dark pit where annihilation awaits me. All my abandonment issues and repressed pain come out of the woodworks now that I have nothing to suppress them with,and it’s all too painful. Physically painful. In all my years in this heroine’s journey, I have never known a greater pain. And I think it’s because the very last part of my false self is dying. Ego death they call it. I feel nauseous, and a strong wish to just die. But then I realize I don’t really want to die, and that past suicidal thoughts and attempts have been desperate attempts at abandonment. I always jump ship before anyone can abandon me. Always. I have a knack for seeing when someone’s turning on me, growing sick of me. I sneak out like a thief in the night. They’ll never know what hit them.

In a way, that’s what I used to do to myself when it got overbearing. But I’m sensing a fundamental change; a separate identity from the one in pain has emerged, so the pain is compartmentalized. I can feel that what’s dying in me isn’t me. I don’t know how to explain it.

Now I know why most will never undergo this transformation. Why unconsciousness is so alluring. Why people prefer to be comatose.

Not only is everything I’ve grown accustomed to dissolving in the light of consciousness and maturity, but my true self is emerging.

Mothers, is this how giving birth feels like? Excruciating pain and being torn apart to give way to another life. I think I’ll opt for adoption.

It’s my fault. I have this morbid curiosity. I keep prying into my unconscious, when it nudges content my way either through dreams, intuition, or crossing paths with others.

If my soul was a person, it’d be covered in tattoos, be a chainsmoker, pierced all over, but a really kind person. LOL

I just turned 26 this month. I haven’t had time to pause and reflect on all the shit that my unconscious has thrown in my path. It’s like a videogame. I choose to go to the next level, and the next, and the next. I can’t stop. Like, in the past, I’d be lying on the floor, with blood in my mouth,and pills in my system and the first thing that crosses my mind is to analyze my suicide attempt. I.keep.attracting.lessons. No wonder I couldn’t hack school; I’m enrolled in an intensive crash course in life!

Simplicity is the most difficult thing in life. It involves searching,sifting,choosing,discarding. I feel that the more pain and metamorphosis I undergo, the more child-like I become. You’d expect that with everything’s that happened that I’d become more cautious and closed-off. Nope. I laugh at the silliest things, I’m very naive in that I can’t conjure the evils of others, I give and trust unconditionally, and I believe everything’s possible. But I’m also very fearless when it comes to standing up for what I believe in, in asserting my own truths. Maybe it’s my fearlessness that allows me to be child-like? Because I don’t have to watch my back?

 

The unconscious is not a demoniacal monster, but a natural entity which, as far as moral sense, aesthetic taste, and intellectual judgement go, is completely neutral. It only becomes dangerous when our conscious attitude to it is hopelessly wrong. To the degree that we repress it, its danger increases. But the moment the patient begins to assimilate contents that were previously unconscious, its danger diminishes. The dissociation of personality, the anxious division of the day-time and the night-time sides of the psyche, cease with progressive assimilation.

— C.G. Jung (The Essential Jung: Selected Writings)

But if we understand anything of the unconscious, we know that it cannot be swallowed. We also know that it is dangerous to suppress it, because the unconscious is life and this life turns against us if suppressed, as happens in neurosis. Conscious and unconscious do not make a whole when one of them is suppressed and injured by the other. If they must contend, at least let it be a fair fight with equal rights on both sides. Both are aspects of life. Consciousness should defend its reason and protect itself, and the chaotic life of the unconscious should be given the chance of having its way too – as much of it as we can stand. This means open conflict and open collaboration at once. That, evidently, is the way human life should be. It is the old game of hammer and anvil: between them the patient iron is forged into an indestructible whole, an ‘individual.’ This, roughly, is what I mean by the individuation process.

— C.G. Jung

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