As long as people are finding safety and security in NOT feeling and facing what’s crippling all of us, we’ll remain enslaved because we’ve been frightened off a sovereign reality.
I’ve been wanting to make the world a better place since I was 11 or something, but as I’ve grown into my life and its destined experiences I’ve come to learn that I don’t know what will make the world a better place. I don’t know the long term implications of my ideas. There are so many variables that need to be taken into consideration for an optimal outcome which is basically one that’s balanced. So instead of focusing on creating ideas I’ve spent the last two years creating an inner space that is highly tolerant of uncertainty and the presence of polarities.
This has always then led me to transcend into someone capable of not only holding space for the complex global problems ( so-called wicked problems) but digest them to understand the root cause in a layman’s term. Because I’m not an academic nor have I studied any of the accomplished thinkers in history. I’m just someone who came into a messy world with a sensitive system and I discovered that keeping my head down and just focusing on surviving was worse than death to me. I have an image in my soul of how things could be, an imprint I carried with me into this life and it won’t let me rest until I see it through. It’s my cross to bear in this life and I simply don’t have a choice. The suffering I’ve endured is largely because of what I see and perceive and how it clashes fundamentally with how the world is set up today. So I guess the system has an inbuilt detection of anomalies like me and is built to destroy and eliminate me, much like how a body attacks and rejects a new organ.
And I accept that the trauma is the price I pay to gain access to the information I do, and I’ve always been given a chance to opt out. Before every major shift there’s this intuitive crossroads I come to where I’m given permission to not go further. And I always choose to because pain aside, healing and fixing things is what makes life worth living for me. Not accolades, not materialism, but the dynamism of bringing and grounding new energies and life on earth and seeing people whose pain I empathize with, finding relief. That’s my motivation.
تِلْكَ الدَّارُ الْآخِرَةُ نَجْعَلُهَا لِلَّذِينَ لَا يُرِيدُونَ عُلُوًّا فِي الْأَرْضِ وَلَا فَسَادًا ۚ وَالْعَاقِبَةُ لِلْمُتَّقِينَ
That home of the Hereafter (i.e. Paradise), We shall assign to those who rebel not against the truth with pride and oppression in the land nor do mischief by committing crimes. And the good end is for the pious
i. e. those who stay in alignment with the divine Self that humbles itself to Allaah, and empathy that humbles one to the wellbeing of others.
Having ill will or resentment towards others is a very dangerous territory to be in, no matter how justified one feels because of the fact that at that moment one is disconnected from the love and light of Allaah. That’s what makes one dwell on grudges. And it was through this that Iblees chose eternal damnation and committed to spreading the chaos and destruction in his spirit that had been disconnected from Allaah. So it’s not so much what evils other perpetrate but that being in a field where your focus is drawn towards that signifies an inner disconnection.
May I be an enemy to no one and the friend of what abides eternally.
May I never quarrel with those nearest me, and be reconciled quickly if I should.
May I never plot evil against others, and if anyone plot evil against me,
may I escape unharmed and without the need to hurt anyone else.
May I love, seek and attain only what is good.
May I desire happiness for all and harbor envy for none.
May I never find joy in the misfortune of one who has wronged me.
May I never wait for the rebuke of others, but always rebuke myself until I make reparation.
May I gain no victory that harms me or my opponent.
May I reconcile friends who are mad at each other.
May I, insofar as I can, give all necessary help to my friends and to all who are in need.
May I never fail a friend in trouble.
May I be able to soften the pain of the grief stricken and give them comforting words.
May I respect myself.
May I always maintain control of my emotions.
May I habituate myself to be gentle, and never angry with others because of circumstances.
May I never discuss the wicked or what they have done, but know good people and follow in their footsteps.
— Eusebius, Prayer to practice the Golden Rule
Earlier today I was told of the abrupt passing of someone I met once a few months ago, and who last emailed me last week . I don’t know how to cope.
His name was Mattias, a tall and dignified gentleman in his late 30s, early 40s. He was the coordinator of a rehabilitation project geared towards young adults 18-29 with psychological distress to reintegrate into society through helping them with whatever connections, networking, training they need. I keep remembering the last email he sent me after I had to cancel our second meeting, “ it’s ok Mulki, let me know when you feel better and we’ll make a new appointment.”
I’m in denial. I don’t know how to react. I’m not a crier but I’m crying, in short bursts whenever I remember our first meeting where he was listening very intensely to what I had dealt with and what dreams I wanted help with. And how he was so validating and warm. And amazed at my intelligence and wisdom.
I keep asking myself, how is it possible? He emailed me a couple of days ago…
The first meeting was an intial assessment of my needs after which he’d convene with his colleagues to see if they could take me on ( they are like a support group that helps you with customized and inclusive plans) . I didn’t make it to the second meeting because my ptsd was triggered and it sent me into an intensely painful episode that I’m still engulfed in, 3 weeks on.
In a way, I’m glad I couldn’t make it because if I had met with him more times, I don’t know how his death would affect me.
I’m very very sensitive. I feel so connected to everyone. Just today, before I got the bad news , I was at the local pharmacist’s to order my antidepressants and a Somali auntie was there who didn’t know much Swedish. She was fairly new to the country and she asked me to translate for her as she had prescriptions she wanted to take out. I said alright.
The pharmacist was an old white lady with a faint eastern European accent to her otherwise impeccable Swedish. She was completely cordial with me, but when she turned to the Somali auntie, she became a stone-hearted bitch. She was rolling her eyes and sighing and showing frustration.
She even told me to explain how to take the medication to her since there was no point for her to explain it as the Somali auntie was most probably going to forget.
I said, you don’t know that. Explain it to me and I’ll translate it.
She dismissed me saying that the directions are written on the package.
I told her not to dismiss me and explain it, it wasn’t my obligation to read.
She told the auntie the total price and as I was explaining to her – she was also illiterate btw- the pharmacist snapped and told me to wrap it up as she had customers!
I fucking blew my fuse and told her that she had no goddamn right to treat that auntie that way JUST BECAUSE SHE DOESN’T SWEDISH! I told her that she was also a customer and had every right to take her time! I told her I didn’t like the way she was discriminating against her.
The auntie isn’t getting why I’m fuming and I told her let’s go. I had only met her 10 minutes prior but I felt so protective of her, and after we parted I thought of creating a support group for Somali immigrants. I couldn’t imagine what they must be going through, all the passive aggression and covert racism and condescension.
I was in those thoughts when I got the email.
I say that to say, I have a bleeding heart and my empathy is so extreme that I end up experiencing people’s pain as if it were mine – even from pain I glean from what’s left unsaid. And setting boundaries to protect ME has been an uphill battle.
I always end up numbing myself, keeping my pain to myself. I guess this post is my way of telling myself that I have a right to feel broken and sad. That my feelings are more than fleeting inconveniences or afterthoughts.
You know, I just realized something profound. The internet age was the shift from using our five senses to connect and discover the world, to using our intuitive senses. For a long time I thought that we’d been negatively affected by social media and the booming internet culture because of the obsession with social media and the foolishness therein, but I was wrong. It only brought out what was already within us. We’ve never had a medium to observe our inner world.
Being a (hijabi) Muslim black woman is the lowest rung of the Western society. My very existence is the embodiment of everything society shits on. I’ve never known the connotation of the proverbial a walk in the park. Even the walk in a park feels like I’m being scrutinized. My skin colour, my dress, my womanhood are screaming car alarms in a funeral, or snow storm on a June wedding day. I’ve never had the luxury of being relaxed. I feel like a thug when I walk into department stores. I feel like a terrorist in the airports, with a ticking bomb in my shoulder bag that ironically holds a copy of ‘1984′ by George Orwell, a pack of gum and the latest edition of the New Scientist. I try to keep eye contact, smile, think happy thoughts in case the NSA are sitting somewhere reading my thoughts. I watch my words when I’m on the phone so I don’t say stuff like ‘ man you’re the bomb’ and have my ass scooped off to a blacksite by the FBI.I feel like I’m at a pageant every time I walk outside. And being a native of Sweden where up until maybe 35 years ago, the only blacks that stepped a foot here were the travelling circus of Somali niggers in the early 20th century, things are even worse! Much worse. The racism isn’t as institutionalized as in the states, but the general opinion of blacks is rather primitive.
All that just made sure that I had to be alert, that I had to learn to defend justice for any human. It taught me to not give racist whites the power by making me believe the system is rigged against me. It taught me to take what’s mine, and keep trying until I chip away at the old system. It taught me to not accept a dirtbag’s imbecile thinking. It taught me that humanity has always been prone to oppression and resisting progress. I get it; it’s not a personal thing. Governments need their scapegoats, people need their bogeyman. Today it’s me, tomorrow it’s someone else, just like in yesteryears there were others in my place. The rotating axes of human vices.
The true enemy isn’t the evil man who’s doing reflexively what’s imbedded in his rotten heart. It’s the apathetic bystander who lets him.
You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.
– Maya Angelou ( Still I Rise)