Life has no audience, only collaborators

I was just thinking about having this ingrained belief that unless I deliver perfect results, it’s all in vain, I should just stay out of the way until I can muster that performance. And I realized that this has held back my reality from taking shape because of these conditions. And these conditions aren’t even ones enacted by the divine, despite Allaah being the only perfect and complete being. He allows for imperfection to take place and form; we have to contend with shortcomings and disappointments and natural disasters and birth defects in babies.

I never realized that Allaah was teaching us to find beauty and gratitude even in the smallest of expression of life. Perfectionism is demanded by ego, but it’s vulnerability and authenticity that concerns the soul. And forgoing perfect results to make my imperfect presence known is far more meaningful than I imagined. It’s not about the detached outcomes, but the outcome of me as a result of interacting with life.

Commit to your own imperfections

As long as we try to transcend ourselves,

reach for the sky,

pull away from ground and into spirit,

we are heroes carved in stone.

We stand atop the pillar alone

blind to the pigeon’s droppings.

Do not try to transform yourself.

Move into yourself.

Move into your human unsuccess.

Perfection rapes the soul.

I was committed to becoming conscious

as quickly as possible.

Then suddenly, a black hole.

Chaos.

I knew the only solution

was to understand exactly

what was going on.

I read day and night for a week.

Bursting with knowledge,

I leapt into his office.

I knew what was wrong with me

and I knew how to cure it.

I spent the hour elaborating,

weaving profundities.

He wilted in his chair.

The more he wilted,

the faster I talked.

At the end of the hour,

he silently helped me on with my coat

and took me to the elevator.

With a twinkle in his eighty-year-old eyes

he pushed the button.

If I were you, Mrs. Woodman,

I would take my animus for a good drink.

I was so angry I didn’t even take him a muffin.

If we are trying to live by ideals,

we are constantly plagued

by a sense of unreality.

It is easier to try

to be better

than you are

than to be

who you are.

Perfection does not allow for feeling.

Perfection is not interested

in staying in the body.

It wants to fly,

wants ideals,

wants beauty,

wants truth,

wants light,

and you sure don’t get these here.

Perfection massacres the feminine.

Our culture pulses to the pressure of perfection.

To move toward perfection

is to move out of life

or never to enter.

She has foolproof recipes

for everything.

If strictly followed

(and to follow is to follow strictly),

they guarantee success.

Her real world is the world of things,

things that work efficiently.

She is impatient of error,

having no room for it;

there is no need for it.

Anyone learning under her jurisdiction

will be oriented from the start

to objects and goals,

clearly defined.

Her daughter knows herself as a thing,

thinks of herself as an object

designed for high efficiency.

She does not know

her mother’s knowledge

is not wisdom,

is without human meaning,

is without personal love.

Her daughter has no standpoint

of her own.

There is no danger

of her opening

to her own weeping.

There is no danger

of her singing

her own song.

Eventually we have to face the fact

that we are not God.

– Marion Woodman, Coming Home To Myself : reflections for nurturing a woman’s body and soul

Anima Obscura

I’ve long pondered the reason as to why people settle for meagre conditions in life. Why they content themselves with inadequate answers and unsolved mysteries. Why they are so quick to capitulate to temporary difficulties? It really bogged me because I thought if majority of mankind find themselves deep in cynicism and bleak outlook on life, am I delusional for seeing and seeking a prosperous life beyond what the current world reality has to offer? I mean, if I could find the answers and ways – and I deem myself as lower on the totem pole than others, not out of false humility but because I’m quite sensitive- why were people who are more resilient and more proactive than I am incapable of even entertaining the possibility of prosperity?

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Rediscovering Ramadaan#7

I’m a barely-there Muslim. I try hard to not do ANYTHING if it doesn’t come from my heart -even in trivial matters like sending someone a message or writing on a topic. This goes for my deen and because I don’t have much in my heart, my practices rarely exceed the waajibaat ( obligatory rituals). 
After 8 or so years of hard-core practicing rooted in perfectionism and chronic cynicism of myself – I crashed and burned. I was on the verge of disbelief. It’s a miracle, nothing short of a miracle that I have love still for Allaah. Alxamdulillaah.

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Body & Soul

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This morning I realized that achieving my goals would only create more space for more goals, more scurrying, more haste. I won’t be content. All my life I wished to be in the headspace that I am in now; self-aware,self-conforming, living courageously, authentically vulnerable. And yet, I don’t see all that. I don’t appreciate it. My eyes are set on reaching an illusory horizon, and all the while I miss every sunset and sunrise that is my life.

 

Shroud me in pain

I try to be normal. I try to keep up with the marathon of life and not let down the cheering crowd. But I’m broken and I can’t heal and keep up at the same time. Something’s gotto give. I carry on stealthily through sheer grit and focus, but as soon as I relax, I’m bombarded with everything I’m suppressing. Stuff that I don’t have answers for. Stuff that I can’t talk to others about. People say that I can talk to them whenever and that they’ll be there for me, but it’s mostly vapid talk designed to make them feel better about the guilt of my pain. So it’s easier to smile and juggle half a dozen projects to give off an air of hopefulness. But I always look forward to sleep. In the cover of my blanket, I can let down my guard and for some hours I don’t have to be at war in my head. In my dreams, there’s always a happy ending. But the happy ending heralds an angst-filled beginning; a new day. A new day with more unanswered questions and even more demands for implementing answers. Every single day is exhausting. I spend every waking hour thinking, researching,reading – basically running away from my daemons that call me to just give up.
Every time I hear about someone who committed suicide, I think; when will I finally cave in? It’s a scary prospect but it’s always at the forefront. Always. Like it’s a default option. So if I don’t keep afloat with goals and projects, I fear I’ll sink like Jake Dawson in Titanic.

I’m starting to think that maybe I jumped ship too early with the recovery. I took my first major milestones and ran with them. I forgot where I had come from. I forgot that I had suffered from severe depression, C-PTSD (chronic PTSD), anxiety, agoraphobia, you name it, for over a decade. A few months in summer made me forget about all of that and I tried to catch up with everything I was ‘supposed’ to do. I tried to erase my years of suffering by filling my days with activities to show how quickly I’ve bounced back.

And now. I’ve been suicidal since late October. I spent the entire month of December in bed. And I do mean the entire month, in bed. I’d only get up in the middle of the night to get me a sandwich to have enough energy to stay alive. I’d forcefully sleep throughout the day because I didn’t want to talk to people. I didn’t have the energy to fake that everything was alright.

Recovery is a lonely process and the very mind that urges you to just give up is your only companion.  I try very very very hard to not let sadness seep in. I try very hard not to think about what I’ve gone through, and this means that I don’t get to process my pain. It lies in waiting.

“I didn’t want to wake up. I was having a much better time asleep. And that’s really sad. It was almost like a reverse nightmare, like when you wake up from a nightmare you’re so relieved. I woke up into a nightmare.”
— Ned Vizzini (It’s Kind of a Funny Story)

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