Shades of separation

If you’ve been on a spiritual high this Ramadan where you’ve met most if not all of your goals, like going to taraweeh, reciting the Qur’aan on the daily, studying islaamic knowledge etc., please know that you’re incredibly privileged and blessed and that this isn’t because you stayed focused or was determined. Allaah gifted you the tawfeeq, He expanded your heart to hold and encompass the light that moves you into action, YOU, your heart, HE did that. I see people talk about this is a representation of what you’re capable of outside of Ramadan. No it ain’t. This has nothing to do with the limited will and everything to do with the indispensable divine will. He allocated this month as being special. He endowed people with the capabilities to focus on their spirituality.

I remind you to be cognizant of what this really means because there are so many of us here with severe depression, anxiety, ptsd, postpartum depression, psychosis etc. who worship Alllaah by staying patient and hopeful but would love to be able to join in and engaged in spiritual activities and routines. And although each will be rewarded for their intentions if they can’t see it through, it’s still a loss. It’s isolation.

So, be mindful and don’t take it for granted. And go easy on people if you see them slacking during Ramadan and not being focused like that. The path to Allaah is exclusively through the heart and sometimes Allaah stops your intentions from evolving into actions because perhaps the actions would take you away from Him through pride and being impressed with self.

Love amongst ruins

I asked myself, does the fact that I’m not as excited about Ramadan as all these other people mean that my eman is that shoddy? Does the fact that I don’t have any plans or thoughts about doing anything out of the ordinary mean that I lack reverence for Allaah?

I had to sit with that for a while and it was mad uncomfortable because it’d be easier to just fix it all by doing stuff and getting into the spirit somehow. But I wanted to see my naked soul. I wanted to know the reality behind it, not just quell the anxiety. My pact with Allaah has been that I’ll always be truthful and sincere. Even with the ugly.

Shame. I felt a lot of shame coming up because I wasn’t performing like I should, and I wasn’t connecting to this significant month like I should. But then, I saw how the shame entailed that Allaah would push me away because of that. And that’s not true. The shame was creating a barrier between me and Allaah. The truth was that I’m severely depressed and I don’t find anything enjoyable and I simply don’t have the wherewithal to do a lot.

I get mad anxiety from being in the kitchen because there’s so many moving parts and hustle and bustle. I don’t fast because of a medical condition that I instead compensate monetarily for. So I told my mum, listen I’ll do all the cleaning, the laundry, the vacuuming, washing the dishes etc during Ramadan, just don’t expect me to participate in preparing iftaar because it gives me a lot of anxiety. And she thought that was a great idea because I was taking on the lion share of chores. I love cleaning, I don’t mind because it’s systematic and predictable.

There are a lot of obstacles that I have to find my own way through and it’s not easy because I don’t know of anyone who’s dealt with these things and tried to find a way through. Because although I am flawed I don’t want to abandon what I can do on account of what I feel I should do, namean? Being vulnerable with Allaah through the depression, the anxiety, the loneliness. It’s so difficult because of these beliefs I’ve inherited. But I don’t want my connection to Allaah to be via others. I need Allaah when I’m down and out. I need Allaah when I feel useless and done for. I don’t want my connection to be performative or conditional. I want to worship at rock bottom.

ramadan regressions {5}

Pain. I seek out what accentuates my inadequacies. I match people to the hues of my insecurities. I foolishly think my insecurities are an obstacle course I can race through.

Sadistic. I can’t tear myself away from those who echo back to me the loathing that runs the length of my soul.

Nihilistic. I’ve worked towards working away my fatal flaws for so long that I’ve forgotten what I was before it all began. I’m afraid to discover nothingness beneath it all.

You can choose to take a step back out of fear of the unknown, or step forth out of faith in the unknown. The past you’re replaying in your head will never happen again, unless you insist on recreating every blank moment in the image of your darkest fears.


                                 [***]


Between a fear and a desire, always remain loyal to your desire. A fear is no grateful, no no. You give up your life to satisfy it, but it won’t stop growing until you’re no more. It’ll whack you even if it promises it won’t if you keep on good terms with it. It’s a lying, pesky ting.

Never negotiate with fear. It only exists because you trust it more than you trust yourself. What a shame.


                                [***]


I want to make a majestic house out of my soul. A place of calmness. A place of stability and refuge for beautiful souls to find rest in.



                                [***]


I want to be a person who I’d love and look up to growing up. A person who I’d be eager to befriend. A person who vibes the truth, her truth, with a graceful abandon. A person whose aura has an incredibly intense otherworldly charge to it that brings, nay forces, the true self to the surface. A person whose beauty is rooted in how unassuming she is of her impact. A person who makes people at ease by embracing all human facets of her. A person whose greatest aim is to give people back their lost good, their forgotten truth. A spirit traveller, in this world but not of it. Someone focused on being more.



                                [***]


Your need for control is what causes chaos. You were created from chaos. Therefore, you’re order. You are intact. And the obstacles and unpleasantries you avoid – they are your path. You’re avoiding your path that would empower and enlighten you. Instead, you’re​ taking a detour into the belly of the beast – without your innate support. Emotions – pleasant or not- aren’t meant to satisfy you, but to guide you, and you shut them out because you thought they were out to destroy you.

Oh if only you realized what a self-destructive delusional creature you are. We all are. We man a giant plane and we think it’s flying because of the firm grip of our hands and the intensity of our focus? Really? Your soul is that plane, and it’s been engineered to optimum. All you need to do is be cognizant of the feedback coming through the panels and make apt assessments. You don’t have to think about what if it malfunctions or it decides to dip even though you did everything right. Relax. Most causes of plane crashes are due to errors caused by inattentiveness and overlooked mechanical failures.

Even in the event of a crash, that shouldn’t make you fall apart in self-blame. Assess what went wrong. Where did you miss the signals? Learn from your emotions. Stop ditching classes, and you won’t have to flounder so much.

                               [***]



We really think we can separate ourselves from the rest of the world? Try not to get wet when your city’s flooded.


                                [***]



Ramadan regressions {4}


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.

Ramadan regressions {3}

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.

 
{Hud 11:36-38}

[…]
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.

 

{Hud 11:41-43}

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