Being with my imperfections without giving in to the conditioned impulses to deride and criticize myself for not measuring up to the ideals feels like defying gravity I tell you.
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
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.
If I wanted to
I could have held a master’s degree in psychology and been ok
Worked in the UK or UAE and been ok
Married a decent guy and been ok
Started some generic NGO and been ok
But I’d always have wondered…what if
So I jumped out of the moving train
Crashed into uncertainties
Lying there as the passengers look down on me with raised eyebrows
They crane their necks to look back at me one last time
Before the train disappears into the distance
Messy. My life is really messy. I don’t know what I’m doing. I’m winging it. I spent years excavating all my buried skeletons. It got much worse. What on earth have I gotten myself into?
You know how when you decide to spring clean and take out everything you’ve been cramming into the corners, under the beds and behind doors? And there’s a moment where the sheer amount of mess, forgotten plates, lost clothes, makes you doubt your ability to clean this up. And if anyone were to see you in that stage, they’d ask you if you’ve gone bonkers?! Why are you messing things up?
I’m still digging, excavating. I’m trying to decipher my intuition. I keep throwing my heart wide open and I brace myself for the inevitable crash.
When I write, I’m doing so with a baited breath.
When I’m reaching out to someone new who’d I’d like to befriend, I do so with clenched jaws
When I ask someone a personal question to get to know them deeper, I bite my lip
When I go out despite my debilitating body complex, I hyperventilate
Every single day I’m crashing. Every day I have at least ONE embarrassing moment. Every day I do stuff despite every cell in me saying no! Don’t embarrass yourself
So why do I do it?
Because it’s only when I’m vulnerable, winging it, goofing, that I feel truly ALIVE.
I don’t want to feel OK. I don’t want to settle for OK. I want to commit to a wholehearted living.
And for each embarrassment and heartbreak and betrayal and humiliation I let through, not just simply enduring it, but really soaking in the pain to learn from it– I gain strength, and grit and creativity and love. Oh god.
My heart is so vast for loving. I’ve learnt how to go to the ends of the world for others without losing myself. And of course when I offer my unconditional, untainted love, I’m more often than not met with suspicion, cynicism. “What’s in it for you?”
Nothing? To love is an organic consequence of living this hardknock life of vulnerability. I swear 😛
To hell with goal posts, degrees, properties, partners — I want to measure my life in terms of how much uncertainty I’ve endured. How many lessons of life’s mysteries I’ve sat through, even when I’d rather run away.
I’m not a means to an end
I matter now
Even without a new wardrobe
Even without the banging body I always coveted
Even without validation from others
I won’t wait till I’m good enough to take care of myself
I’m taking care of myself,always,unconditionally
My self-worth is not a question
So I’m not waiting for your answer
My self-worth is an exclamation point I end my sentences with.