Freedom

Freedom has forgotten purpose,

Like wind which forgot to move

Like lungs who forgot to breathe.

Eyes who refused to see

A tongue unable to befriend language

A touch negating to feel

Freedom stands still

Like hope frozen in time

A spirit unable to laugh

A mind without thought

And feet without ability to move

Freedom is lost

Like love amongst hate

Like laughter within sorrow

 

Guarded

Like honey is by bees

Like peace is by tanks

Like lies is by distraction

Like truth is by doubt

 

Freedom is somewhere lingering within you

In fragments

Inside the wind

Within your breath

Inside your vision

Hugging your palms as you squeeze your fist in the air

Wrapped around your tongue

Freedom is somewhere yearning within you

In fragments

Freedom has the ability to breathe and move,

Freedom can speak if it wills,

it can see beyond comfort.

Freedom can run and stand alone,

Freedom is truth without a distraction guarded by god.

 

If you forget freedom, freedom will forget you

If you do not exercise freedom, freedom will neglect you

If you do not speak freedom it will never understand you

If you do not envision freedom it will never see you

Freedom is you in fragments.

Evolving

Things happen and people change. Not at once. There is not a split moment that makes people change, like cracking a code.

A choice, a situation, a person, or circumstances can change people gradually overtime. People break differently. Souls are like glass. Glass can be glued back together as one, but it doesn’t necessarily look the same. People are like that. When souls break, bruise and scar, people do not act the same, they do not think nor move in the same manner. Even after they find peace and happiness, even after they become stronger and more content than before. Some however don’t.

You will see a difference in the way they talk, the way they move, and their behavior. You will notice the shield in every word they utter. Maybe this is evident through how they have become more cautious of people, and maybe it caused them to become more giving and loving. They will see the world differently, you will know if somebody, anybody, perhaps yourself has gradually been changed by circumstances or people. Humans are moving beings. There is nothing inanimate about us, nothing. Our minds expand, our emotions change and mature, our abilities increase. Even our skin, hair and bones ages. Nothing within us was created to be still, and inanimate. Even when people become deceased our bodies are going to decompose, it will adapt to the reality that you no longer are alive so it decays into nothing but bones.

SO how do you expect you, who is alive and breathing, thoughts processing and wandering, and emotions like water, to become still? To not evolve, and not adapt to your circumstances. It wouldn’t make sense. What we are changes through the different stages of our lives. Who we are changes because of what happens to us, the people we meet and even how we overcome these circumstances. You will not always remain the same, and if you do, then you are resisting change, and even that has a change in your circumstances and fate, it has consequences. Humans are creatures that need constant growth and change to know and be better, and that requires big waves to shake us into whatever we are being prepared for. The wave will not drown you, unless you fight it, it will merely push you to the shore of a new island. You will learn how to defeat the wave. Be careful though. You do not become still you not stop fighting. You do not let it overpower you and drown you.

 

“People say to you, ‘you’ve changed’, or something like that, well, I hope, for the sake of God that you have changed, because I don’t want to be the same person all my life. I want to be growing, I want to be expanding. I want to be changing. Because animate things change, inanimate things don’t change. Dead things don’t change. And the heart should be alive, it should be changing, it should be moving, it should be growing, its knowledge should be expanding.” – Shaykh Hamza Yusuf

 

Gratitude

it’s been a year today since i posted my first blog on here . It has been a while since I have written anything on here. It is quite odd when I think about how fast time goes. One minute time feels still and the next you wonder where it went. I am stuck between those two parallels now. I’m learning that you cannot always get into defense mode whenever life decides to slap you.

Okay..Maybe I deserved that slap, maybe that slap is steering me from taking a permanent leap into something that would otherwise leave me with more than just a headache. Who knows? My mother would always tell me growing up, that when something bad happened it meant that god was steering me away from something worse. In other worse, things could always be worse no matter how bad they are. So I guess it’s safe to say that in the midst of my stress I have learned to stay grateful. Gratitude can change your whole mindset. Trust me, it has changed mine. If I am stressing over a job, I remember just how blessed I am to have it in the first place. If I am studying too long and the pressure to attain the perfect grade is overpowering my brains ability to even function; I remember just how privileged I am to be in a that very position. The fact you even have a roof over your head and food on the table is a privilege. I would like to think it is basic human rights, but when too many people are without that right, it becomes a privilege for us.

I just wanted to take a moment to remind whoever is reading this that whatever you are going through. Take a moment. Cry if you have to, take a deep breath and exhale and maybe even scream your lungs out if that is what works for you.  Whatever it is you will be okay. Think of whatever you are feeling as a passing stranger. Think of whatever you are going through as being a teacher. Like the Mean teachers in Primary school who you was convinced had it out for the world, or maybe that mean auntie that is a walking camcorder, recording all your personal affairs only to share them with the rest of your relatives. They are there for a short time, but they are only there for as long as you let them…(Except that auntie..you are kind of stuck on that one mate…sorry). Everything is a teacher. Let it teach you. If you do not learn from it I have a feeling it will return.

You need to train your mind to think in a positive light, to stay grateful. Gratitude is like a magnet for good luck. Notice how the more you become grateful, the more you become appreciative thus leading to happiness. Ultimately that is what we all want. Happiness. I know I know. Easier said than done. But what have you got to lose? No really, what have you got to lose? Nothing right? Absolutely nothing. You are down. You are not going to stay down. You feel down? you will not remain feeling that way. Time passes, emotions are not constant. Smile through the pain. Fight through the struggle.

Patience and gratitude are two ingredients that will only contribute to your life. They have gotten me through more than I could imagine. Remember every morning to be thankful for the fact you are alive, breathing and in good health. Just take a moment to appreciate this and smile. Start your day with this mind-set and I challenge you to keep it throughout the day. At the end of your day take another moment to just appreciate that you made it, you made it through whatever you was fighting against, outside trials as well as those you are battling within.

I am not telling you how to live your life, I just want you to know, that you matter more than you think you do, and things always seem worse than they are. You will be okay, just you wait and see.

If you are grateful, I will surely increase you [in favor]. (Quran; 14:7).

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Writing for others can only be done when you write for yourself

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Sarah was not your typical blithe woman when it came to her craft. Her mother was conformed to society’s idea of a dutiful wife, submissive. Growing up Sarah would watch the way her mother would awake before dawn, and perform her daily rituals which consisted of the scrubbing of pots and pans. The house would be polished through every angle and every stain would disappear before noon. She would slave all day in the kitchen catering to her fathers every need.

Her natural curvaceous hips and thick thighs were usually attempted to wither into the size of the models in the magazines which were carefully tucked in the corner of the kitchen counter. She looked salient, Sarah always thought. Her makeup intact after dawn, and her hair usually in a sophisticated up do. Her father always said that those models had nothing on his wife. Sarah agreed with certainty. Her mother’s thick long lashes and high cheek bones, her full lips and flat narrow nose would heave the attention of strangers; but her mother didn’t just conform to these duties because she wanted to. As a teenager her mother was different, rebellious and independent minded. She loved food more than she did exercise and she cared very little for others opinions.

These conducts of her mothers life was passed down from her grandmother and continued down to Sarah heedless to her own cognizant. She would find herself cleaning excessively when she was stressed, and believed that a messy house corresponded to a woman who wasn’t raised better. She hated eating out, and preferred a home cooked meal three times a day. She would find herself picking up the same types of magazines; But refused to starve herself until she felt that her body conveyed a resemblance to those marked rib cages that rose above the little flesh on their bodies.

Sarah’s father was nothing like her mother. He was carefree and relaxed, opinionated and humorous. He was a passionate writer by night and a working senior editor by day. He took life with a sprinkle of thirst for his passions. He would stay up all night writing out the bed time stories to read to Sarah for the next night. After he finished reading out the stories he would put down the large handwritten notebook and glance towards her. His chair comfortable sited near the right side of her bed.

“What did you think of the story Sarah?” They would discuss the characters and she sometimes would even forget that her father knew the characters better.

“Was he really bad daddy? She once asked about an abandoned character who became a mean kid. The character’s name was Bob. Bob grew up as an orphan in the mean streets of London, only having animals as his accomplices. He was never treated fairly nor pleasantly by most people so sarah couldn’t help but understand his dislike towards other people when he became an unpleasant individual to others. Sarah couldn’t help but like Bobs character when he was alone with the animals. He was caring and kind but this behavior was didn’t extend to human beings.

“People are not simple Sarah. He uttered to her. Neither are perceptions.

She learned then that stories have different interpretations depending on different experiences of people, different morals, and views. Each individual experienced life differently therefore they saw through a constructed lens, shaped by the world as they saw it. For what they knew it for. She learned that it wasn’t the writer’s responsibility for justifying the way people understood their work, nor to make excuses for their own views on how they saw this world.

As she grew older the bed time stories changed to quotes of successful people.

“Let’s discuss these.” He would say. And then give her another quote to revel inside, until the next night.

Sarah would spend all her available periods the next day googling and researching and then finally giving her own interpretations. She loved this quality time with him. She enjoyed having a voice. This is what sparked her love for writing. The ability to not be right and completely wrong varying on how she felt.

She would analyse and discuss their points of view. She never ceased to notice how her father would sit by the study table near her bedside and ask, while sipping on his over sized mug containing coffee.

“Well done, but what is your point of view on this matter, what is your opinions in this.”

They would debate back and forth, and she would often discover that she didn’t always agree with her father. Although he was where most of her beliefs were rooted, and with whom she shared many of her beliefs with; she discovered that she was extending into her own branch. She never really understood his reasons and curiosity for her opinions on somebody else’s view on life. When she offered him an answer, he would continue to ask why.

“Why do you agree with him, or her?”

“Why is it that you do not?”

This became a daughter and father tradition, and the quotes hadn’t stopped coming for years to come.

Being a writer is not easy. That was what her father was attempting to implement into her since she was a child. The freedom of once imaginations when reading the stories varied between the reader and the writer. He attempted to teach her that without telling her just how the different perspectives sometimes pointed to the same truth contrarily. She learned that similar opinions varied in content and was rooted deeper than our ability to conform to them.

Writers have a responsibility fare greater than most. They have an obligation to be honest at all cost. They cannot afford to be emotional apathetic about their own voice. Sarah’s father was much too aware of this. He encouraged his daughter not only to be unapologetically honest about her own views but also that nothing was just one truth when it came to the world of print and words. words where not one dimensional.

For every story, article and poem could never be approved by all. It would never limit itself to minds and hearts of strangers when it was never birthed by them. It would entertain them, it was created to be indulged by people. How they then understood it was not the writers responsibility. Some chewed on these letters with vigour, others in delight. Some would spit them out in disgust, and then you had those that would not even dwell in the taste. Swallowing words without meaning; only to feel cheated because they ceased to find the flavor.

Writers cannot lie to themselves without consequences, even if the possibilities behind the truth is endangering their values and moral obligations. When we write it is deeper than just a black ink on a piece of paper. It is not as simple as sound of your fingers on the keyboard after the moon awakens and silence fusions with the cold breeze of the night. It is more complex than the movement of the pencil as it scrapes those pages with voices.

One must be fearless and audacious. Sarah learned that our voices are both truth and false. She watched her mother’s beliefs embedded into her as a child, and even though some of these were passed down to Sarah, her father fought heedlessly against this without schooling her mother on how wrong she was for her beliefs. This would only contradict his teachings. Instead her father gave her the ability to learn without teaching her. Not once does Sarah remember her father teaching her how she should think, or what she should believe. By just this single method she came to know that learning is far different from being taught.

She knew that one required the mental independence for the pursuit of truth regardless of the emotional and moral obligations.

Truth because it is somebody else’s thoughts and feelings, their truth. False because it isn’t yours. A conclusion based on how you felt and what you thought at a singular moment, one particular moment of time. Even if you come to feel different or have a change of thought it was who you was in that instant. And every word writers share bears a weight of who they were, released in print. You cannot change or alter facts, just like you cannot entertain the opinions of others when it comes to your craft. If that was the case then we would be left with nothing. Nothing but letters, articles, novels and poems that replicate the voices of anything but our own truth.

However the truth is, not all of us can be honest in that way; the kind of truth that will force one to look beyond their own comfort for the sake of those who cannot do that. It is our responsibility as writers to tackle everything we feel by bleeding our emotions unto a page, narrating our voices and speaking our minds. Everything we decide to write will remain. It stains, and therefore remains forever to be interpreted, understood and seen by others.

If all writers obsessed and tried to mould their writings they would find themselves trying to please each soul on this planet, they would find that this was impossible and therefore be left with nothing but blank pages. Even if they did attempt at this it would have no value, for they have lost the value of self. Only empty words, of opinions, and halves of the truth pieced together by fractions of honesty. Your words carry somebody’s world, read somebody’s thoughts, and are compatible with somebody else’s emotions. They heal, and they only understand without trying from your honest truth. Your words are far too heavy and carry fare too much value to become anybody else’s reflection of this world, without it first being yours. They should be a mirror and express what you could never say without a pen.

How I learned to get to know myself better.

How I learned to get to know myself better.

To truly know ourselves we must also admit that we do not truly know ourselves. We are constantly growing, evolving and changing. It is not always easy to stay in touch with who we are. I have highlighted 4 things that taught me about myself as a person.

  • Spend time with yourself.

 “You need to know things the others don’t know. It’s what no one knows about you that allows you to know yourself.”- Don DeLillo, point omega

Whether you are an introvert or an extrovert spending time alone is vital. One thing i have learned all these years is that, the more I am more in synch with myself and the universe, the more I started to appreciate my inner being. When you know yourself you are aware of your being, your strengths and weaknesses, what makes you happy and what doesn’t. This is significant because when you have this power nobody can tell you who you are. You are not in doubt, you will know that you have a power of knowledge about yourself. You will get affected less by others negativity and even opinions. Ultimately you will know what you are capable of and even if you don’t, your instinct will guide you in life. Spending time alone has encouraged me to give myself a timeout to listen to my own thoughts and learn about my needs and wants. You start to not get drowned out by distractions and you learn to know your inner voice. Time alone will encourage you to not lose yourself in this chaotic world, and not get overwhelmed by emotions and thoughts you hadn’t given yourself the time to deal with.

  • Don’t try to create an identity, just build yours.

“Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.” – Oscar Wilde

In this world it is a fundamental importance to build a solid identity and you do not have to do that by conforming to a small label already created for you or conformed by millions of others. You do not need to change yourself to fit more into a crammed category to belong. You need to just be. Not become original or different. Just be yourself and you have already achieved that. You don’t have to prove to everybody that you meet, you are an original.

If i could be able to count with my hands the amount of times i heard. “I’m different.” I’m pretty sure i would have more hands than an octopus arms multiplied by ten. Come on guys! That in itself screams Cliche. I would hate to say we are getting too predictable as human beings but…(sips tea). This is why we see comparisons rising, we have this fanatical competition going on inside our heads stemming from our lack of identity and not feeling strong in whom we are. Your uniqueness is not taught regardless of what the media is showing you. You just need to build on who you already are as a person and progress towards greatness without a mask. show the world exactly who you are, and as you are.

  • Challenge yourself

“I don’t run away from a challenge because I am afraid. Instead, I run towards it because the only way to escape fear is to trample it beneath your foot” –  Nadia Comaneci

I only started to know myself better when I started to finally challenge myself. It is not always an easy thing pushing through our comfort zones. Someone once told me that being comfortable means you are not growing. When I was eighteen I had made the decision to not go away for university because of my bad anxiety. I just feared the unknown and shivered at the thought of moving away towards the unfamiliar. i settled for a course that i felt emotionally obligated to study. The truth is, the decisions we decide to not make has just as many consequences as the ones we do make, if not more.

Later that year i had finally decided to change my course and applied for a university as far away from where i lived as possible to challenge myself. Things worked out and i had just recently moved back home after my graduation. I have experienced three years of trials and tribulations along with the most amazing experiences Ever. I met so many different and anazing people. I sometimes wonder if I hadn’t taken that leap of faith, and dropped out of my first course and university where i would be now. maybe i would have graduated with a degree I didn’t even want, and never gained the sense of independence i have now. I would most likely be a different person now. If i hadn’t had those experiences. Who knows? Maybe my anxiety would have continued to keep me chained.

Challenges are there to remind us that we are both human but also that the unknown is never as scary as you believe. Fear is dangerous. It is what forces people to stop evolving, to avoid to live. We are human beings, our minds are supposed to expand, our characters are created to be tested, and it reminds us of our ability and strength when we forget. I would urge anyone to push through the unknown and fear, to challenge ourselves in life.

I have started to challenge myself everyday doing something which will force me out of my comfort zone. When I feel scared to do something, i do it regardless, and i promise you that it is rarely as scary as it seems. These challenges in life teaches you a lot more about yourself than you can imagine. It tests your limits and your learn about your abilities. There is nothing better than being told you cannot do something and you find out that you can….actually wait!  CORRECTION. There is nothing better in life than achieving something YOU told YOURSELF that you couldn’t achieve.

  • Find an Inner peace

“Each one has to find his peace from within. And peace to be real must be unaffected by outside circumstances.” – Mahatma Gandhi

Where does your inner peace stem from? Most of us like to find a way that helps us to find that inner peace. For some it is meditating, for others it is finding that harmony through a greater strength. For me personally it is God. I find the moments of praying the most meaningful in my life. I would most definitely have gone insane if i didn’t have god’s guidance. Whenever i think something is unreachable, like a goal, happiness or relief from stress and depression, i say in sha Allah (If god wills). This reminds me that nothing is more powerful than god. What is meant for me will come. This world itself and people have no power over me, which is a relief because many people do not wish others happiness. I know god wants the best for me, and loves me, and is more merciful than human beings. It always feels good knowing these desperate circumstances are not there to punish me, but to test and challenge me. As mentioned above challenges do not have to be something that only brings us pain. They are not always a bad thing.

“Allah does not burden a soul beyond that it can bear..(Qur’an, 2:286)

This verse alone has taught me patience, trust, love and persistence in a way nothing and nobody else has ever taught me. So you can only imagine the medication the Quran is as a whole, for my life. Some read the bible, some meditate. I hope whatever it is, you find your peace as well.