The most important lesson I took from 2011, and which I have taken from every single year past is that life really and truly is precious cargo.
I am not one to begrduge another person’s hangnail, but rather prefer to nudge them to look at all of the amazing and incredible things they have, least of which is: life. Every single moment within our lives, even the most brutal pain has to be accepted as precious.
Sidebar: Some people reading this have been sexually assaulted as children. I can’t touch that, nor would I ever say that those moments are “precious.” What I can say is that YOU are precious, I am so grateful for your presence in my life, and I love you with every bit of my being. And if I were there when this was happening to you, I would have taken a crowbar to the men who inflicted such pain on your precious selves.
The darkest moments of this past year have been emotional, and I have been able to lift myself out sometimes alone, often times with the aide of the incredible individuals I have in my life. I do not live in an abusive environment, nor an oppressive one, nor a monetarily challenged one, alhamdulliLah. So really and truly, I am blessed, and everything above and beyond what I have is icing on the most decadent cake I can imagine.
A lot of the time, people send emails asking me how I do it. Specifically, “you seem so happy. How do you do it?” In short, here’s how…with the most important caveat that: it’s not fkn easy…
1. Most of my time is spent laughing at myself.
2. I am fiercely devoted to those I love, and with that comes a reciprocity (if not from them, then the Universe brings it back my way in some other incarnation). None of us are sovereigns, except the assholes.
3. I am genuinely happy for the success of others.
4. I give myself no more than three days to deal with a trauma. I figure that if we are to mourn death only three days, there is nothing in this world which should extend beyond that.
5. I struggle to ensure that there is neither hate nor bitterness anywhere in my heart. (Not even to those who hate me and tell me that my Faith is anything short of its beautiful self. Where these people are concerned, I only feel sorry for them, because hate is an ugly disease of the heart whose toxicity imbibes all aspects of who we are and how we see the world.)
6. I learn. Not knowing about something is another way of saying “I have been presented with a choice” to either fear it, or to learn about it. I choose the later.
7. I am never made happy by the pain or hurt of others, because I’m just asking for trouble if I do this (but this shouldn’t be confused with being pleased that someone has gotten theirs, deservedly, because everyone reaps what they sow, in time.)
8. I never allow my happiness to hinge on the hurt or pain of someone else. I am always amazed at how sick people are, who do this.
And most importantly…
9. I believe that Allah has my back. Simple. Even in the darkest recesses of pain, and even when I am angry with Him, and shaking my fist at Him and demanding WHY? and only coming up with “Because Allah knows best,” at the end of the day, within the corner of my little heart, I know He’s got me in the palm of one hand, and covering me with the other until there is no more from which to be protected. (And I floss.)
If you would like to share your own pillars of happiness, please do, as I would love to learn from you.
With the above, there are always things to change, to learn, to hone, to learn, to learn, to learn and to learn. As you enter into 2012, I am going to leave you with a lecture from my most favoured teacher. He speaks about our responsibility to our lives as precious cargo, and also our shared responsibility to our fellow humans, and to animals. You will be riveted. Trust.
You all are loved.
Thank you for your amazing heart, Maha, for sharing it another full year.
I go to sleep better knowing that you’re out there fighting crime 😉
Love and hugs,
“and I floss” amazingness
Thank you for this beautiful and for your strength love and passion.
Here’s to a happy 2012 living in the same time zone- woot!!!
you are in my top 5 coolest chicks. Hands down.
Happy new year, Maha.
Thank you for another year of thought provoking articles filled with heart and hope.
I swear its the gratitude and knowing I am where I CHOOSE to be. Even in my darkest, “I can’t believe this sh*t happened to me,” I always know I had a choice. To stay or to go. To love or to hate, to live this life or that. Always a choice. And then some more gratitude.
Maria — thank you!!
Janey — Love you. Miss you.
Rebecca — ditto times ten. And I think that if there is one solid code by which I live, it’s that EVERYTHING is a choice. Every single response to a situation presented, is a choice. And people who refuse to take ownership of this reality have always proven to be the short-lived friendships. xxoxxoxxo
Thomas — and a happy new year to you, as well. I hope I never initiate too many yawns in your 2012 🙂