The Healing

Stunning work by Eloy Bida.

2024 continues to confirm itself as one of my most uncomfortable years. Every month, there has been a specific date or two seared into my memory, none of which I will forget no matter how hard I might try. One in particular during January which still makes me nauseous, a memory I would pay to have removed because it is such filth.

Astrologically, it’s a year that’s meant for me to face and break cycles. The dates I mention have pushed me into this work even though I had no intention of actively turning in this direction. But this is what growth demands, even if we don’t want it.

Intensity. Intimacy. Depth. It’s in these spaces that my comfort sits. I am quickly bored by pedestrian, surface conversations and engagements. Authentic conversations take courage and carry risk. They demand we bring forward everything we have – good, bad, imbalance, pain, chaos, trauma. To engage honestly, and with the intention of connection, we risk being judged if we open ourselves up in the wrong spaces.

Which is why much of my own internal work has been to show up without judgement. It is to look at a particular day in early January, and separate myself from judging. My Prophet (saws) provided suttor for the messy, messy, messy, MESSY choices made by others because it is when we are at our messiest that we need the most protection. But I am not my Prophet. So let me assure you that to choose this daily has been an agitation.

This shift began naturally a couple of years ago, but this year, the demand for my comfort level with the grey has been incessant, and it is in everything I face every single day. It’s good, ultimately. It’s an important shift in a direction I appreciate.

Here’s things. I am good if the thing doesn’t harm me; meaning, the grey is easy for me when creating the safest (without any judgement at all**) of spaces for another if their action had / has / will not result in pain to me. Absolutely not the case however if their choices bring me pain / harm. January carries trauma.

This year, I’ve discovered that I wish to be as gentle in these moments as I am when I have no pain. January is one such space. Ultimately, it is because much of what people don’t say is because it’s the truth, and I have made the choice to no longer contribute to anyone else’s need to lie.

Because fu(k if I’m not surrounded by lies. And I’m choosing to fu(k it, we ball instead of any other option.

**Sidebar: Even when in a safe space, I won’t lie, however. If I think that a choice is ethically wanting, I will tell you. But I will also remind you that I still love you and I am telling you the truth because that’s what authentic friendships demand. To tell you that your bullshit is okay is a disservice to YOU. I demand the same of my beloveds – I need them to call me the fu(k out as they put their arms around me and love me through my stupidity.

The good news is that this isn’t as hard as I thought it would be. It’s uncomfortable, for sure; but it’s not painful or traumatic. It’s simply a pivot which turned out to be a lot easier to make because it’s in my interest and so naturally in the interest of everyone I adore and wish to keep in my heart. But whoooo-weeeeee January! That’s proving a tough nut to crack, friends. I’ll get there, I’ll get there. Allah keeps showing me that I am protected and safeguarded; He’ll help me get through that day or He’ll send me more who will.

But, a reminder to my seven lovely readers as much as it is to myself – comfort zones might be easier, but nothing ever grows here.

With every year, my adherence to the following belief intensifies: the only thing which matters is how much love we give others directly on an individual basis, because this energy carries itself into the rest of the world.

As the gen0(!de continues, and as we still wait for daily messages of “Good morning” from our family, which is a gentler way of saying “We’re still alive,” I’ve come to realize that this is an intrinsic part of loving someone with an open hand. It is one which must be done without judgement. It is a space inside of which we face one another and promise that no matter what our individual truth is, it will be accepted with open arms. (Rape, perhaps the only unforgivable thing.)

If we can’t love one another in this way, then there’s almost no point to love. Because to love must be to heal. And to heal is to liberate.

Ultimately, I think that the energy which comes from personal healing is energy which results in collective healing, and we will need as much of this energy as possible if we aim to heal the vulgarity of this present world.

For the non-believers, recall Tennesse Williams, who wrote that We are saved only by love – love for each other and the love we pour into the art we feel compelled to share.

For the believers, remember that Islam isn’t reserved for the pious. More, it is for the broken, the lost; for every single one of us looking to get out of our despair, wishing to find Love through love. If this is how Allah has defined the best among us, how can we as His creation, not engage those around us in this same way?

Intention: Be a place where others unfold. Manifest.

I love you. We can do this. ❤️


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