By synchronising your tongue with your heart in all aspects of your life, you free yourself from the box that others have/will put you in. You free yourself to exist. But most importantly, you free yourself to live. Take the time you need to understand who you are at your core, and I promise, it will make it all worthwhile.
Growing up, there was a real disconnect between my spirituality and physical acts of worship because I really didn’t know where I was and who I wanted to be. But, the older I get, the more I realise that I want to be for others who I needed as a child. Part and parcel of being this person for me is definitely being able to create resources and opportunities that are accessible for all.
By taking on these projects to explore elements of my faith and strengthen my understanding of Islam, I am allowing myself to understand the ways in which my faith has always complemented my life despite my resistance, and the ways in which it can guide me.
It is in the country's untouched beauty and the gentle mannerisms of the people that I could see the essence of my faith being echoed. In the peals of laughter from schoolchildren in the playground, the gentle hum of the prayers being recited at the masjid close by, and the sound of the waves crashing against the sand, I felt my heart swell with joy and contentment at this life that I have been gifted with and this land that I have lived upon.
I've been very weary about making this PSA of sorts, but I am too exhausted by life as it is to not be honest about who I am and what I believe in, y'know? And I know, I know that I've always been very particular about vocalising certain elements of my faith and where I am in terms of my spirituality because I believe it is such a personal thing that doesn't need a public opinion on it, BUT I've changed my mind. My head is so much clearer and my heart so much softer, and I am genuinely content with the person I've become and I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that this has only been possible by the grace of my Lord.
There's this feeling I can't really describe of being surrounded by people who love you enough to not force you to abandon parts of yourself to love them. They love you despite yourself and if anything, bring you so much closer to who you are by cultivating a space where you can just be. I am so grateful for my aunt and my grandmother who are, slowly but surely, bringing me back to myself.
I want you to know that I have more love than you know for each and every single person who takes out a little time in their day to listen to the absolute waffle that I have to share. You have been integral to my growth as a person, whether I've actively expressed this to you or not, so thank you. I hope the following will find a place in your heart just like you have in mine.
We have loved, we have lost. We have grieved, we have rejoiced. We threw parties, and attended funerals. Somehow, we've managed to fit the entire spectrum of human emotion into one single year, and frankly, I'm impressed.
I learn a lot of lessons through the little things in life, but the most important one that that seems to have become a bit of a recurring theme is that with every hardship really does come ease, but it does not happen without putting in the work.
You will learn about yourself, even in the worst of times. More importantly, you must be willing to see even the lows of life as a learning curve. Not every day will be a good day, and not every moment of self-care will look the same as the last. You just have to be willing to see that even when you feel blindsided by the things life throws at us.