The Daily Quote: You are Responsible for…

” If you want to move forward in life, you have to make it happen for yourself. You are responsible for your own life, and if you’re sitting around waiting on somebody to save you, to fix you or to even help you, you are wasting your time. Because only you have the power to take responsibility to move your life forward and the sooner you get that, the sooner your life gets into gear. This is what I know from doing 25 years and thousands and thousands of interviews on The Oprah Winfrey Show:  It does not matter where you come from, whether from dire circumstances… It does not matter what your momma did, whether she had a PHd or NO-‘D.’ What matters is this moment – NOW, your willingness to see this moment, accept it, forgive the past and take responsibility and move forward.

 

-Oprah Winfrey

The Daily Quote: Hurt People Hurt People

“Keep in mind, hurting people often hurt other people as a result of their own pain. If somebody is rude and inconsiderate, you can almost be certain that they have some unresolved issues inside. They have some major problems, anger, resentment, or some heartache they are trying to cope with or overcome…”  – Joel Osteen

aaa

I had an acquaintance comment recently on how patient & kind I am. Another friend said she told someone that I am the most compassionate person she knows, & that I would help anyone. This week, one of my coworkers called me ‘spiritual’ and ‘understanding.’ Most people who spend any time around me nowadays would probably tell you that I wouldn’t hurt a fly; that I would never dare harm a soul. Some would shudder in disbelief at the thought of me angry & shouting, much less throwing things or in a physical altercation.

I am told that I am ‘Loving’ and ‘Sweet.’ I am told that I am ‘Patient’ and ‘Peaceful.’

While flattered, & pleased that people think positively of me, I can’t escape how incredibly uncomfortable it makes me feel; like a fraud.

I am no stranger to anger. I am no stranger to darkness. I come from a very painful past, full of fighting & hurt & anger & hopelessness. I used to be a person who hurt people.

Hurt people hurt people.

I have managed to hurt most, if not all of the people that I love.

Some people left for good. A few loved me even more fiercely because they could see through my anger, carelessness or coldness to the pain & the fear that I carried.

It is an endless cycle. If you knew the truth & the weight of the guilt I still sometimes carry, you would understand why I will probably never feel that I am a ‘good’ person. I live in spiritual & emotional debt, & there is no way that I, alone, can ever repay those I have grieved. The only thing that makes me ‘good’ is the mercy of Allah. The Almighty, the Most Compassionate, Most Merciful, The Forgiving. He hides my sins & allows people to think good of me. He continues to heal the wounds of my heart & allow me to be a light, no matter how dim, to help others & be all of these things that I never, ever thought I could be: Loving. Patient. Kind. Compassionate. At Peace. His Mercy allows me to get up every day & try to be the beautiful person that He allows me to portray. I am still a work in progress. It takes effort & diligence. I want to please my Creator.

Healed people heal people.

I still carry the pain, but it is no longer in the form of heavy chains. It is much lighter now, just a tool; a lens through which I can see past the mask of people like me; people who are hurting. The Almighty has blessed me with a heart that is open to people’s stories, their hurts, their despair. My eyes can see through the smiles to the reality behind people’s eyes. Sometimes it’s challenging. People often don’t wish to be seen & vulnerable, but my lens can see through anger & tough exteriors, especially those of children – where there hides pain & fear & loss. I can spot it, because I have it, too. And I can meet it with the Love that He has filled the holes in my heart with.

To those I have hurt because of my own pain, I am truly & sincerely sorry. My apology doesn’t remove the hurt or the anger, the embarrassment or betrayal you felt. I have not forgotten the things I did. Seeing you keeps me humble & is a constant reminder of who I truly am – that I am not perfect. I am not the picture of humility & patience & love & grace that the Almighty allows some people to see. I am still a work in progress. I am still trying & I have not left behind the wrongs that I have committed.

Some people may never see me for the person that I now strive every day of my life to be. I have already painted a picture in living color for those I have hurt. Only the Almighty can change that if He wills.

This is my truth.

Peace & Blessings ❤

Video

The Daily Quote: Thanksgiving

“Thanksgiving is a time when my family gets together & tells stories about our creation myths & who we were & who we are & really, what we lost.”
I do not teach my children that ‘Thanksgiving’ is based on a time when the ‘Pilgrims & the Indians’ shared food, culture & hospitality.
I will never, ever tell my children such lies.
We all know the disgusting truth. Most of us simply choose to keep passing on the lies that were painted to cover up the murder, rape, theft & destruction of the beautiful life & culture that existed here before this was “America.”
Oppression still exists here in the “land of the free.”
It’s called the Reservation.
We enjoy our turkey, & when the kids bring home construction paper & feather headbands & talk of the pilgrims & the first Thanksgiving dinner, I don’t know what to say right now, as they are so small. It’s not that I don’t know how to tell them about the way our ancestors violently took this land & it’s people.
My problem is this: How you do tell your kids that their teachers, their school, the text books, the department store holiday decor, the Charlie Brown thanksgiving special, & virtually every one & everything else is LYING to them?
And when they ask why??????
For now, I don’t say anything. They haven’t asked, & I haven’t told. But sooner or later, they will know, & then what will they think of this world? What will they think of America? What will they think of this ‘land of the free’ & ‘land of prosperity’ when they find out that despite all of our advancements, political, social, economic, & technological, the civil rights movements, fighting for equal rights, etc, etc…this reality still exists for the Natives to whom this land first belonged.
They continue to exist in an invisible oppression, denied & ignored by the masses; the offspring of the “pilgrims” who destroyed their beautiful way of life, & the futures of their people for generations & generations to come.

The Daily Quote: Killing

“Man should not glory in this, that he can Kill. Man should glory in this, that he can Love.” – Abdu’l – Baha

man

For as long as humans have been alive, they have killed. We kill to eat. We kill to defend ourselves; to survive. We have further evolved into a species that regularly kills each other for little or no reason at all. We not only kill; we murder. It’s on the news every moment of every day. So why does man still find glory in the act of killing his enemy? Any species on this earth can kill. All animals & organisms were created with instincts & defense mechanisms to protect them from harm. This is true all the way down to single-celled organisms & bacteria.

Think about it. Humans are so proud of the fact that they can do something that even the lowliest single-celled organism has been doing since the dawn of time; killing. It’s nothing new. Millions of organisms are doing it at any given second, & without the celebration, chest-thumping, or declarations of victory.

Think about this: What we should be proud of is what sets us apart from these organisms & what makes us so unique; our capacity to Love. Can bacteria show compassion? Can they build & maintain lasting relationships? Can they choose love over hate? They don’t even have the capacity to hate, love, or feel anything for that matter. Humans do. Every day we should delve further into our ability to feel & exude positive energy & affect the other beings around us. We can care for people, plants, & animals. We can choose how to feel. Isn’t this, and not man’s ability to kill, that which should be glorified & marveled in?

 

The Daily Quote: A Deserving ‘Yes.’

aaaToday is the first day of November. In just a few weeks, my family will be celebrating my daughter’s birthday. I’ve contemplated all of the many hopes & aspirations I have for her, & how I hope & pray I am raising her to become a knowledgeable, confident, & capable woman.

I like to think of myself as such. Most of my loved ones would agree. However, when I came across this quote, it hit me like a ton of bricks. However knowledgeable, confident, & capable I may be, I have a sickness that a great deal of women I know suffer from. It is a forgetfulness of the self. Denial of the self. Avoidance of the self. At any given moment, I would most certainly rather be caring for someone other than myself. Thus my occupation as a nurse.

I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself, “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I’m about to do today.” And whenever the answer has been, “no” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.  – Steve Jobs

As I stared at this quote, I realized that no matter what dreams & good intentions I had for my daughter, the example I live in front of her speaks the loudest. I live my life, day after day, taking care of others, often existing in a stress-induced fog by late afternoon. I don’t have a handful of healthy hobbies or activities outside of being “Mom.”

I asked myself how much joy I was getting out of any part of my life. How much of my daily life & activity is something I would choose to do & enjoy? Or is there something that I need to change? And the kicker was this question: Is this the way I would like to see my daughter living her life? Stressed, weighed down by obligations & stress, but not experiencing joy in her life? Depressed? Neglected?

ggg (2)As my daughter’s birthday approaches, my gift to myself (& her) is to reevaluate my life & the example I am living. Is this how a woman, a mother should honor herself? For all that she does for her children & family? God willing, I intend to take more time for me. Work on self-discipline so that I can be healthier & feel better again. I should be energetic, not feeling weighed down & sick in my downtime from carrying around so much toxic stress. I cannot be a better mother until I am better to myself. I want to honestly look in the mirror & say, “Yes.”

Family

Second to my Faith, Family is the center of my life.

I am married to an amazing man that I have known for more than half of my life. Boy has it been a journey! We traveled throughout the United States together & have seen a lot of life’s difficulties together. Together we made it, Masha’allah. I am so grateful for the friend I have in my Husband.

Motherhood has been both the most challenging and rewarding part of my life, and I am exhausted and exhilarated all at the same time. 🙂
I wake up every day, grateful & humbled to be the Mother of two of the most amazing people I have ever known.
Alhamdulillah, I was granted both a daughter and a son, whom I love so very much. In my Journey to Islam, I shared the amazing miracle I experienced with my first child; my daughter. Lost & depressed, God really used her to pull me back to Him & restore my faith. ❤

In sha Allah, I will post photos soon.