Monday, September 22, 2008

Ramadan 22: Know Your Core

Yesterday, I was in a group of people and for the most part, I was alone. Sure, I was there with Mr. Boo. I'm always with him. He's my buddy---even if he was leaving the walking path to go sulk under a tree for a minute.

Before, in my life, I would have felt uncomfortable. I would have pre-arranged with someone else to attend the memorial 5K walk. That way, I would have looked popular and happy, regardless if I really enjoyed my time with the person accompanying me. Or, barring that, I would have glummed onto someone I didn't know and instantly befriended them.

Now, at age 40, I'm OK with myself. I walked the lake alone with only momentary comments here and there. When people did talk to me, it was because they REALLY wanted to talk to me. That meant more to me than idle chit-chat. I can't fake fun any more. I'm all about real enjoyment.

Another thing I can't fake is my learning curve. I've been reading the comments and a number of people are saying, "THAT'S WHAT I ALREADY TOLD YOU BEFORE!" Well, of course people have told me information my whole life without most of it sinking in.

"Don't talk to strangers!"
But they're so interesting!

But not the stuff I really like!

"Don't eat when you're already full!"

Mmmmmm? Munch! Munch!

To be honest, and that's what I do best, I really don't like to do what someone else tells me to do. How about you? Do you follow instructions well? I don't! I hate filling out forms. Can't stand uniformity. I love the flower that grows out of the crack in the cement. You get me?

See, I get me. I understand who I am. Things can rattle me: moving; divorce; shocking news; betrayal; abandonment; disappointment; cruelty; poverty; and so on. I've had all of those occur in the span of two months. Those hardships have jostled me off-center.

I've been off-center for years, actually. I truly don't think that this ride has been an easy one. My mother wants to say that I am a self-perpetuating "Drama Queen," but a lot of what's happened to me over the years really has been unpredictable external forces changing the course of my life.

I set something in motion seven years ago and that was to find some peace and joy. I knew there was more to life than what I had. I went in search. I found some of what I was looking for and then alhumdulillah I found Islam.

Islam was in me the whole time. As when Dorothy discovers that her ruby slippers could have gotten her back to Kansas long ago, I could have found peace and joy years before. But timing is everything and when I found it was exactly when I should have.

Do you know that a baby girl growing in utero has all the eggs for reproduction that she'll ever have? Subhanallah! I find that fascinating. Her ability to be a mother is encapsulated within her from before birth. She has that ability but it is to lay dormant until the time is right.

Then same is true for us in our ability to find what we want to grow inside ourselves. That baby can't become mother---that's ludicrous! And it's just as ludicrous to act like the people we love can grow any faster than their time line allows.

I'm OK with who I am. I am not really sharing this walk with anyone else. Everyone who reads me, knows me, or thinks they know me is only in my life for moments---and I cherish those moments, but truly I walk alone. I'll be judged alone.

I alone know who I am. Everyone can make educated guesses about who I am, but I have to live with myself 24/7. If you are wrong and I have followed your path, instead of mine, then I'll have to live with that mistake for a time now and live with the repercussions forever.

Terry Gilliam, animator for Monty Python said it best, "I feel that the mistakes I made were more interesting than the mistakes other people told me to make."


Imanubillah said...

As Salaamu Alaikum:

I have a close friend who has almost your exact personality. Everything you have described is so true. You are a free spirit and we all have to respect that. But because we love you for the sake of Allah, we will continue to advise. Of course, you are under no obligation to accept naseehah from anyone. We all must remember that, understand it and respect it. Do what you have to do, trust in Allah and tie your camel.

Yosra said...

Wa Alaykom Asalam Imanubillah,

What a wonderfully accepting comment you've left! Thanks for that!

What you describe about you advising and then leaving me to decide is exactly how we are supposed to handle the spread of Islam. Maybe, we continue to spread Islam with, "no compulsion," within the ranks.

Love how you put it...

except the camel comment LOL! It made me think of my civil rights lawsuit. One of the cruddy comments in the office was, "Where did you park your camel?" Ahhh! Those were the days!

Keep coming back. Tell your friend to read me too! I need her on my side ;)