Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Being at Low Tide

Asalamu Alaykom,

I am OK with being sad. I was sad the other day. I'm better now and thanks for your concern.

Sadness serves a function in our lives. It is not something to rid ourselves of quickly, like spinach between our teeth. That low feeling; that low tide needs to empty us of all our ego and bring us to the sandy bottom. It is there we can see the seashells finally.

All of us need to be cyclical. That's cyclical, not cynical. We are cyclical beings. We are not machines. Machines go and go and go and never deviate from plan. There is no gentle ebb and flo. There is simply off and on.

I see people drinking all their coffee and see that mechanical edge rise in them. "I need a jolt of jo to get going!" they say and they force themselves to feel happy and energetic, when really they don't. Caffeine becomes their switch, rather than relying on true feelings to help unfold the day.

Life is not meant to be jarring. If you approach it gently, life will reward you with golden moments. That means, none of us should force ourselves or others to be more than we are.

This is why I hate positive thinking as a pseudo-religion. There is no time to be down, sad, sick, or introspective. The need is to gloss over emotions and aim for a perfect 10.

This doesn't mean that we have to be Debbie Downers. We need to see God's mercy in our everyday lives. We need to keep upbeat the best we can. Saying, "Alhumdulillah," for everything.

There has to be a balance, as everything in nature has a yin and a yang. We are part of the natural world too! To feel more of God, we need to embrace the balance of opposites which He has created for everything: day and night, fasting and feasting, hardship and ease. We need to accept the real feelings which waver.

Some days you need to turn inward and not smile. Some days are not happy.

Yesterday, my sweet friend called me sobbing about her marriage falling apart. I've been there. Done that. Horrible to hear. From her husband, there is no help, no support, and no understanding. That is super sad.

Did I tell her to snap out of it? Nope, I didn't. She needs those tears to swallow her bitter pill. Yes, she might have to divorce. Who could be happy about that?

She said to me that she was, "depressed." That's a clinical term, you know? It's when you can't get yourself up no matter what. We swing that word around in this country. We want to use it to show the severity of our pain. She wasn't depressed. She was justifiably sad. She's a mom with kids stuck with a husband who stopped caring. That's super sad.

I advised her to get distance from him and get closer to God. I told her not to blame him or keep harping on the, "unfair," aspect. It is what it is. She has to start working with what she's got.

What I experienced the other day felt super sad to me. It didn't help that I'm not praying this week and I'm suffering through another cold. Those conditions are temporary. Not praying is about a week and then it's back to worshipping Allah on the rug. The cold is subsiding (though I hope my voice holds out). The sadness left me low and now I can feel the energy coming back.

I got my haircut last night. I hadn't gotten it cut since August. Can you stand it? I barely could. But, when I was having a tough time remembering how attractive I really am, the haircut helped. Alhumdulillah.

I also picked up the &%$#@)! car from my mom's place and drove it back to the apartment. Apparently, it emits noxious fumes when the heat is on. Mr. Boo rode with my mom, God bless her. No, I'm not keeping this car.

Alhumdulillah. Life unfolds. We move slowly through the openings presented to us. Sometimes we move through our daily life in sadness and sometimes in happiness and sometimes with a feeling of bittersweet. Let's do what we can today to replenish our energies and help others to regain theirs.


Michelle said...


I have commented before on ORAU's site and came across yours. I understand what you mean exactly. I lived with selfpity for a long time. Why me? Why does she get something better? What did I do wrong?

But thank God someone told me to not wallow in self-pity, get your feet wet if you must; But get out quick before it makes you bitter.

Thanks to people like you, I learned to work with the hand I was dealt, and not yearn for the one wanted. I truly hope things work out for you.

P.S. I still love my Iced Mochas though!

o0UmmHasan0o said...

salam sis, i have followed your blog for a while, and do know what i see here, is a strong women and a surviver!! you can get through this, say it to yourself like a mantra when things get tough... sis look forward and keep going..

love ya
Umm hasan