On Reconsidering Our Choices

Dear quarter lives, 

We often think we know what’s best for us. And it is that faith in our decision-making abilities that grounds us and gives us the courage to make some of the most difficult choices in our lives. And sometimes the most difficult thing we can do is to reconsider our choices. We think we know what’s best for us. But do we actually know what’s best for us? And if we don’t, then who does? When we’re twenty-something, choices feel more like reactions to events taking place in our lives than they do like conscious choices we actually make and choose. We do our best, but what if our best when we were 22 is not good enough for when we are 29? I believe one of the hardest choices we can make is to reconsider a choice we said no to before. Or to reconsider choices made from the beautiful yet naive idealism of a 22 year-old. Yes, we should definitely be true to ourselves but sometimes being true might just turn into being stubborn. When a path we are on stops flowing, when it feels like there are roadblocks everywhere, it might be a good time to reconsider new options which could also be old options. The thing is the point is just to keep on moving, and if one path ends at a dead end, it’s no use to sit there because you’ll sit there forever. So I feel that for one to reconsider other paths, one must open one’s mind and accept to see their situation differently, through new eyes and a fresh perspective. Sometimes what happens is we hold onto a belief of ourselves or of something in the world so tight that it blocks us from seeing what might have always been right in front of us, staring us in the face this the whole entire time. So I tell you as well as myself: Don’t let the fear of turning back keep you stuck. We all make choices that might’ve felt right at one point but turned out to be not so right later on. So it’s okay to turn back. It’s okay to adapt our choices. If we are to survive this life, we must be flexible with our minds and our choices. Or else, not only our minds will break but we will too. So we must constantly practice engaging the elasticity of our minds and our hearts. May we all have the clarity of vision, the flexibility of mind and the openness of heart to make the best possible choices.

With love and always for peace, 

S.A. 

What is Grief? How do we release it?

Dear quarter lives, 

We all have an emotion that is our personal Everest. We all have an emotion that we believe if we allow our selves to feel, we might die, but we might also reach the highest peak in our lives. We might gain a view of the world that only a handful of people have experienced. For me, that emotion is grief. Grief is my Everest. It is the one emotion that I’ve prevented myself from going through because the little glimpses I’ve gotten of it felt unbearable. It felt like I couldn’t breathe, that my heart was physically in pain. I could never allow myself to connect to grief for too long. It always overwhelmed me. But now I have come to a point in my healing journey where I must feel my grief. I must allow myself to grieve a loss I thought I wouldn’t survive. But the thing is I am still here. And I have survived despite my own disbelief in myself. Now, as I sit with my grief, I hear it asking me to trust it. To trust that I will survive feeling it. To trust too that I will not be empty without it, merely much lighter. Even though grief has been this thing I’ve always dreaded feeling, I’ve somehow developed this attachment to it. I began to confuse it with myself. The boundaries between us became blurry. But I realise now that I am not my grief. I realise too that I will not be alone without my grief. To release it from me and me from it, one thing must happen. I must cry. Have you ever had the feeling that you might lose yourself in your tears. I am afraid that if I start, I cannot stop. But I must, for the sake of my health, both mental and physical. I must free myself from my own grip on grief. 

Yes, it is often we that hold our grief captive and not the other way around. It’s like if you let go of the grief, there will no longer be proof for the loss you’ve gone through. And grief is not easy to release, the longer it stays within us, the longer it mingles and marries with other emotions. Grief for me is hugely tied to my Anger. I actually don’t know which came first. I don’t know if I was so angry that grief needed to come in to cool me down. Or if I was actually so cold in my grief, that anger came in to heat things up. The thing is our bodies are always striving for balance. Our bodies don’t recognise that we might be going through a lot of one emotion so it’ll hold back with another. Our bodies are designed to maintain balance. Neither side of the imbalance is good or bad. Neither side is wrong. It is merely the imbalance that is wrong. And I believe that’s what grief is trying to tell us, that it is merely here to even things out. It is not here to punish us or make us suffer for something bad we’ve done. It is here to tell us in fact the complete opposite, that we are not bad, that we don’t deserve to be out of balance, that we don’t deserve to suffer. It is not the grief that is causing us to suffer, it is the state of imbalance we experience after a loss. When we lose something, grief comes into that space to help us heal. Grief is healing. Grief is a gift of kindness from God to help us through our loss. Without grief, we cannot cry for the pain we are feeling, and if we cannot cry, we will continue to suffer in silence with no one in sight to help us because no one can hear us. Grief gives us our voice back. Grief helps call our loved ones to our rescue. Grief is a cry for love. Grief helps to bring us back to the present, because loss will often leave us stranded in the past. Grief is God’s way of telling us I got you. It is Their way of saying You think you might die, but I got you. I promise I do. Grief teaches us to have mercy on ourselves and on others. Grief is Mercy. And Mercy is the most godly of all acts. To learn to have mercy is to learn the language of God. I believe grief brings us closer to our Source. Grief is Spirit flowing through us. Grief is what opens our hearts again when they have been closed shut. So let it flow, dear quarter lives. Let grief flow through your veins until you are fully back here in the now with a heart open and ready to love once again. 

My grief won’t be like your grief. So to release grief, we must try to understand our own grief. We must understand what it is here to teach us. We must learn to love it. We must say thank you to it for all it has endured as we held it hostage within us. To release grief, we must be kind to ourselves. We must refrain from blaming ourselves for holding in grief. We must understand that this is what we had to do to survive, to cope with a destabilizing experience of loss. We must love ourselves through it. Hold your own hand through the grieving process. Hold your hand like you would a friend’s. Hold yourself as you birth grief out of you. And I promise you, dear one, that you will survive. Even better, you will finally come back to life. 

Please if you know someone who has recently been through a significant loss, ask about them. Even a simple text message saying I love you makes all the difference. And remember, we can experience loss in many ways beyond death. Losing a relationship, a  job, a dream, our health, our home. Grief can be very potent, but it can be very liberating as well. So feel it, free it, and if you can, help a loved one feel supported through their grieving process. Remember, we all grieve in different ways so be mindful of what you say to someone who is grieving. May our hearts be free of grief, may our souls feel held by love once again.

With love and always for peace, 

S.A.

On the unknown aspect of time

Dear quarter lives,

Where do you see yourself in 10 years? – that question always made me anxious; I guess because I struggled to see myself anywhere with any certainty. And as much anxiety uncertainty can cause us, I believe certainty has that ability too. If you knew exactly how the next 10 years of your life will unfold, you would cry. You would cry at the triumphs, you would cry at the losses, but most of all you would cry because you can’t imagine how you’ll get through it all, but you will. You will survive all of it, and not because your survival is certain but because it is uncertain. It is the uncertainty that gives us hope, it is the uncertainty of how it will all turn out that makes us fight. It is that very uncertainty that nurtures within us our own special faiths — sometimes in god but mainly in ourselves. It is because we don’t exactly know how we’ll get there that we get there. It is all because we don’t know that we are still here, still surviving, still making it.

My whole life I’ve been trying to know as much as I can about myself, about life, about everything really. Why? Because I thought knowledge gave me a better chance at surviving. It is ironic that it is in fact because of all the things I don’t know that I keep on trying. It is the uncertainty of our futures that pushes us forward. It is precisely because we don’t know that we try. It is because we don’t know that we have hope for the future to be better. It is that very hope that pushes humanity forward. It is that very uncertainty that is behind all progress. And this for me was the most profound realisation I have had in a while — the very thing that I have feared my entire life is actually the very thing keeping me alive. And now instead of feeling powerless at all the unknowns in my life, I can feel empowered. Now, I can finally rest in the present without feeling so daunted and overwhelmed by the uncertainties of the future trusting these very uncertainties to get me exactly where I need to be. May you, may I, may we all find peace in the present moment.

With love and hope,

S.A.

December 8, 2020

10.34 a.m.

Sakkara, Egypt

Our Relationship to Money Mirrors our Self-worth

Dear quarter lives,

Money can be a sensitive issue for many, but it is an important one, and one that often needs a lot of healing. Our relationship to money represents our relationship to value more generally. So how we feel about accumulating money or giving it way can say a lot about our relationship to our own value. Money often gets a bad rep. Many view it as the source of all evil in the world. And here, I would say, it is important to distinguish between money and what people have chosen to do with it. Money is essentially a tool that allows us to exchange energy with others. Money in itself is not the energy we exchange; it simply facilitates that exchange. So for example, if I use money to buy a massage, the money isn’t what’s paying for the massage, it depends how I got that money in the first place. So if I earned that money, it’s the time, creativity, effort and whatever else I put in to earn that money that I’m actually using in exchange for the massage. All the money does is store that energy for us (the time, effort, etc.) until we feel like we want to use it in exchange for something else (which is also energy in the form of someone else’s effort and knowledge as in the case of the massage).

How we feel about ourselves drives how we feel about money. If we feel guilty about having too much, if we feel we don’t deserve it, we’ll give it away, and not always consciously. Actually most of our actions are driven by unconscious desires and needs. So you might be unconsciously self-sabotaging your earnings, while complaining at the same time that you wish you had more money because you can barely afford your rent. So it’s not always so obvious how we feel about money. You might be dreaming of the nice house with the nice car but at the same time, deeply feel inside of you that you don’t deserve to have nice things, so you end up never really taking action and steps towards your goal of nice house and nice car. Our sense of self-worth is everything. It drives how much love we think we deserve, and love too is a form of energy exchange just like money is. So that’s why people will often substitute love for money because it feels like it gives them the ability i.e. the power to make energy exchanges. But love exchanges are a very different kind of energy exchange but we’ll leave that discussion for another time.

Approaching our relationship to our own worthiness can be vey daunting so perhaps starting with simpler tasks, such as paying attention to how you use money and recognising how you feel about accumulating it versus giving it away, can provide a segue into bringing more awareness to how you feel about your own worthiness. It’s not always wise to jump into the deep-end especially with patterns that are so old, so deep and probably intertwined with other patterns. Sometimes giving ourselves some space to paddle in the shallow-end might be what we need to help us gather the courage to finally just dive deep. This blogpost is an invitation to bring more awareness to  your relationship to money in hope that it will shed light on the deeper relationship to your own worthiness. 

With love and always for peace, 

S.A. 

How to love ANY Body

Dear quarter lives,

I am doing something a little different this week and sharing with you a poem instead of my usual essay. This is a poem I wrote about love, about loving another, and about loving our bodies. May it inspire you to contemplate the nature of how we as humans love, of how you in particular love and maybe of how you might like to love.

With love and always for peace,

S.A.

How to love ANY body

Near every body of water is a body of air. 

Near every body of air is a body of fire. 

Near every body of fire is a body of earth.  

To find any body to love, first let go of your height. 

Lie down. Lie beside them. Let them love you.

Let their body caress yours like you let water do. 

Let their body flow onto yours like you let air do. 

Let their body warm yours like you let fire do. 

Let their body shelter yours like you let earth do. 

Lie not below them. 

Lie not above them. 

But lie beside them. 

Side by side. 

Level to level. 

Lie beside one another so you will have no need to speak down to any body.

Lie beside one another so you will have no need to speak up either.  

Lie beside one another so that when the floor shakes, you both feel it. 

Lie beside one another so that when the ceiling cracks, you both see the light. 

To love any body, you must lie beside them. 

To lie beside anybody, you must put your judgements to sleep. 

To put your judgements to sleep, you must lie naked. 

And to lie naked, you must bear the sight of your bare body. 

To bear the sight of your bare body, you must first bear the sight of your naked heart. 

And when your heart is finally exposed, then you can begin to love.

But before you can love any body, you must learn to love your own. 

To love your body, lay with it.

Let it show you all you need to know about love.

Let the water of your blood teach you how to flow. 

Let the fire of your sexuality teach you how to dance. 

Let the air of your lungs teach you how to free your voice. 

And let the earth within your gut show you how to share your body.

To love any body, 

love your body.

To love your body,

love every body.

Can people be saved from a terrible childhood?

Dear quarter lives,

Can people be saved from a terrible childhood? This was the title of an article in The Guardian 1 I had read a couple of years ago. It caught my attention at a time when I was reflecting about my own childhood and wondering if it had passed or was a part of me still living there. These contemplations about childhood slowly turned into an obsession with these seemingly separate states of being we label as childhood, adulthood, and parenthood. All the hoods seemed to me to overlap. I could not separate them from one another. I found myself struggling to neatly split my life across all three. Slowly, an aha moment arrived and the realisation came over me, What if they are in fact not separate states at all? What if they are states of being that exist together simultaneously? 

What if adulthood is just the transfer of the role of parenting from the outside (i.e. from parents, caretakers, etc.) to the inside, to us? What if all adulthood really means is that we become parents for ourselves instead of relying on others to love us, discipline us, tell us what and what not to do or think? What if the problems, confusion and breakdowns that happen in young adulthood happen because of precisely this, the fact that all of a sudden we become our own caretakers, and all of a sudden the newness of this role is overwhelming and like children learning how to speak, all we can do is emulate what we have observed. And so if we have observed parents that are overly critical to us, in wearing this new role of parenthood with ourselves, we become overly critical parents to ourselves, but if we observe gentle parents, we emulate that and become gentle parents to ourselves. Where the role of the crisis is important is that it forces us to question what we have observed, questioning whether it serves us or destroys us. In sitting with those questions, we slowly begin to develop our own parenting style with ourselves. 

If we start looking at ourselves as a unified home to a child and a parent that come together to form the adult that we are, we will start acknowledging the realness of that child within us that is screaming to be heard, that is screaming to say I am still alive, I didn’t die when you became an adult. And the kindest act we can do for ourselves is to say ‘I hear you’ , ‘I see you’, and ‘I acknowledge you’ to that child within us. Like any other child, the child inside of us just wants to feel loved. But if we keep on expecting an outside person to become our parent and provide us with love, affection and discipline then we starve our inner child of its own inner parent, and thus have purposely orphaned it and sent it to the foster care of a friend, a wife, a husband, leaving our inner parent heartbroken. Our grieving inner parent now is starving to care for someone, to give love, to discipline and thus it starts craving a child, and that is how we often pour our hearts into our children thinking that they can save us but it is only our own inner child that can save our own inner parent. And thus, when we do not acknowledge both the child and parent within that make us a whole adult, we fall into cycles of toxic relationships* as we try to quiet the screaming inner child and feed the starving inner parent. 

And so to answer the question, Can people be saved from a terrible childhood? Yes, they absolutely can! But only if they do it themselves. Only we can save ourselves. There is no god that will save us from a terrible anything without us putting in the work ourselves. And the way we save ourselves is by re-parenting ourselves and re-childing ourselves. This means that we need to step fully into adulthood by stepping fully into the role of parent for ourselves while embracing and nurturing the child within us. We need to make space within us for the healthy expression of both. We need to play. We need to work. We need balance. And just like we give importance and time to our outer relationships, we must also give time and attention to our inner relationships. For any relationship can only grow if we make time for it. Be present for those inside of you, just as you do for those outside of you. Adulthood, I have found, is a state of being whereby one becomes proficient at showing up for themselves, where one learns how to be completely present to themselves as parent and nurturer when need be, and as child and wonderer when need be, and the ability to discern when to make space for the parent and when to allow the child to appear is where the art of being an adult lies. It is always about balance. And to get good at balance, like to get good at anything, requires practice. And practice requires us to embrace our errors and continue showing up until we get it right. And when we get it right, we must show up to keep that balance.

As always with love and for peace,

S.A.

1https://www.theguardian.com/world/commentisfree/2018/nov/07/ace-adverse-childhood-experience-trauma

*(relationships include not only those with other people but with work, with leisure, with food, drugs, exercise, religion, etc. the list is infinite.)

We need boundaries to grow

Dear quarter lives,

This is a short story about letting go, about growing apart and growing healthy. It is a story about our need for space to grow, about our need for boundaries, even with our most beloved mothers and fathers.

***

One day someplace where there were streets and crossings, a young mother and her son were about to cross the street. The little boy was very afraid. He had never crossed a street before. He had seen stories on the news of people who died crossing the street, but never about those who had survived crossing the street. So he assumed that people just died crossing the street. He didn’t understand why his mother would want him to do such a thing as cross the street, but he didn’t question her, she was his mother. The boy held his mother’s hands as tightly as he could, to the point he was hurting her just a little bit. You could see his little hands latching onto her big hands tucked in and protected by their sheer size. Her big hands were nothing compared to her tall body, like a walking tree beside him, she protected him. As he stepped onto the zebra crossing, his eyes began to sparkle, wondering why the marvelous lines changed colour so frequently. Black. White. Black. White. Black. White. And as his mother took a large step in front of him, she cast a long shadow over him, a shadow longer even than she was. 

The little boy fell into a deep darkness. His mother falling only a split second after him onto her knees and over him. Her shadow now much stronger and much closer. He slipped further and further away into the dark. She did not know what to do but to hold him close. And the closer she held him, the further away he went. ‘Let go!’, someone in the crowd shouted. ‘I can’t, he needs me.’ ‘Let go of him. You have to.’, they shouted again. ‘I can’t leave him alone. He’ll be so afraid.’ Her tears were falling on his face.They came closer now. Their hands held her shoulder, ‘We’ll be here for you. He needs to come back alone. You must leave him now. Trust, dear mother. Trust him. Trust yourself. Trust us, your community. There is nothing you can do but trust that he will come back, but you must let him go.’

‘Can you help me let him go?’ ‘I can stand by you, but I cannot remove you. You must choose to get up. You must choose to stand separate from your son until your are distant enough that you cast no shadow onto him.’

And with all the love she could find in her heart for her little boy, the mother stood up slowly, as though she was a toddler standing up for the first time, not knowing whether to trust gravity yet. And as she returned to her tree-like posture, stable, standing and grounded, she carried her legs with all the power she could muster, for they were the heaviest three steps she would take in her entire life. Now standing away and across from her son, she no longer cast a shadow on his heart. There was a long silence. The silence of waiting. Tears still rolling down her face, puddles forming at her feet, now at her knees again, all she could do was think, and when she thought, she doubted. She doubted herself, she doubted her son, she doubted her community. But her community stood by her, reminding her they were still here, reminding her to trust, ‘Trust does not betray those who make space for it in their hearts, so make space, dear mother.’ 

And as she drew in one more breath and exhaled another, she looked over to her son. His eyes were beginning to open. She almost ran towards him, but a hand held her back and whispered gently in her ears, ‘I know it is painful, but that is what we must do. We nourish them until they can nourish themselves. We support them until they no longer need us. You see, dear mother, it is our duty not to smother ourselves onto our little ones. It is our duty to let them grow into their own being, that is our role ― to teach them how to fill their space, to show them that boundaries are essential so they can spread roots and reach the light themselves without help from any mother or mediator.  You see young mother, if our shadow remains cast on their bodies, we are no better than weeds whose shadow and needs kill all that is around it. Parenthood is a journey very few endure in truth. It is the hardest lesson to learn. It is one intended for the growth of the mature spirit, and the subsequent survival to youth of the infant soul. So rejoice my daughter, your pain will transform you. And soon he will have grown into a parent himself, then he will come to you for guidance and support, for his turn too will come when he will have to let go of his young ones. So let your child go, give him back to the universe, let him scour for his food, hunt and grow, and as the cycle continues, he will ask for your hand one day as you have asked mine. Do you remember me now? I am your mother from long ago. Today, you have passed the most difficult test of all. Today, you have truly mothered your child into being. Today, you have let go of your attachment to your child. Now, you are both free.’

***

Thank you for reading. Thank you for accepting this invitation to contemplate.

With love and peace,

S.A.

Emotions as bridges of communication to multiple realities

Dear quarter lives,

Some time ago, I was preoccupied with the question of why we have emotions. I wanted to understand what they were, what purpose they served. And all that kept coming back to me was this one word — perspective. Emotions, each of them, seemed to be articulating experiences from one specific angle. Different emotions can offer us different experiences of the exact same thing. And all these perspectives do not negate one another. Instead, they offer the insight that there are always multiple truths. I believe emotions are the tool through which we can ease into the idea of multiple realities. The wide range of emotions we are able to experience allows us to consider our lives from an equally wide range of lenses. And that means that there is no single narrative that holds true more than another. Sadness, for example, does not negate the truth of anger, and neither does anger negate the truth of joy. Emotions allow us to consider the possibility that the truth is diverse.

I only understand now what it means when they say, the truth is in your heart, because I understand now what feeling offers us. You see, when you feel, you know that what you feel is true. And there are as many truths as there are feelings. When you feel, you know that no matter how hard your mind tries to convince you that there is only one objective truth, you know without a shadow of a doubt that that is simply not true, and all because you can feel. Emotions are the eyes in our hearts that allow us to perceive and experience the real truth — that there is no truth. It is precisely this subjectivity that our emotions offer us that makes us human, that makes us kind, that makes us tolerant, that allows us to accept that the Other might also be justified in their version of the truth because that is simply how they feel. You see, when we are able to discard the idea of a single Ultimate truth, only then can every other possibility of the truth open up to us and greet us.

I believe emotions are a fundamental part of the human experience for precisely the reason that they stretch us to tolerate the idea of multiple truths, and in that way, emotions act as bridges of communication between us and other realities. They ease us into the possibility that there might be more than what each of us individually experiences, that other dimensions could exist, that anything really could be. Anyone who has experienced the world from a place of fear will tell you it is a very different place to a world experienced from a place of love. And anyone who has experienced themselves from a place of anger will tell you they met a very different person to the one they met from a place of joy. It is not only the Universe that we can experience from multiple dimensions, it is our Selves! Emotions connect all these different experiences of self together. Emotions show us we are more than who we were when we were sad, that we are not who we are when we are happy. Emotions are our gift, one that allows us to entertain the possibility that there might not be a single story to us, but rather an endless possibility of stories.

With love,

S.A

A Prisoner named Anger

Dear quarter lives,

This might be the story of my prisoner, but there are many similar stories out there where one captures an emotion, a memory, a person, and hides them deep in the dungeons within. There is no man, no woman, no human without a dungeon. They form inside of us when we are children. They are as old as our breaths. They help us feel safe, like an army of sorts. As children, it was how we dealt with what we didn’t know how to deal with. We felt safer knowing that all that was dangerous, all that was unwanted was locked up inside, deep within us, in a room far far away. We tied these rejected emotions to heavy iron chains so that they would sink forever with no way to escape or surprise us.

But something happens when they have lived there long enough — we get attached to them. It is ironic indeed that what we have chosen to hide away because we were afraid of, we now become so attached to and dependent on that we might actually only feel safe when they are with us, a Stockholm syndrome of sorts. And so at this point of attachment, when you can no longer separate your sense of self from your prisoner’s sense of self. Your identities now intertwined, you have now merged. A new symbiotic relationship now exists, you become each other’s hosts. Your prisoner resides in you, and you reside in it. And so it was, after many many years of holding Anger captive, I realised that I am as much a prisoner to him as he is to me.

And for all prisoners, the goal is always freedom. But not all prisoners are created equal, some become vengeful, others are more forgiving and spare your neck. And those prisoners are the wisest because they remember, unlike us, who they really are. No matter how blurry the lines get, they remember that they are not us. That we are not the fear we hold within. That we are not the anger we have suppressed. They remember that their purpose is to express our experience but they are not us and we are not them. The danger comes when the prisoner is angry. Angry at us because we have not allowed them to speak, to express themselves. Instead we have blindfolded them and hid them in places so deep and so dark that they became so sensitive to the light that it becomes dangerous for them to leave even if they wanted to without getting us a little sick first.

And so with Anger, especially with Anger, when we come to make peace with it, we must show up ready to surrender, ready to assume responsibility for the abuse we have inflicted on ourselves by holding back our anger. We must acknowledge the abuse we have allowed our prisoner to endure by hiding them away so absolutely that we forgot they even existed. In those cases, where the attachment is not even acknowledged, the prisoner’s pursuit to freedom becomes even more complex, even more dangerous, to us and to them. They begin to plan for our death. They decide that if they cannot see the light through merging with us, they must seek desperate measures, they must seek the light by removing the physical barriers of us, by removing our bodies, by destroying them, by killing us. Only then is all energy within us released back into the Universe, and when that happens, Anger can finally be free.

And so when we refuse to communicate with our prisoners, they have no way of even warning us, or threatening us. Sadly, we have cut our own ears. We have refused to listen. And now, we must bear the consequences of seeing the storm only when it is too late. We must too realise that who and what we decide to lock away in our dungeons is always our choice, even though our choice could’ve been the result of serious hardship. Often it is due to a heightened sense of the perceived threat from that particular thing, be it an emotion or memory. We might’ve witnessed an unpleasant expression of Anger growing up and vowed to avoid it at all costs. And so within us lives this exaggerated fear of expressing our anger thinking it might injure or even kill us. Ironically, that is exactly what it does when we cut off all contact with it. And so the only way to approach Anger, I believe, is with love and with a lot of trust. We must trust that our anger does not exist to hurt us. We must communicate with it. We must listen to it. And when we do, we will realise that Anger actually came to protect us. Like a house alarm, Anger acts as a signaling tool when our boundaries have been crossed. Anger alerts us to take action. To speak up. To better assert our space.

Anger has long been misunderstood. It has a bad rep because it often presents itself as aggression and violence. But it is not the anger that does this, it is what we do with the anger. It is our reaction to Anger that has been aggressive. But we have instead pointed the finger at him, deeming him the unwanted/unpleasant emotion and locking him away as if to punish him for his bad behaviour when in fact it is our behaviour that has been bad. So to heal this complicated relationship we have with Anger, we must first open our hearts and go deep deep within until we reach the dungeon, and then we must consciously and intentionally choose to unlock it. We must choose to free our prisoners. We must choose to set Anger free. And as we do so, we must apologise. We must open our entire body to listen. And as we listen to the wounded within us speak, we must give them our love for they have given us theirs all these years.

Before I go, let me just remind you of one final thing — our prisoners’ pursuit to freedom is also our pursuit to freedom. For when they are free, we become free. It is always us who are the captors, the torturers, the unreasonable tyrants, never the victims. It is us who hold prisoners, not us who are held prisoner. So let us never forget the fact, for it is a fact worthy of our memory. It is fact through which our power can be realised once again, and our choice recognised. It is always up to us! Remember that, always, if you are ever to be free. 

May you be free forever,

Shahinda

Everyone wants to be Superhuman – what about being just Human?

To be just human, we need to remember what it means to be a human being in the first place. Unfortunately, I think we have lost track of that but I don’t think it’s too late. In fact, I think the world is giving us an opportunity now to take a look around us and really take in what this desire to be superhuman has cost us, not only us as humans but Nature too along with all her elements and beings.

From a very young age as children, we have been primed to desire to be more, to be better, to be stronger, to be smarter, to be like all those superheroes we watched and read about. Superhuman wasn’t just a fantasy. It became the epitome of what we believed the future held for us. It was the expected course of progress — we would evolve and become Superhuman. And what a let down this pursuit for more has been. We wanted to be on top of every other species to the extent that we disregarded what Nature wanted completely. We took charge of something that wasn’t ours to control. We forgot that we share this planet with so much other life. And when we remind those who abuse the Earth that this planet is not theirs for the taking, we are often ignored or told we need to be more practical if we want to be part of the “real” world. But you see this thing people refer to as the “real world” is precisely the fantasy world of superheroes which is made up of conglomerates which are made up of individuals all so scared to be “just” human, all so desperately trying to prove that they are better, that they are worth more than they actually feel. I am definitely not sorry to say that there is nothing more real, nothing more realistic, nothing more practical than Nature herself. Yes, perhaps life is about nothing more than eating, drinking, sleeping, having sex, having babies, dying, and living again. Perhaps all the fun and all the purpose is in telling stories about all those ordinary things. And it is those everyday things that give meaning to that which is otherwise meaningless. To be just right, to have just enough, to desire nothing more than what is around you, to just be exactly who you are, an ordinary human being is perhaps the most humane thing you can be and do for the world. To be just human is what we were born to be. Being just human is how we can fit into the bigger story of this planet and find our place in Nature once again.

We weren’t created to be the greatest. We were created to be a part of something great. We were created to cooperate with Nature, not to compete with her. So I say relax, let go of the pressure to be more than human and enjoy being just human. Of course, it’s not a button we can press and just relax. It takes a lot of work to get to a place where we can trust ourselves enough to relax. We have to undo decades of telling ourselves not to relax. So many of us carry so much stress in our bodies and put so much pressure on our minds all in pursuit of a “better” us. We need to ask ourselves why we feel this need to become better. We need to ask ourselves what is it that we are hoping to achieve from all this pushing of ourselves? These are some of the questions we might ask ourselves before we can just trust and relax into a new set of beliefs. I suggest communicating with your ancestors, (especially those that you’ve never met) who walked this Earth centuries ago, those who knew the Earth at Her rawest. Sit with them. Write to them. Ask them for guidance. Ask them all the questions you have, whatever they are, and however ridiculous and “unrealistic” they may seem. And when you have asked everything you want to ask, just sit back and listen deeply. Listen to the answers already within you. Listen to the yearning inside of you to return home, to return to your roots. Listen to what it is you are really longing for. Listen to the sounds of your limits, to the beautiful boundaries that protect us. I believe we all long for the return of joy. We all long for peace of mind. We all long for a body that can play. And I believe too that all those things do not come when chased. In fact it is quite the opposite, they come with stillness, not physical stillness but a stillness of heart. A stillness inside that washes over us when we finally stop running and escaping, when we finally accept that we are part of this cycle of life and death, that no one is special enough not to die, that no one can invent something to bypass death, that we will all perish just like Nature does. And Nature does it so gracefully, so why can’t we? I believe it is living with grace that prepares us for dying with grace. Shamans say we die the same way we live. And what a privilege it would be to live consciously and to die consciously. When we can finally open our arms and our hearts to greet death, only then can we step in and fully experience the state of being alive.

I share my words with you always with the intention to share and spread peace. I share these words with you with the intention of deconstructing our fears until they are palatable enough to digest and transform back to love.

Till next time,

S.A.