Life Is Rigged In Your Favor

Life Rigged Rumi Quote

Know that when life feels hard that there is a precious gift somewhere yet to be discovered in the “hard”. Be open to receiving the gift that is waiting for you. Seek it wholeheartedly. Find it with ease. Don’t turn it away just because it is not in your physical view. All of life is always conspiring FOR you!!

Release your struggle. Invite ease. Stay open to the miracles.

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Be The Light That Makes A Difference

be-the-light

I am a Muslim. I am a Pakistani-American. I am a woman of color. What are these other than obvious descriptions of me and my born identity.

But most importantly BEFORE all of that, I am a human. I am a beloved and worthy creation of God. I am the shining light of God.

And you are, too. We ALL are.

So let us all BE the light that makes a difference.

Let us all love the heck out of each other irrespective of our color, religion, gender, ethnicity, nationality, political party preference or social status. Let us honor the divine light that exists within EACH one of us even in the most challenging times of our lives. Let us be the dignity we deserve. Let us be the love we deserve. Let us be the unity we deserve.

It doesn’t begin with anyone else, but YOU.

Every single experience stemming from this election…from the comments of President-Elect Donald Trump that triggered fear, hatred and suspicion with the masses all over the world to the politically incorrect behavior he has publicly exhibited to the election results that hurt and disappointed so many to the core…is an opportunity for us to look within ourselves and BE the change that we seek in the world. The hatefulness, name calling, judging, shaming and blaming that is flooded all over the social media for both Hillary Clinton and President-Elect Donald Trump DOES NOT solve anything. It only creates more of it.

The energy we give our attention and response to IS the energy that we will experience more of in our lives.

Hatred creates more hatred. And love begets love.

If you want respect, be respectful to and of your fellow human beings. If you want more humanity, be human. If you want love, be love. If you want peace, be at so much peace within yourself that no single person or experience can ever rob you of it.

Embody what you desire. BE what you seek. You can’t have in your life THAT which you are not willing to BE.

Whether or not the newly-elected President is supportive of my own religion, ethnicity and gender or anyone else’s, the one thing I know for sure is:

God. Always. Has. Our. Back.

I am a Muslim and I am choosing to BE love over hate. I am choosing faith over fear because my faith IS what sets me free.
Always.

Discovering My Strength Amid Life’s Challenges

Challenges Ahead

“Life’s challenges are not supposed to paralyze you; they’re supposed to help you discover who you are.”

-Bernice Johnson Reagon

My first reaction to life’s challenges isn’t always a positive one. Such was the case with certain events I encountered in the past year, particularly in the last several months. But the quote above by Bernice Johnson Reagon genuinely offers profound wisdom for people like me who find it difficult to battle life’s everyday challenges. Admittedly, life’s challenges do throw me way out of my comfort zone just when life is flowing so smoothly. But if I look at the deeper meaning behind those challenges, they provide me with a multitude of opportunities to face my fears and to rediscover myself, my purpose, my strengths and my weaknesses. These challenges allow me to refocus on my relationship with the Divine and to find ways to strengthen my faith — the faith that sometimes wavers when I’ve hit rock bottom and I can only see darkness all around me. And I sometimes forget that there is a comfort and peace that is waiting for me if only I open my heart to receive it, if only I allow God to bear my burdens, if only I become still and listen, if only I put my complete trust in God and His timing.

Paralyzed is how I felt amid some of my trials and tribulations recently. It was as if my life had come to a halt and all of my aspirations were delayed. It seemed as though all of the difficult events were controlling my life and in which direction my life would now be led. I had allowed myself to be defined by my problems and the uncontrollable challenges of my life. There were many days when the tears wouldn’t stop streaming down my face and there were countless moments when I sat in utter self-doubt, even questioning God’s ways, wondering about the turmoil and why my world was so shaken up all of the sudden. Despite the doubts and questions that had begun to creep in, God saved me yet again. Through it all, God was my strength. He reminded me that I could lean on Him when I couldn’t lean on my own understanding. He brought me back to Him because He knows that I belong only to Him. He knows that I will always be tranquil when I allow myself the time to experience His real presence. God knows that peace is promised when I deepen my knowledge of Him through nature, through others who are fighting a harder battle than I am, through the people who are ever-ready to shower me with their love, through my trials and tribulations, through His word, through acknowledging His beautiful attributes, through prayer and through my sincere efforts to become still.

During my moments of stillness, I was privileged to feel the close and authentic presence of the Divine. It was in the quietude that the small still voice within began to change into an audible whisper to bring forth God’s love and wisdom. God whispered His beautiful truth into my ears when it was least expected. He enlightened me to open my heart and see the world with eyes of love, to heal my body and all the brokenness that resides in my heart and to be brutally honest with myself so that I can dance gracefully with my soul. He afforded me with innumerable opportunities to shift my consciousness, to continually be aware of how to better myself, to count my blessings no matter what the circumstances and to believe in the abundant beauty of the Universe. Every demanding experience, every trial of faith and every adverse event that I encountered couldn’t have been survived without God’s endless love that was poured into my life. He didn’t give me everything that I WANTED but He sure did give me everything that I NEEDED in my moments of hardship. And the most precious gift that I received was my very own best friend named God who was ever-present in each and every chaotic situation I faced. It is said that people will abandon you, fail you and break your heart but God will never do that because He only loves and forgives.

So I want to take a moment now to thank my beloved God for blessing my life with His magnificent miracles. I’m so very grateful for God’s gentle nudges that remind me to stay centered while I continue to journey through this challenging phase of my life. I now stand stronger than before and more faithful than ever with only praise and glory in my heart for the Almighty and Omnipresent Creator of ALL.

 

Dear God

Woman praying

 

Dear God,

As the new year is unfolding, Your message is becoming very evident to me in that I attract not what I want, but who I am; that if I want to change something in my life, I need to focus on the inner part of myself and You will take care of the outer. I have come to the realization that many places within me need to be healed. The experiences that I have had in the last several years embody the lessons of healing for my own personal and spiritual growth. There are some lessons that I may have ignored or suppressed as well as some past events and people that I may not have forgiven. Today, I ask for Your forgiveness of the lessons that I failed to acknowledge. I ask that you please help me to forgive myself for my oversights and forgive the events and people of my past that may have hurt me intentionally or unintentionally. There is a tremendous amount of inner work that I have done and even more that I need to continue doing to achieve the healing that you want me to experience. Please help me discover those specific areas that need to be healed within me and what might I need to do to bring forth the perfect healing for myself. Please help me look at each and every fear that may hinder my healing straight in the eye and face it with my head held high. For it is in the healing of myself that I will be able to know and love myself better and thus, know all other beings and love them unconditionally. I believe in the power of Your amazing grace for my spiritual, physical, mental and emotional healing, and I thank you very much for it.

Love always,
Me

Thoughtful Thursday: Life is too short

Clouds with heart shape

Life is too short. I often personally have to remind myself of how unpredictable life can be and sometimes, the reminders are so naturally manifested as I’m going about my day. We never know what will happen from this moment to the next. All it takes is a second for our world to turn inside out. All the plans for the future that we make in life to feel like we are somehow in control may never be accomplished. All the dreams we wish to fulfill may be left unrealized. We may be surrounded by our loved ones in this very moment and in an instant they may vanish from our lives. Yet how often do we tell our loved ones what they mean to us and how grateful we are for them? How often do we willingly forgive those people that have betrayed or hurt us at some point in our life? How often do we remember that our loved ones will not remain in our lives forever? People have an innate tendency to take life and the people in our life for granted. We may lash out in anger and express some harsh remarks to someone we love over a trivial situation or even stop talking to them. And we may think that tomorrow we will apologize or reconcile with them. But we forget that tomorrow is not promised and it may be too late to make amends.

So while we are still living our life, let us…

…never stop saying “I love you” to those that are near and dear to us and most importantly, show them how important they are or how much we love them.

…never stop saying “thank you” to those people that are truly blessings in our life.

…not lose sight of all the people that we have encountered in our life and be grateful for the lessons that we have learned from all of them.

…appreciate the people in our life for who they are as well as for the time we have spent together with them even if they are not around as much.

…forgive those that have wronged us and put all those unpleasant memories behind us.

…rekindle bonds that have been severed before it’s too late to say “I’m sorry”.

…enjoy every moment and live every day as if was our last.

And remember, we often don’t realize the value of someone until we lose them. A moment now spent cherishing those around us, loving and forgiving them can make a difference in our own life. This thing called life is just that it goes by so quickly and tomorrow may not be ours to see. All we really have is this moment to express our love so why not start now?

When it rains, it pours.

As a child, I remember singing the nursery rhyme, “Rain, rain, go away, come again another day” and it almost felt like I could shoo away the rain clouds and they would disappear instantly. But that has not been the case recently while some massive storm clouds have been hovering over my life. Over the last few weeks, I’ve found myself in some very heavy downpours. It’s true that when it rains, it pours. There have been times when the rain would start suddenly without warning. And sometimes, just when I thought the storm was nearing an end, it would only get worse! Life is so simple but amid the raging storms of life, it can seem so complicated.

The truth is that it’s always raining somewhere. When the rain is headed my way and I wonder when the pain and heavy moments would end, I only know that by weathering these storms, I will come out stronger than before. So I continue to cling to my faith even when I feel so hopeless and helpless because I know that there will always be a beautiful rainbow after the rain.

As I was enduring my own trials, I stumbled upon the words below and was reminded of a friend who has had his share of storms and times of distress lately. Knowing just a part of what he is going through, I could not have conveyed these words any better to him myself:

“I wish I had a big yellow umbrella
that would keep away all the rain in your life.
I would hold it over your head,
and the drops would splash, splash, splash
and you would never even feel it.

But I don’t have a big yellow umbrella…
so I’ll walk through the rain with you.”

-Holley Gerth

It is said that “Friends are the umbrellas in the storms of life.” Sometimes, your friends may need you to walk with them during the storms they face and other times, they may just want to walk alone. Nonetheless, a little bit of support and encouragement goes a long way.

So who will you walk with through the rain?

Thoughtful Thursday: Be The Change

Be the change you wish to see in the world

My life is about meeting and surpassing my own expectations. It is about embracing the change that results from the choices I make daily to do better than I did the day before. I am not competing with anyone, but myself. Each day that I awaken is not the same and brings along a multitude of opportunities for change within myself. There are many that choose to not consider change as a blessing in their lives. It is when I encounter those that are change-resistant that I end up telling myself this:

“What others say, think or feel doesn’t matter. YOU have the potential to create so go for it. By doing this, YOU will be the change that you eagerly wish to see in this world. ”

To inspire change in the lives of others, I must will to inspire change within my own.

As I reflect on this, my purpose here on earth is reaffirmed. I want to leave this world better than when I found it, leading quietly by example.

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