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.

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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.

 

A New Beginning

Perfection is my enemy. For as long as I have been living, I’ve been on a quest for perfection, trying to be the most perfect wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend and so on. And for the last few years, I’ve been in pursuit of the perfect time for a new beginning, to start a new chapter in my Life Book. Sometimes I let the precious moments escape my life while I wait and plan for the right time, that perfect moment.

Agitated. Apprehensive. Frightened. Tearful. Excited. Overjoyed. A whole slew of mixed emotions came over me during the last couple weeks as I impatiently awaited an unplanned life-altering answer. I anxiously contemplated the extent to which my personal, family and work life would be transformed by this one answer. I just was not sure if I was completely ready for this sort of roller-coaster experience. On Friday night, I hit my absolute emotional low while I lay in my bed sobbing in deep introspection over the new chapter that I so yearned for but was not granted, at least not for now. My soul became very disheartened as I detested playing the waiting game all this time, only to receive the answer that I did not seek. Questions swirled around my mind in an attempt to understand why I even embraced the idea of a new beginning in my life. Why was I so afraid of facing this change at the outset? And finally when I became willing to accept the much-anticipated metamorphosis of my life, why did it not materialize?

Then it suddenly hit me. The Higher Power was not ready for me to start the new chapter in my Life Book just yet. He knows when it is and when it will be the right time for me. And it will be in that moment that my spirit will know I’m ready for a new beginning. Perhaps the past two weeks of deliberating my wants and unwants was God’s way of getting me prepared for the right time. Perhaps I was destined to experience the few recent mystical signs that have unveiled my true desire and the significance of this new beginning. The divine signs that have brought me inner peace are gentle reminders that God will deliver His best when it is best. I was simply not ready in my heart until today. 

So I will continue to play the waiting game yet again…peacefully and patiently this time with high hopes that I will soon journey into a beautiful new chapter of my Life Book.