To Everyone (the one in my head) and to everyone (else)

Short version

Let’s stop with the judging and let everyone be Muslim the way they want to be, shall we?

Long version

I spent most of Ramadan 2013 battling more emotions then I care to describe, within me. Ramadan 2013 was not peaceful. It was not rejuvenating. I came out of it more drained, heart harder, and even more disillusioned. 

I’ve gone through so many weird and new situations in the past few years, situations I haven’t known who to ask for help during. I suppose at some point I forgot I could ask God. Because I forgot how to ask God. I lost complete faith that God would/could even help. How crazy is that?

I have tried so hard to do what I feel is right and disregard other people’s opinions. But other people’s opinions weigh me down a lot, and that’s the truth of it. Decisions don’t feel as good, even when I’m able to follow through the way I wanted to, because everyone is railing against my decisions. If everyone is railing against my decisions, could it be my decisions are not good ones? But then why do they feel so good, why do they bring me so much peace when I’m able to block out everyone else’s voices? Doubt is cancerous and it’s got me wound up tight.

I have erupted into cries of desperation so many times. And I have felt completely and utterly alone even when I am sitting with friends or family. I no longer know right from wrong. Especially when what I feel is right, the mullah in my head called Everyone tells me it’s wrong. Wrong way to pray. Wrong way to dress. Wrong way to talk. Wrong way to behave. Wrong way to live. Next thing you know Everyone will be telling me I’m breathing wrong. I’m only supposed to breath 4 times a minute or something.

To Everyone (the one in my head) and to everyone (literally everyone else) who wants to tell me The Right Way or wants to tell me You Are Sinning, I will say this:

I respect you. If you are close friends or family, I love you. And I know part of the reason you say what you say is because you love me and are trying to look out for me. However, I would ask you to do me a kindness and keep your opinions on my way of doing things to yourself. We all need to find our own way spiritually. What may work for you, may not work for me. I can obey and follow the same commandments as you without doing it the exact way you or anyone else is doing.

I am not not listening to you because I don’t love you or respect you. In fact, how I am living my life has nothing to do with you. I am not living my life in a vendetta to hurt or defy anyone. I am simply trying to figure out the way I can live my life best and keep God within and without. It might be unorthodox, it might make no sense to anyone but me, but I need to have God in my life, and I will do whatever I need to, to have that presence seep into every nook and cranny.

So you do it your way and I’ll do it my way. And even if we do things differently, we are still part of the same Ummah. Because the Ummah is not populated by clones, but individual and unique people all striving to be better Muslims and seek God the best they can, right?

#aagarden Update: Slowly but Surely

I thought it was about time I did a garden update. I planted most of my seeds near the end of March, so it’s been almost two months. I feel like the progress has been slow and I’ve definitely encountered some hurdles and am learning a lot. Something I’m always worried about is how much to water the different plants. I know they all have different water requirements; for a while I just watered all the plants a little bit everyday, never fully drenching the soil. Then I tried doing light watering most days but doing some deep watering once a week..that was a mistake. I lost a lot of basil seedlings and thyme seedlings. So I stopped that and went back to light watering. Now I’m trying a schedule of watering them every other day. So we’ll see how that goes. … 

These Days

parsley … 

Habanero Garlic Bread

At City Market Downtown, I picked up a bottle of Caribbean Habanero Pepper Sauce (extra spicy) from a booth selling mostly just these awesome sauces advertised as dipping sauce. Now, I love anything spicy, and this was a type of spicy that I didn’t usually taste, and I thought, pshhhhhwho says this can only be used as a dipping sauce. I then proceeded to add it to everything I cooked. And so, habanero garlic bread was invented!

It tastes great, it’s got this tanginess to it that I really enjoy. I’m going back next week and buying some more because I only bought a small bottle and I’m almost out! See what I mean by discovering and enjoying local food? Onto the recipe! … 

Creating a Routine

Last week, I wrote about being out of balance and how it was driving me insane. I’ve spent this past week pondering the question of how to remedy this. A few months ago, I downloaded the book Daily Rituals: How Artists Work, and since that’s exactly the question I was dealing with, I decided to actually read it. I want to review the book in a later post, but let me tell you this, there is no one way to work productively, and often, balance doesn’t exist. …