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Light the flame||reclaiming spaces



You gotta resurrect the deep pain within you and give it a place to live that's not within your body.

Let it live in art. Let it live in writing. Let it live in music. Let it be devoured by building brighter connections. Your body is not a coffin for pain to be buried in. Put it somewhere else.

- Ehmimeora.



This trip to Karachi has been turning into a very dear diary moment. Two days ago, I happened to have caught up with an old friend or should I say an acquaintance. Jury is out on that. Amidst conversation and the drumming of rain the background I had this epiphany that - I gave so much of myself to the wrong people.

When I think back to each one of those moments, each one scaling in its intensity, I used to get embarrassed. I used to feel so humiliated. It was like everybody around me had this agenda of rubbing it in my face that I live and breathe privilege. The funny thing is I always acknowledge it and then make myself smaller to accommodate everybody around me. But I don't anymore. I was born in this life it wasn't a choice. Don't people realize how suffocating legacies are? They aren't made. They are crafted.


I'm not upset at the girl that gave her heart, her time, the different parts of her to people who didn't appreciate it. Didn't acknowledge it. Didn't care beyond how it could serve them. Because she's the reason I know better now. She's the reason I know the difference between people who deserve my time and those who don't. She's the reason I know now that I don't need to be there for everyone. That I can't be there for everyone, literally. That everyone's problems aren't my responsibility despite some people telling me it is. Despite every being in my body believing that it is.


She's the reason I know my worth isn't tied the validation of any human's ability or inability to see it. She's the reason I still see the world with the same bright, vivid shades of color I always have despite many reasons to paint it all in grey. She's the reason I choose to be even more kind, even more understanding, and even more empathetic to every human knowing darn well how it feels to not be on the receiving end of it. She's the reason I got closer to Allah because when I gave all the parts of me and at times was left with what felt like absolutely nothing-I always had Him.


I used to think "how could I let myself be so foolish? so dumb? so naive?" but I did what I thought was best, and at the time, my best was good enough. And now I know better. And now I do better. I'll still make mistakes. I'Il still do things. I am as humanly flawed as possible. But every day I will strive to do better. There are things I know the future me is going to look and shake her head at. You too, in fact might make mistakes. But that is okay. Because in that moment that is the best that you could do in fact that is all that you could.


I guess the growing grey in my hair are making me have these epiphanies that I no longer need something to define me. The older me always needed something to hold on to. Something to give me a purpose, but now I think it was more to give my self worth issues validation. I remember I use to label my extremely goal driven attitude as problematic because I treated everything as a source of fulfillment. I used to feel empty and useless as soon as I was done with a task regardless of how small or big a task. It is like it was never enough.


But it was always enough. I guess, that is what healing did for me. My goal driven discipline was never the problem, but it was how so many things that I did that were never for me in the first place. It took me a while to finally understand that my field, my title, my job, my grades do not define me, nor do they give me my worth. I also stopped caring how I would look to people and started caring how I felt.


Now all that pressure, that anxiousness to be "somebody" is no longer there. Whether I'm a CEO one day or jobless the next, I am still me. I am still the person I was yesterday and the same person I am today in terms of my worth and curiosity. And so are you. Yes, you will outgrow boxes and you will evolve but that does not mean you let go of the child within you. The child within you is a like a withered plant that needs nourishment to deal with this thing called life.


So, it is important that we can go back to seeing people for who they are - the measure of their kindness, the internal wars they've won, the warmth in their souls, and empathy in their hearts. Each one of us was put here on this Earth, each handcrafted with a unique and special purpose, and all each and every one of us is meant to do - is live in alignment with it. Nothing more and nothing less. Because believe me the universe is waiting for you to unleash that next version of yourself. Light up that flame it is time.


Love, light & healing.

Until next time,

Shanzay.

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