Thursday, January 20, 2011

Feel So Different

I feel a lot more connected to and confident in wearing my headscarf now. So many good people sacrifice so much for standing up for their truth, why can't I let go of my past, my "bad experience" in high school and suffer my bit of social anxiety and/or possible misunderstanding and discrimination, and be near to those I wish to stand with---those other women I see at the stores who wear their scarves with ease, the few at the park who wear it at the swings with their kids, the tall elegant woman I saw walking in full black garb with such dignity and bravery--those who have died for the honor of their beliefs of Islam--shouldn't I think of them when I fearfully step out into the world--them, instead of thinking of the ones who will wonder, question, stare, assume, or hurt me?

Instead of feeling judged and misunderstood by the non-Muslims at my kids' school, or the ones who shop where I shop, or the ones who sit parked at the stop light next to me--instead of assuming they DON'T LIKE me, why not feel that they might feel compassion for me, admiration for me, a human connection to me, think that they, in fact, may go out of their way to be friendly to me to show me their kindness. And even if these kind strangers are few and far between--shouldn't I now feel that they, along with my fellow Muslims, are more important than the ones whose eyes shoot arrows of bigotry and judgement. I should. I should feel better about my scarf, I should feel different about wearing a headscarf in America.

And though I may have bad days, or months, when I lose touch with my resolve, when I sheepishly and desperately want to blend in and therefore let that scarf slip down, just for the sake of a few carefree breaths, maybe I can THINK clearly, and FEEL better, and GET better. By God's Grace.

This song by Sinead O'Connor sums up the bit of courage and insight I've developed by God's Grace, and sums up my feelings nicely...

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change
Courage to change the things I can
And the wisdom to know the difference

I am not like I was before
I thought that nothing would change me
I was not listening anymore
Still you continued to affect me
I was not thinking anymore
Although I said I still was
I'd said "I don't want anymore"
Because of bad experience
But now I feel so different
I feel so different
I feel so different
I have not seen freedom before
And I did not expect to
Don't let me forget now I'm here
Help me to help you to behold you
I started off with many friends
And we spent a long time talking
I thought they meant every word they said
But like everyone else they were stalling
And now they seem so different
They seem so different
They seem so different
I should have hatred for you
But I do not have any
And I have always loved you
Oh you have taught me plenty
The whole time I'd never seen
All you had spread before me
The whole time I'd never seen
All I'd need was inside me
Now I feel so different
I feel so different
I feel so different
I feel so different
I feel so different

above image found HERE

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


After you have brought knowledge in line with your intellect, try and give it to your heart; when it goes to the heart, it will be the promoter of affairs (affect your actions). This will be the knowledge that moves you. When you don’t send knowledge to your heart and just learn it, it becomes a box that you have stored memories in, like a library, and this knowledge itself will become a veil.”
- Imam Khomeini (r.a.)