Bismillah ir Rahman ir Raheem
We’re all trying to wrestle our demons in our creative work, aren’t we?
I highly recommend fasting if you are in fact staring into the face of the Devil.
There’s something about hunger and exhaustion that brings one face to face with one’s best and worst selves.
I learned a lot about myself this Ramadan. Not least because I wanted to concentrate less on the ‘acts’ of worship and more on being a worshiper, a slave of Allah. And that means paying attention to the beliefs that stop me from worshiping Him as he deserves.
They are many and varied and more than a little colorful, so I won’t go into details to protect myself from the innocent and guilty.
In addition to the Noble Qur’an, I also partook yet again of Brene Brown’s Gifts of Imperfection. I’ve read it before but I felt like I was reading it for the first time. So many of the guideposts seem to be speaking just to me.
My final analysis? My life has been tyrannically ruled by shame. There isn’t an aspect of my life that shame hasn’t poked its slimy fingers into.
I’m ashamed that I wasn’t able to hold down a job. I am made doubly ashamed by the fact that I was an honors student in high school and did pretty darn well in college. Still no Bugattis and babes for me.
I’m ashamed that I’m a filmmaker. No, really. I’ve claimed it. But I still can’t look people in the eye when I say it.
There are many other things that I am ashamed of, but not everyone deserves to hear my shame story. You, dear owner of eyeballs, may well be deserving, but this is still a public forum.
Oh and addiction! Brene Brown waxes eloquent on the subject of addiction and dude…have I got some real doozies!
The ones I’ve identified so far are: Anger. Sugar. Overworking.
Now if I find myself reaching for chocolate, having a mile-long to-do list, ruminating on past slights by a few chosen people (I know who my favorites are. I keep coming back to them), I find myself wondering what vulnerability am I trying to escape.
Being human is hard. Covering up our wounds, pretending we’re okay, makes it unbearable. Fasting helped me figure who my true Friend is and who my real enemy is. Fasting helped me deal with me as I am, not as I wish I was. Because as it turns out, I can never be perfect. Who woulda thunk it?
May Allah Subhana wa Taala accept all our acts of worship and bless us with another Ramadan Ameen! I miss you, Ramadan. Come back soon.