wisdom

“When you stumble, keep faith…”

insta_thesocialI have Muslim family living in the U.S., along with Hispanic, Black and gay friends spread across the country, and have been blessed with amazing people who shower my family with nothing but love and respect.

But last night my heart broke into a million pieces watching the election results as the U.S. elected Trump as President of the United States. Trembling at what my family and friends will be enduring in the next four years, the president-elect is a man who speaks to violence, homophobia, xenophobia, racism, sexism, inequality and more importantly of how I was raised, is not the ‘type’ of guy who is supposed to win anything. This election was more about moral decency and ethics than politics, yet no one noticed. And no one who voted Trump actually ever came out boasting about policy. Instead they have a desire to abuse others, hang journalists from trees and this leader stays silent. As it goes, the softest hearts who feel they have so much to lose are the easiest to manipulate from fear.

Last night proved compassion is no longer the basis of morality. It’s easier to be disinterested in others if it means we don’t get hurt. We don’t feel pain. We don’t have to understand what it’s like to be not privileged or in such a case, white. Trump is the person we tell our kids not to be, yet here we are. A few years ago, my best friend and love told me, “Never be afraid to speak up for yourself and your loved ones.” He knew I was this way and always will be. And I am going to make it my mission to always work hard and care deeply for those I truly believe in because the world doesn’t need hate. It’s hard going at it on our own every day, diving into the unknown than to pander to hateful rhetoric and sentiment.

The results have shown us that while we have a divided nation here, no vote for Clinton was cast in vain. Every one who cast a ballot for integrity, morality and the good of loving our neighbors did a great service to each other as a way of showing our support to those who have been degraded by a man who prides himself on how much money he has and how women are easily up for grabs.

But it also shows the silent majority who doesn’t speak up against hateful rhetoric, whether a Trump supporter or someone of the 200 million that didn’t vote (the right to vote is a beautiful thing…), are ones to fear the most. Fork-tongue. Two-face. People who dictate their life based on consternation. These are people I know and have unfortunately come across in the last 24 hours who disbelieve sexual assault, racism, Islamophobia and lately, the KKK. How can you pass such a horrible and inexcusable group of people as a joke and not take them seriously? This is arrogance. This is privilege. Perhaps you are not blessed with people of different faiths, backgrounds and cultures to better understand the world around you. Maybe your heart is not big enough to comprehend the life outside your own.

How can one relate to Trump when his ideals run alongside Hitler’s own disdain for minorities prior to the Holocaust? As a world and a nation that is incredibly divided, we have a moral obligation to be kind to each other and most of all, defend the rights of those who are unfairly treated. I learned friends and acquaintances make up who you are in every facet. Through this knowledge, the circles we create are a direct reflection of who we are at the end of the day. This election was never about policy, it has long been about everything Trump wanted to make it about and of course, millions fell victim to his monstrous rhetoric. Honestly, if you can’t stand up against hate and mask it only as “change” because you want something different, what is left of your integrity? That is an invalid argument on all accounts.

Between the Bible, Quran and Torah, we were taught to love thy neighbor, stand up for others and speak out on injustice. But what is done is done, and every action in life serves a reaction that we may or may not be ready for. Now is the time I pray we practice patience, tolerance and show how big our hearts are to those that repeal such understanding because love overpowers hate. Always.

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“That’s not love. That’s torture.”

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“All for someone who lies to you, who, uh disregards you? Who ultimately cannot love you.
Can you possibly hate yourself that much?”

I had a chance earlier this week to binge-watch the fourth season of Masters of Sex and came across some very articulate wisdom that hit on the psychology of our relationships and choices. This particular ounce of dialogue from the show really resonated with me and hit on points that I never really considered in my relationships I’ve come to know and understand.

It made me think about the others I know too. Particularly a dolt like woman, who retreats into her own insecurities and self-doubt with a Machiavellian-type individual in a very naïve and diffident manner. The one who pours herself into every facet of fixing something that is so horribly broken by running away, sweeping it under the rug and all because of her (and the unfound man‘s) own childish fear of repeating history or not fitting the wholesome mold society has laid out for them as the quintessential trophy couple—with their trophy bairn. Or, the picture-perfect life they mused over during a quick, fleeting moment of happiness as ankle-biters, while each caught in their own updraft.

I’m talking about the ones who try to fix their broken marriage by having a child or heading on vacation, getting a new job, haircut, or even moving across town, etc. They can do it all to escape the reality, but is it enough? It’s not. It’s also a testament to their own integrity, their self-worth, and their personal truth.

While listening to this dialogue based on psychology and a profound sociological depth, it gave me my own epiphany about relationships, and everything that has happened in the last year. In the show, Alice (Judy Greer) has a husband Dan (Josh Charles) who constantly cheats on her—most times with the same person. He’s been doing it for years, saying the marriage is over, the relationship is done, they don’t see “eye-to-eye,” and the usual a Machiavellian-type will come up with. Most recently, Dan cheated with Virginia Johnson (Lizzy Caplan), returning to her after some time and telling her that he and Alice were kaput again. Of course, as it is, Virginia believes Dan and the two carry on. But without spoiling the new season, Dan has his own insecurities and doubts, and Virginia and him are always at a crossroads. As are Virginia and Bill.

In this particular dialogue (photo attached above), Alice and Bill Masters (Michael Sheen, seen famously in Frost/Nixon—what a wonderful play that is too!) talk about their respective relationships. Alice, exhibiting her own low self-esteem tells Bill that Dan will always come back to her because that’s what love is. However, Bill realizes through her own low self-value and beggary attitude that this is not love. Drawing parallels to his own relationship with Virginia, someone who continues to lie to Bill because she doesn’t know how to sort out her feelings in their committed relationship—an obligation to their work, which was a marriage of sorts—that enough is enough. Where do you draw the line on upholding your own integrity?

This understanding and psychology points to the fact that in this world, we could date or marry someone, stay with them for a decade or so, have a baby a decade later (“[He] desperately wants to work out between us” and “do whatever he has to to save our marriage”), move to half a dozen homes within those years and things will still be what they are. (more…)

Le déni

location: elkhart, indiana

“Time takes all and gives all.”
Giordano Bruno

Denying the truth doesn’t change the facts about life and the circumstances we find ourselves in. You can learn a lot from your past and the choices you made when you aren’t so busy denying each and every one of them. But in life we have a horrible thing called “fear” and fear often permeates through every choice we make because of our incessant need to not be alone, to not live out a history, or live an ideal that promises happiness if we compromise ourselves. Yet, that is not how life works. Cowards always avoid difficulty and choose denial to steer through situations that are less than what they perceived for themselves. Such spineless attitudes that stem from a rose-colored perception is a sign of disbelief and broken faith. God help those who cannot help themselves.

Image Credit: Martinsky on Tumblr

Look at the stars fall down

Teddy Kelley - Unsplash 01

"So while turning in my sheets,
And once again I cannot sleep."

Monday morning started off on an awkward foot. I woke up at around 4:27 a.m. because someone crank called me. This hasn’t been the first time either. I have a funny feeling it’s the same crank caller who called me last year on my birthday, at the end of this past April and a few times this past May. But while I have an inkling of who it might be, I really don’t know who it is. Yet the thing is, I never get phone calls at this particular number, especially after midnight from an unknown caller and oddly enough these calls have been around the same time.

"There is no place I cannot go, 
 My mind is muddy but, 
 My heart is heavy does it show,
 I lose the track that loses me,
So here I go."

Could it be a coincidence? Probably not. I remember telling my best friend once there are no such things as coincidence. And hilariously enough, the same week I said that to him, two people he interviewed for one of his “passion projects” said the same thing. Is there no such thing as coincidence? That’s besides the point. Life and fate love screwing with us for shits and giggles, there’s no denying that.

That said, the part of me that trusts my intuition believes it might be him. But I can’t be too sure anymore. Doesn’t it suck when a (mutual) relationship you invest so much time and love in creates self-doubt? That’s not healthy, but at least I’m better off for knowing that.

"And here I go..."

I sat in my bed early this morning, pondering the possibility of him crank calling me. First a letter in March. Then phone calls? While I know in my heart he read my emails for months and months, and even kept a few of them as part of his hidden trove, it  might sound supernatural but there is a part of me that feels weak in such a lifeline now. I can’t explain it. I use to tell him that all my emails were a bookmark to our friendship and I know he acknowledged it. I put my heart into each message and because he and I were alike, I know he always read them. Sometimes even more than once, weeks later, a month later, sometimes even a year later. But suddenly, one day in early May, probably the first week or so—I felt it. I had another dream of him but this time, much more aberrant as he had carved a piece of my chest out and buried it with a box of letters as I watched on.

It’s no secret that I miss him, every damn aching day. (And I love you to the moon and back.) But let it be known that I never loved him because of who he was or who he wanted to become. I only ever loved him because of who he was determined to be. I got to see a beautiful, magical side to him through every conversation, every moment, every laugh and because he was my best friend first, I always made sure to remind him of his magic when he would forget it. And he forgets it often because he’s insecure despite me praying each night he gains strength to be a better, more emotionally adept individual. A friend once told me, the reason why he was so confused about our relationship (as he said so a few times) was because of my strength. Or as he would say, a love that “towers” over anyone he’s ever known. (more…)

Death and All His Friends

flowers 02

This past weekend, I was talking briefly to a friend who has been dealing with family matters surrounding death in its most inevitable form, and honestly, it’s always really hard to understand or even fathom. Thinking back to when I lost my own grandma four years ago, whoever said it gets easier with time is so wrong. It really doesn’t.

The gaps in time between you missing them become so much more wider and then when you end up remembering them in a soft, quiet moment after days or weeks, or months, you realize you miss them even more. You realize that you wish you had more time to spend with them. You realize you wish you had more time in general to make things right and just to know more things that you need to know. (more…)