Monday, August 26, 2013

Follow the yellow brick road...

It is with the deepest regret that I announce that I will be leaving Canada's capital city, my home for the past 5 years. I had dreamed of moving to Ottawa since I was 12 and I still consider Ottawa to be my dream city. So why am I leaving? Because I have to follow the yellow brick road, of course!

Let me explain: in the past months my relationship has completely broken apart, I lost my job for the 2nd times in a year and my employment insurance was withheld far beyond the 3 weeks it should have taken. While under all of these stresses, I asked God for a good, permanent, full-time job that would allow me the security I needed to build a good life for myself and my mother.

Recently, I was offered a job that I didn't apply for. I was given a full-time, permanent position... only an hour away from my mother. If I had a job, I would probably refuse the position. If I had a boyfriend, I would probably refuse the position. If I had the assurance that I would find a position before my employment insurance ran out, I would refuse the position. But all of these things have been put in place so that I am in no position to refuse the job. I believe God has lined up this yellow brick road and I am not arrogant enough not to follow it.

In fact, the only reason I am not risking staying in Ottawa even with uncertain financial risks, single and jobless is because I believe that this is God handing me an opportunity greater than what I could possibly perceive it to be. The advantages such as money or closeness to family mean absolutely *nothing* to me. What means something to me is the fact that the stars aligned perfectly. I believe in following God's signs. It's what lead me to Islam, it's what got me through the tough nights, it's what gets me through every single day.

God has a plan.

I am extremely angry with God right now. I am angry at His plans. I am angry that His plans including losing the person I loved and perhaps losing even more friends once I move. I am angry that his plans include moving to a city that I already know to be homophobic, islamophobic and racist. I am angry that I am angry at His plan, because I never want to be angry at God. But I am. Regardless of my anger, I am trying to be the bigger person and trust. I trust that no matter how angry His plan makes me, He has planned to my best interest.

I am following the path God has lined up for me. I am following His yellow brick road even though I don't expect the Emerald City by any stretch of the imagination. I am following the yellow brick road kicking and screaming rather singing pretty songs, but I am following the yellow brick road wherever it leads me.

God has a plan.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Guilt tripping, shame and honesty!

Some people have had at me for being "shameless". Shamelessness is usually a derogatory term used to guilt people into silence. I don't understand this concept. I don't understand living in regrets: life happens, we make mistakes, we ask for forgiveness and we move on -- hopefully with the intention not to repeat our mistakes.

I am not going to say that I have absolutely no regret and I am not particularly proud of some moments of my life. However, there is no use to denying that it is, indeed, my life and while it was not all glitter and glory, I am proud of where I am today. I know there is always means for me to get better, but I will not deny the past. Because ignoring the past only further ensures that history will repeat itself. I wholeheartedly believe this. 

Denying the existence of our faults allows us to play judge to those around us. Whereas "coming clean" about your flaws, your faults, your shortcomings, to others, keeps you accountable. I came across a beautiful line recently which read "I prefer to be an honest sinner than a lying hypocrite". Someone took great offence to this line -- probably because of a previous conversation where I had tagged this person as the latter -- and instead tagged me as "shameless" for my past sins. It's annoying.

Let me enlighten you further on my theory on honest sinning: I commit sin, we all do. We are flawed in our humanity. That's a "duh" thing for me. I could live everyday without telling anyone of the sins I have committed and my repentance of those sins. Perhaps it would make me appear as a better Muslim, a better woman, a better person... but it wouldn't make it so. Moreover, if I lied about my sins, I would feel the guilt of not only committing the sin, but committing an extra sin to cover it up. 

I feel more guilty about covering up my sins, than I do about my sins themselves. The truth is, no one is deceived by lies except yourself. You get to live an existence of more pious precondition but your soul is still just as guilty of the sins you commit. The way I see it, I can tell people of the sins I committed and the lessons I learned, in the hopes that my experience will suffice to steer them away from repeating my mistakes. Don't try to guilt-trip me into being a "good little Muslim" who doesn't speak of her shortcomings, don't even try to make my ashamed of my past! God and I have had this discussion before, and while He did not respond, I've already settled with him: asked repentance and for the strength not to recede.