The is a Push conversation.
I truly loved the book Spiritual Liberation by Michael Bernard Beckwith. While reading it I felt as if I could have written every word. Except for the details of his stories, I felt exactly the same as he described his surprise at situations that pushed and purified him.
My path has been an Islamic one, according to onlookers. I would prefer to call it a quranic one. I came to the path because I read the Yusef Ali English translation of the Holy Qur’an. Immediately, my spiritual connection and worldview of things divine was clarified.
It’s been almost 40 years since that first reading of the Qur’an. I have read many translations and witnessed personal, social, socioeconomic and political metamorphosis as I struggled with the content and intent of Islam and the Qur’an.
My struggle had been aligning my growing reverence for the Qur’an with the Islam that’s practiced by people at home and around the world. I laid this struggle to rest over time. My first book, The Spiritual Warrior’s Guide to A Proven Islam (1999, 2002), discussed the issues that were important to me as I raised my female voice amid the sea of mostly male scholars and pundits.
The softcover edition — it was a spiral-bound book before that — was in production when the World Trade Center was attacked in 2001. Need I say more?
Very likely because of the timing, I did not feel heard and encouraged, and learned not to feel maligned because of it. My purpose on the surface was not to be approved by others, but to share my take on messages in the Qur’an. To “put it out there” and be done with it, so to speak.
I took this purpose deeper in my second book, Nine Principles for Loving Living (2015). Here, I focused on the Fatiha or Opening Prayer also known as The Key and the Lord’s Prayer of Muslims. I felt compelled to share what had been inspired within me — that there are nine principles* for a great, love-filled life, written right into the prayer.
Once again, I felt tolerated by my target readership. I admit that I’d wanted the “atta girl” pats on the back for my contribution. This was the surface level. Plus, I don’t do marketing and outreach that well, so the feedback has been minimal.
More and more these days, I am feeling liberated from expectations.
If I truly thought these books would prove my worth in society or cause Allah/God to heap blessings on me, I am now totally disabused of the thought. As my mother would say when she felt something was not for me, “Perish the thought.”
My laughable though poignant aspirations for acceptance perished and destroyed, I’m thinking instead about redefining success as simple satisfaction. I certainly have that. At the same time, I also want more people to read these books.
The lightbulb has gone off and I think I’ve got it now. Spiritual liberation is the success of personal satisfaction. It is not about others reading my words or feeling moved by them. I am spiritually free in every waking moment, attending to every single thought that I can. Some thoughts I discard, others I cherish, and still others I store away for safekeeping.
Through it all, I’m continually reminding myself to trust that I’m doing as I must with what I’ve been given. I am more spiritual in appreciating the gifts I’ve been given, and I feel liberated by the thought that I own this path. This one is mine.
My thoughts are my success.
The writing of these books has been a gift; I am paying it forward by making the books available. Yes, even though I want some renumeration for the books themselves. Yes, I surely do want people to read and review them.
And, yes, I now boldly choose to be unafraid of human beings who may not like my ideas or how I express them. Others’ thoughts about who I am and what I offer, is for those others to examine. I am complete.
Download the first Chapter of The Spiritual Warrior’s Guide to A Proven Islam here.
To purchase the full Spiritual Warrior’s Guide, send $20 to http://PayPal.me/healmobile, and I will send you a copy while copies last. S&H included. The plan is to update and reprint during 2018.
You may read excerpts from Nine Principles for Loving Living on this website. It is still a digital book and I am offering it for free until I print the softcover version. You’ll need to give me your email address on the link page and then you’ll get the download link.
If you’re inclined, you may donate $4 or more through http://PayPal.me/healmobile. Be sure to send a message with your donation so I know what you’re ordering (or not).
Want both books together? Please round up to $25. PayPal gets a fee from the transaction and I systematically undercharge so I’m told.
I won’t quibble, just please do order, okay? Thank you. I appreciate you and your comments.
*The nine principles are, Name, Praise, Master, Unify, Serve, Ask, Receive, Push and Expand.