Rise of the Isolated Phoenix

Photo by Faiza Taqi Hassan

The only thing that is certain today is uncertainty. I am fully aware it’s an oxymoron, but this statement has never rung truer. Life was all about planning. What’s your five-year plan? How do you see yourself in the future? What do you want to be when you grow up? Then we got knocked down by an avalanche so huge, that we didn’t know what hit us. Needless to say, we were completely unprepared. And just like that, life came to a standstill. Things froze in time. Everything we had thought about, planned for and wanted to happen, came to a halt. It’s as if God had pressed the breaks and said, STOP.

I had heard someone recently call this moment in time, The Great Pause. And this is how I like to think of it. I, like many others went through the same emotions. It was the sudden shock, followed by anxiety, an extreme sense of worry coupled with an awful fear of immanent death and destruction. How are we going to do this? What is really going to happen? Is everyone I love going to be okay? I know I should be grateful, but I really don’t want to be here, was another thought that kept echoing.

I had finally hit my rock bottom, but you know how the cliché goes, the only way from the bottom is back up. Then one fine day it hit me, we are really not the ones in control. I know we believe that, as our faith tells us to. But here was the actual proof, staring all of us in the face. Therefore, either you go against the tide, which we all know is impossible. Or we do something else, something absolutely absurd but completely freeing at the same time. We just embrace what is, and surrender.

This virus personally, has brought me face to face with my demons. The very things I was running away from, were the things that I had to deal with. It wasn’t fair, I thought. Why me, was another question I kept asking. But then, I put down my arms and stopped fighting. And that is when things finally started to make sense to me. If we need to grow to the fullness of our potential, we need to sit with the uncomfortable. We need to see what is, as opposed to a notion of how we think things should be.

Photo by Faiza Taqi Hassan

A friend recently reminded me that if we see everyone and everything through the lens of God, nothing can really be bad, or horrible or ugly. How can it be? When it has the Light of the Beloved shining through. Therefore, taking things further, the words of Shakespeare kept reverberating in my mind. “There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes them so”. How about we then take off the garment of labels, and really look inward. Yes, silencing the noise is not easy, there is so much of it inside and around us all the time. But only if we attempt to try, we can achieve what we deem the impossible.

If you told me six months ago that the world would stop and things would come to a standstill, I wouldn’t have believed you even for a second. However, everything is changing around us now. The impossible has happened, which is also immensely terrifying. But in this fear, there is a magnificent amount of beauty waiting to be unwrapped. The Earth is already healing, so maybe it is time we change our perspective, join hands with her and see this as an opportunity to grow. And along with that, how about we try something different this time. And surrender.

By Faiza Taqi Hassan

- Author of the " A Dance of the Souls" A Dance of the Souls is essentially the author’s journey of self. A book of prose coupled with photography, this body of writing is a metamorphosis of sorts, and is heavily influenced by the spiritual works of the great Sufi masters such as Rumi and Hafiz. Being her, “soul on paper”, the appeal of A Dance of the Souls comes from the pure rawness of the author’s work, and being relatable to the angst of every day life. At the same time, providing an outlet by appealing to a Higher Power that comes from within ones self.

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