We get bogged down some days. Some day it's because of Mental Illness, other days it's cancer, or another illness, other days the sky is simply not the right color, and it comes crashing down to meet us. Other days it's because you believed that you couldn't belong in a space you thought you could. The possibilities are endless. But it happens, for reasons society views as acceptable, and others that push you farther from societies grace.
But, like with any storm, or blazing sunny day, there's relief. It exists, you know. Not all storms last the same amount of time, but they all end. Unfortunately, we don't all make it through though.
But most will make it through, they'll wake up five months later, like I am, and look around to find a lot of pain yes, but also a lot of support. The system lives off of overwhelming us you know. It's how it never dies, because it tears us apart first. Truly, our self love is an act of rebellion against it, as a dear friend recently reminded me.
But as you open your eyes, you see a zombiesk world all around you, and you wonder how you weren't destroyed by it. But you look at the horizon and you see a sunset, or a sunrise, and you see that the zombies are really the good guys, and we've just been hunting them down because they're different, and your heart softens, knowing that everything is going to be okay.
There are a lot of lies filling our lives, the system lives off of them, from role models given to us, to the reality of our own pain. This might be overwhelming, life shattering even, but it doesn’t mean that there’s no hope. Nothing lasts forever, and even systems of oppression can come crashing down with the right revolution, as they have in the past. The challenging part is rebuilding a society that is free of them.
This is where it’s important to live our lives free of the systems of oppression, and becoming safe for others. Where it’s important to build our families and friend groups with support, love, and compassion, instead of oppression, and hate. This is where we start treating strangers with the kindness that we’d want to find, instead of seeing ourselves as different, better, or less. Not just because we’re the building blocks to society, but because translating your life into a life of oppression free existence gives hope to one day building an oppression free world.
Last week, I mentioned that the world sets you on fire sometimes. Yes, yes, it does. But it doesn't have to burn you. We are warriors, channeling flame in our battles, lighting worlds that have only known darkness. In the end of the day, we are powerful, not because we can oppress, but because we survive in a world that was not meant for us.
There’s nothing that we can not do.
We may get bogged down somedays, it means we’re awake, and intuned to the pain all around us. But getting bogged down is not the problem. We need a break. We need to love ourselves, and rekindle our flame wielding powers. It does not make us weak. It does not mean we have failed at anything. Everyday, we are winning. Every day the world grows, topics we’ve never discussed before are being discussed, every day things are easier to see. That doesn’t mean that we’re automatically healing. It doesn’t mean that there’s no backlash from the system for us uncovering its truth. In fact, that’s exactly what happens. The system fights back, by releasing wave after wave of toxicity to overwhelm us, to tell us that we have lost, that there’s no hope, and we have failed. That we were not good enough.
But we are. The system fears us more than anything else. We carry it, we protect it, and we give it life. We are its everything, but the system is only a form of comfort for us, and as many are discovering, we don’t need it. The system benefits a miniscule amount of people, and they are powerless without our oppression, and our carrying them.
Next time you look at the world and see pain, and people resisting seeing the pain, know that the system is fighting back. We don’t fight when we have nothing to lose.
May we always see our power over the system, and find the strength to continue existing in a world that is not ours until we create a world that is. May we carry the hope of finding these things, and overcoming the challenges that we will face on our journeys.
Ahmad Abojaradeh is the Co-Founder of Muslim Community Link, An Engineer, a world traveler, a Peer Support Specialist, a Novelist and the founder and editor of Life in My Days. He hopes to spread awareness of living a life of wellness through his writing, workshops and speaker events. Follow Ahmad on twitter, instagram or facebook.