My soul is from elsewhere, I’m sure of that, and I intend to end up there. — Jalaluddin Ar Rumi
Alhamdulillah. I am 40 years old today.
The toughest part of my life was the passing of my mother in 1991 and what followed. My parents were already no longer around when I turned 34. Now that I’m through the other side, it is all sacred to me. It is part of who I am. It is in my blood and spirit, my dreams, my eyes, my worldview.
It transformed me.
When writers write, they know that the story ingredients lie in the transformation of the character. For me, I can lovingly carry my parents’ passing inside me because of the meaning I fought to make of it, how I chose to weave it though the narrative of my life.
I believe human beings are wired for challenge and meaning more than they are for happiness. Sometimes we are lucky when happiness arrives as an indirect benefit of the pursuit of other things, including health, professional accomplishment, love and sacrifice.
Meaning so often comes from agonizing experience, the dark times of the soul, the raw and difficult material from which we must fashion some altered version of ourselves: having committed grave mistakes; fallen and wounded, yes, but stronger for the broken places.
I have some battle injuries and scars and I am grateful for those. “Nana-Korobi, Ya-Oki” – an old saying in Japanese used by many martial arts fighters to represent Tamashii, or strong, determined spirit – “fall down seven times, get up eight” – I am indeed grateful for that eighth time, that very next day, that fresh page. Not everybody gets one. They don’t last forever.
Alhamdulillah. I am grateful for my late parents. I am grateful for my kids, my extended family. I am grateful for my lady. I am grateful for my friends.
I am thankful that I persevered, however difficult, with the life goals I listed as a youth: Strive in the path of Allah. Write. Raise a family. Travel and see the world.
I am grateful for the episodes that got me into spiritual therapy so I could address my troubling issues (ongoing, of course, but improving inshaAllah).
I am grateful for what I have been through, and for what lies ahead.
Azril Mohd Amin | 30th April 2015