27 – Grateful

27 years of breathing, yet the first breath was the most important. The opening sequence of life was filled with dramatic cliffhangers and twists. They say begin as you mean to go on. The doctors were certain I was dead; there was no movement or heartbeat after my mother had been in labour for 48 hours. Regardless, I was in need of being delivered, so my mother allowed them to cut her open. This act of love was just the start in a lifetime of sacrifices. Moments passed until a cry echoed through the sterile environment, the doctor shed tears and said “You are very lucky, your daughter is special, she came back to you”. I guess this is where it started the fight to stay alive against my own conditions.
Fast forward a few years I spent my teens in angst, self-harming and self-loathing. Forced to grow beyond my years. As a young adult I fought with demons until they overwhelmed me and drove my sanity into darkness. How did the little girl who fought to exist in the world end up sitting in a pool of sadness, ready to embrace death. This was 4 years ago. If you told me then that I would be welcoming 27, I would have laughed cynically. Those years I was insecure, afraid of being loved, unable to ascertain what I needed and who I wanted. Although I still do not have a sense of direction I am firm in who I am, what I value and why I do what I do.

The first thought of 27 was being grateful to be alive. I didn’t think I would make it this far with a heart which has been thawed of self-loathing and been replaced with love. The near misses life issued had bought me close to death only to remind me to live again. These recurrent exposures instilled in me the fire required to remember the importance of time and me in this equation of life.

Quality and progression is similar to net profit. This measure is based on the currency that you value yourself at. If the expenses are things you do for others and gross profit is things you do for yourself. Then calculate whether your balance is negative or positive. Sometimes these activities can both cause expenses and gross profit for example work. A job you enjoy which causes fulfilment in growth will create gross income but if it also requires depreciating yourself to help the company succeed the quality and progression of life deplete.

The best piece of advice I got was from 2 former managers, one was from my very first manager “The most anyone will say to you is no, but if you don’t ask you will never know” and the other from a manager turned friend, “Remember your value and do not settle.” No one can set your currency, that comes from your self-belief and you carrying out a valuation of your skill set. We all bring something unique to the world. It’s about finding our niche and embracing it. Unless we take the time set our threshold of what’s acceptable for remunation of our time and talent, everyone else will exploit it and pay it below its worth therefore your expenditure increases and your net profit remains negative.

So as I enter 27 I am grateful for life and knowing my worth as I get ready for a world where I am assure of myself and know this is a mast to lead me to the next chapter: Direction.

Happy Birthday Shahe

Climb*

I asked to climb through his branches,
Look at his leaves.
Knowing the importance of each one.
Taking my time to read the inscription of his life.
Thinking this is my last chance.
Once he was so smooth,
But age has roughened him.
Each dip an experience.
Each edge a near miss.
Each bump a memory
At his base, a crack from the woman who tried to saw him down.
She too climbed through his branches,
And caused shedding of leaves which never regrow!
She burned his life to the ground.
And now he lives closed off and never blooms.
Their secrets hidden in the trunk.
His reluctance to allow me up.
But my soothing voice like a gentle breeze;
Spellbounds him and delivers shivers down his roots.
Moving him to the beat of the wind.
As I reach higher and higher.
The branches become more fragile.
If not careful, I could be the result of his breakdown.
So I jump down into the pit of his fallen autumn leaves.
And decided to start there.
Learn all his falls, lost memories, all of his insignificant significant memories.
Revising his past endeavours so I could best support his new ones.
Now my dream is to strengthen him.
So one day we can both reach the top;
And be enriched by the sun.

Updated this old piece from 2015. That year I developed so much love for trees which has never wavered since. I saw everything in life being relatable to the life of a tree. It gave me hope and it pleased my eyes. I reread this poem and it is one of my favourite pieces to date, but as we age our art becomes defined so I felt it was time for 26 year old me to correct 22 year old me.

Orange

Broken Attraction

Traumas cause us to become heroes in our own story. Many times this rise from adversity creates a euphoric high and provides a set of skills which we believe can be used to save others. This leads to the creation of the hero complex – an unprescented need to save others, to be the hero you needed during your adversities. It can start off as a nobel quest, but the knowledge that you changed someones life – made it better even, feeds the ego slowly and it soon becomes an addiction. The happiness of another becomes a validation for yourself. So we form relationships with unconscious hidden agendas, subconsciously looking for individuals who look like victims, who may need ‘saving’ so we can exercise and fuel our hero complex. Along the way we started believing our “act of selflessness” gave us a sense of importance and purpose. In brief moments, the ego is boosted by feeling wanted and needed as you are relied upon as a clutch. At the beginning it can infatuating and somewhat fulfilling, but later you find yourself questioning whether you really loved the person or the person you were trying to mould. Thus, we enter relationships with the fake notion of love, and believe our love will be their saviour.

There is no way to love the broken out of someone. When a person is not ready to move or change their mind set, no amount of love, words and affection will be able to rescue them. Instead you will deplete your energy and be left with a feeling of unconscious resentment. Ultimately the hero complex and our ego will not be able to handle the losses, and what was once empathy will become anger in its disguise. That doesn’t mean broken humans are not worth loving, because honestly who isn’t broken, it’s remembering it was never our job to love the broken out of someone. Someone will heal him, but just because you have the ability to be his beacon in the darkness, it doesn’t mean you should sell yourself short. It’s hard enough others emotionally blackmailing us to make a certain decision, then why do it to ourselves. Why do we tell ourselves: no-one will be able to love him like I do, no one will be able to heal him and put him on the right path. Why do we have to commit ourselves to be the hero in his fairytale? Recognition of the unhealthy thought process of the hero complex will allow us to form relationships with people for who they are and not who we want them to be. It’s unfair on the other person to have expectations and place conditions on your love. It’s never our duty to mother a person to success. We can support but we can’t expect ourselves to be able to carry them to their final destination. They need to walk there by themselves, to ensure that’s where they want to be. Otherwise the journey will be incomplete and they will revert back to the old direction. And this divergence can occur the next day or over years. A person needs to be able to survive without you, that’s why you support and do not carry, as that process will teach them the skills for survival.

Just like the existence of the hero complex, there is such a thing as a victim complex. A person who seeks someone to save them. Where they place their fate on another person’s capability to rescue them. These expectations are unrealistic and unfortunately create a cycle of need. And on the occasion your significant other can’t save you, you believe they are deficient in loving you. Inadvently creating strain on your relationship. This complex will lead you to be attracted to danger to place yourself in situations which require saving despite their inner dialogue advising them against it. Heroes express their love by saving whilst victims quantify another’s love by being saved. This damsel and saviour relationships are what we are exposed to throughout our life from the fairy tales to the movies. Whilst for some these relationships work, the inorganic nature created by both the victim and hero complex hinder growth of the individuals and lead to resentment due to the unfulfilling nature of the relationship. If you have had a series of failed relationships, it is highly possible there is a common dominator and you might find the traits discussed above sound familiar. The single most powerful quote I have heard in my lifetime is “We cannot expect different results by doing the same thing over and over again.” To break a cycle, we need to take the time to have an honest conversation with ourselves, actively look at where we are going wrong rather than wait to be told. So maybe your first step is to identify whether you exhibit either of these complexes.

I wrote this piece months ago after a deep discussion with my friend Kheron and it expanded further when I spoke to two other power females – Lotte and Luna. During these discussions I coined the term hero complex, and recognised I had shifted over the years from victim to hero complex due to a lack of self love. I did not respect my self worth, therefore left it in the admiration of my heroic action. I hope this post starts an inner dialogue and you can relate to it’s content.

From the sky full of suns and stars,

Shahe

Limited Time

We forget everyone’s time on earth is limited. What we would do if we had just one more day with our loved ones… As I held his hand and things looked bleak I was filled with an overwhelming feeling of regret. He couldn’t leave this earth not knowing how much I loved him. I never wanted him to think that he wasn’t an occupant of my heart. Allah works in mysterious ways, because he recovered and some how I got a second chance. So I read this again and again, reminding myself time is limited but love isn’t.

Warmest cuddles,

Shahe

Meat*

*Warning: Explicit – use of foul language and reference to sexual terms.

It’s painful to be thought of as a piece of meat. That all we are, are vessels to insert your parts into. I am not a pretty face or a body, I never have been. I’ve spent time cultivating my mind broadening my soul. So I am more than my body. More than a sex toy to fling once the job is done. But that is all you see. That is all they have ever seen. And despite the efforts to change this, I am still just seen as a fuck and a chuck. My skin crawls with the thoughts of what they must say in their groups about me. I am not the prettiest flower in the bunch but I know I have boobs the number one seller for sex degrading magazines. Then butt’s ofcourse. So now knowing what you say about me, about other women I feel uncomfortable in my skin and in my body. I have spent endless hours developing self confidence and love knowing I am more than the appeal and the crave. No matter how wholesome or skimpy, the respect of a man does not come easy. There is no criteria. My kind heart seems to be a stepping stone, my responses invitations to my bed and my manners scream vagina and dick. And the next time I meet someone I will never know are they entertained by what’s above or is it what’s below that they crave.

I actually wrote this as a diary entry when I was full of anger and sadness. I had no where to displace these feelings other than pen and paper. I read it back recently and realised it was powerful. This is for the men who forget to respect and the woman who thinks she’s nothing more than the sex appeal. We are defiant and strong and much more than just our body, despite the action of others never forget this.

Confidently standing,

Shahe

Self-Love

I think I spent a large proportion of my life believing that another person was going to provide me with the above experience. Putting that much faith and hope in another person, who has yet to become a pillar in your life is a recipe for disaster. The dessert will become sour quickly and burnout. We should never put our emotional intelligence in the hands of another, its unfair on them and ourselves. People are top ups in our lives, the sprinkles and the sparkle, that make it look better but without them the fundamentals are still satisfying. These foundations are only as strong as YOU make them.

Self discovery can happen with or without another person, we just need to be open to answering the questions we avoid truthfully.

Honey beats,

Shahe

Self Respect

Somewhere along the line I lost respect for myself. It no longer mattered who I wanted to be, how I pictured myself. It only mattered how I was to others, how I could distort my pieces to fit the jigsaw of others.

What happened? Why did I find it difficult to be outside social norms… Where these norms have changed to be unhealthy for the soul and fuel it with dark energy. Certain habits have become a fixature in society and rather than combating them, they are celebrated. So when it comes to challenging our actions it becomes easy to blame society and hence our ignorance. But expanding our mind beyond the four walls of education and the two sighted vision, is where we elevate our thinking. You learn what it is to be human and can no longer blame society. I still have a lot to learn but in some aspects I am no longer ignorant. Therefore I cannot say I simply do not know.

Align yourself to be different, to feel comfortable to go against the grain. Acknowledge that knot in your stomach – telling you this isn’t right. Don’t ignore that inner voice, it’s trying to makesure your actions are parallel to your soul – ensuring you are both heading in the same direction. Listening to the inner voice, being comfortable with your decisions and actions despite what others say is a large component of self love. Love starts with respect so only by respecting ourselves are we able to begin that transition to love.

Happy Fridays folks I wrote this piece on the 7th August 2015, when I started my journey of self-discovery. Now I am proud to go against the grain. Be a spark by being you – it shines better.

Escaping self doubt,

Shahe

Cleanse

I wrote this on the 24th August 2015. Alot of my work during 2013 to about 2015 were heavily influenced by Islam. The poetry and written pieces from those years were my discovery years, the years I spent soul searching and falling in love with Islam. I am surprised I never posted it. One thing I’ve learnt over the years on this earth is the power of prayer. I have seen it change the impossible. For me religion is an integral part of my life. Spending time repenting past sins, renewing and reviving my inner Eemaan is in continuous loop. That has been a long journey and one I am still on. Your Eemaan will always fluctuate but ain’t it beautiful when you feel the yearn to fix up, be a better a you and that is Allah calling you back. Calling you back to him. Unconditional love.

Jummah Mubarak

Shahe

F*** It

Some days you just need to say: fuck it, let’s have it.

A conversation and invasive questions led to an conclusion, that this life we live works in mysterious ways and I truly believe, every individual you meet changes you – they are sent as a push, a guidance in your life. And that is exactly what happened tonight. I’ve spent an awful lot of time being confused and misdirected. Always trying to work out my next move, like it’s a game of chess. As if my moves are numbered. Only one path to checkmate. But what if I flip the table scatter the pieces, do the moves not become infinite and unpredictable? That is exactly what I need to do. I realised, I finally did it, I came to the resolution that I don’t need to know the future outcomes, I just need to make decisions for now that align with me – bring me comfort and joy. Life will always unwind as intended and no matter what route you take it will always drop you at the same destination. Much like an uber. Your pockets might be lighter, but your experiences won’t be.

I started looking through my saved posts and realised I had a lot of content which I never posted, so my new found “Fuck it, let’s have it” attitude reminded me that I shouldn’t deprive myself of linguistic art. Some pieces are better than others, some are just plain horrible. But it’s time to lift the filter. I started this blog as a form of expression. So I’ve decided to become unfiltered and post everything in my Evernote account, whilst I work on new material. I have never questions my writing, it is the single thing in my life that I am certain about and it is the one thing I enjoy sharing. If you like anything I write, please share it and if you don’t than comment on it. Maybe I can work on it.

For now “Fuck it, let’s have it”.

Freedom and unfiltered,

Shahe

Farewell Autumn

About to bid farewell to Autumn, where my heart resides awaiting a reset every year. There was a time where I thought sadness ended with a full stop. No continuation, just the end. Until I noticed the seasons on repeat. Year after year, same process but a different renewal. It was autumn which prepped the vessels for the cold winter, it prepared for the gentle cleanse, so by spring nature is born again. Revitalised. Renewed. Recovered.

Whilst early nights frighten some, I enjoy basking in the darkness as the city lights sparkle and create magic amongst the stars. I could walk hours aimlessly in the night with my head in the air. Lost in the fog and sparkle, as if the drama of the day settles and the pressure of life creates diamonds. The beauty of living is the daily reset, and if you choose to listen to the sun’s greeting you will forget the qualms of yesterday, to immerse yourself in today. The cold breeze takes away the senses and the numbness allows a shift in focus. Where I have bad days, I choose to renew myself, shed my leaves and begin tomorrow a fresh. When the depression was at it’s peak this was something I was incapable of doing. I suppose now the fear of returning to a dark place pushes the soul to move and not recede in the ventures of yesterday.

Just as the trees do not beg the leaves to stay, we should not beg what was, use to be and could’ve been to stay. The leaves like moments become golden and bid farewell. Having shaped the tree through the year, they leave their imprint in it’s growth. Now the trunk is taller and the branches more stretched.

The moments I cherish the most is when the trees are semi naked; where some memories are difficult to shed. But the beauty is allowing another person to dance amongst the fallen moments, kicking them in the air. The sun can now finally invigorate even the darkest corners of our mind. Autumn is letting go. It is the first step to change and to a better you. By letting go you can focus your energy on your regrowth. Being completely bare allows us to see our true self and evaluate how we will like to grow. So by spring we are growing and by summer we are glowing. The metamorphose is what attracts the people and elevates our contentness. It’s not always possible to foresee the potential resultant of being stripped bare but the process is worth the struggles of letting go. It can be painful and difficult to confront depths of your soul and the voices that hold us back, but it always leaves us stronger. The vulnerability of being bare, induces a confidence to love not only the good but also the reflection of bad within us. Embracing the change and growth allows us to become more certain of ourselves and expand the self-love. There is a beauty in witnessing the change of colour, shedding of leaves and cooling of the season’s temperament. Almost magical and very much like the changes a person goes through before growth. Until we widen our horizons outstretch and look beyond our immediate vision it will be near impossible to appreciate the beauty of our change.

So they ask me why do you love autumn, the onset of cold? Simple – it’s the beginning of a better me, a more content me. The cold offset by the warm tones of fallen leaves and rich sunsets, mimic the years worth of memory embodied in the wealth of gold. Appreciation of the sun-rays warmth remind us despite the cold, light is never too far to comfort the soul and warm the darkest corners of our mind. Autumn with your rich colours and hidden beauty I bid you farewell until next year.

Much love,

Shahe