Posted in My Midnight Blues, My Religion is Love

Orlando Blues

I feel for the mothers

For their cries in the dark

I feel for the fathers

For the deep pain in their heart

I feel for the brothers, the sisters, the neighbors

For the memory they treasure

Of a young guy coming home

Being free to love

I feel for the killer

For his lack of self-love

I feel for his family

For the loss of innocence

I feel for the wounded

For the ones who survived

I feel for the dead

For their bodies lost in bloodshed

I feel for the world

For the ones feeling empty and scared

I feel for the world

For the ones who don’t care

I feel for the world

For the ones shouting back

Let us live in Peace

Let us free to be who we are.

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I pray for the Orlando Victims of Human Madness

Posted in My Midnight Blues, My Religion is Love

Another kind of prayer

When I don’t have time to stop

The crazy speed of my busy life

When I can’t stop the race

And sit down for a while

I remember

That you are there with me

In the folding, the washing, the cleaning

In the hoovering, the ironing, the sweeping

In the sheets to hang

In the beds to make

In the cooking madness

In the table to set

In the laundry basket

In the rushing around

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You are there

I can then stop worrying

Stop feeling guilty

Not having enough time

To sit down and talk to you

To sit down and say thank you

I offer you my day

As a prayer

Credit Image – Amuse Bouches Tumblr

Posted in My Religion is Love

Path of Love

Searching for my place

Searching for a path to follow

When roads are risky

And full of sorrow

 

Searching for a place to be

To feel secure

Like a light in the dark night

A place with a future

 

Searching again and again

Feeling trapped in nonsense

There must be a place

Where all of this makes sense

 

And then behind a song

Footsteps on the sand

A path to follow

Power in my hands

 

God is there

All along the way

Whatever you believe

And whatever the way you pray

 

I won’t say Jesus is my saviour

But I can say

That he is the one

Showing me the way

Out of pain

Out of suffering

Out of darkness

Out of craziness

 

Jesus is showing me the way to God

The way to peace and unaltered love

I just say his name

And I feel safe

 

The search ended

I found my place.

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Kim, I own this to you – You are an angel!

Posted in My Religion is Love

My first Ramadan – The missed Eid

I know Ramadan is behind us. But I wanted to “kind of finish” what I started.

Back in 2011, after nearly 4 weeks of fasting and prayers, I was ready to go to the Mosque to celebrate the Eid. It was important to me as part of the experience I had decided to take and as part of sharing an important religious moment with my husband.

As it’s often the case, we got to know that Eid would be a day earlier than what was planned. I remember seeing my husband rushing home one evening, saying to me “wake me up early tomorrow; S. will collect me to go the Mosque”.

I don’t think he realized that I might have been happy to share this special moment with him too. He knew it during the afternoon, but he did not bother telling me. I could have asked my boss for a half day, before leaving work. I could not anymore. It was too late.

I remember leaving the next morning for work, feeling empty. I remember tears falling down my cheeks. I remember my husband calling and not understanding why I felt this way. I remember him, making fun of me, for acting so foolishly. I would say “we will have other Eid”.

I couldn’t explain it. I had felt such peace for one month. I had felt like I belonged. Belonging to what, I don’t know – Belonging to life, maybe. I had felt like nothing could bring me down, nothing could change me or break me. I had felt close to God, closer enough to feel that there was no fear to have, in this life, in the next. And in one second, all vanished. I was sitting on a solid rock and then it was only dust.

I don’t know whether it’s because I had expectations or because I thought that doing the Ramadan together would build us, as a couple, would help us grow, would make us stronger.

The day passed and evening came. He spent his with his friends. I came back home feeling down. I cried and I stopped talking about it. My husband would not have understood, or would not have wanted to understand.

It was not my religion after all. But I kept a wonderful memory of my First Ramadan, despite the sadness of the last day and the feeling that whatever I would do, the man I loved so much, would never ever understand me, my true feelings, would never really get to know who I was and what I was looking for.

Posted in My Religion is Love

My first Ramadan – Nasheed

I did not know what the word “Nasheed” meant. Internet says it means  Islamic vocal music.

At the beginning of Ramadan, I looked into everything I could find on the subject. I wanted to make it count. I wanted to get closer to God.

As I told you before, I did spent this time mostly alone. And it was great. I could decide what was good for me. I did not feel any pressure in doing this or that. Or not doing things right.

From beginning to end, I used to listen to this Nasheed. And it brought me peace and gave me a sense of belonging. I felt  I was part of a much bigger community than I ever thought could exist. I felt close to millions of Muslims fasting around the globe.

I was not alone.

 

Posted in Mister Pop, My Religion is Love

No compulsion in religion

I needed time to make up my mind

Should I write about it or not

How can I write about it, without talking about the people involved?

I have learnt to back off, to think about things, to pray, before letting the words flow out of my mind, into the paper or on the screen

I used to write things down quickly, to think about the interest of my words, only after having them under my eyes (and having let yours read them)

Should I write about it or not

Can it be of any inspiration to others?

I don’t know.

I just decided that maybe these don’t have to be inspiring words

I just decided that maybe you can help me, maybe you can share advice

 

It’s about religion.

Not about me and my search

It’s about Mister Pop

It’s about Mister Pop’s dad. About HIS religion. About rules and about things you must do. And things you are not allowed to do, to eat, to think about.

It’s about what we want for Mister Pop

I wish him to grow up knowing about religion in general

I wish him to learn about Islam, Christianity and Judaism. About Buddhism and other spiritual paths of life.

I wish him to learn about Christmas, Ramadan, Yom Kippur.

I wish him to be able to make up his mind, to choose what’s best for him, to think by himself, not follow a path that might not be the right for him.

But his dad has another point of view.

Mister Pop must change his name

Mister Pop must have an Arabic Name

Mister Pop must eat Halal food

Mister Pop must do this or that

I MUST do this, respect his choice, respect his religion, respect his culture

 

Some might think it’s not a big issue

Some might think that I should just let things be the way he wants them to be

 

It’s an issue for me

It’s an issue because I feel oppressed by his view

I feel oppressed by his behavior

I feel oppressed by the way he is treating us

I feel oppressed by his way of saying “you must”

 

I am dealing with this, talking

Trying to discuss things peacefully

But nothing will change

And I won’t give in

I gave in too many times already

 

We are playing a hard battle

And I am sad to see that religion is being part of this battle

It’s even at the center of it

 

But when I feel completely overwhelmed

I remember that God’s love and mercy are infinite.

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 Credit image – Pinterest

Posted in My Religion is Love

My first Ramadan – 17 hours

The first day, I woke up to eat Suhoor. I did not really know how to fast, as it was the first time I was doing it. I did not really know what to eat. I had taken a look at blog posts and read books about Ramadan, in order to get an idea.

I had bread, fruits, dates and a tea. It was four in the morning. My husband did not wake up with me. But if I remember well, he did have his last meal around 2 o’clock, when he came back home, while I was fast asleep.

After having eaten this, I prayed (my way) and went back to bed.

We did not fast long together. Before I knew it, he was back to work, and I was left alone. Nobody thought of inviting me really. And who could have really known that I was fasting anyway.

I wasn’t sure about saying out loud that I was fasting. People were already surprised when I said that I was getting married, and even more when they realized that I had kept my relationship quite secret for more than 2 years. But they guessed obviously.

They did not make any bad comment and this really helped me. They were quite interested by my motivation, what fasting meant to me or how I was handling not to eat and drink for 17 hours.

I have to say not drinking was pretty hard. What was good is that I was in Ireland. And in Ireland summer is not too hot.

I would use lunch time to walk in nature, pray and read books, notes about Islam, about religions in general; reflect on the things I was learning.

The first day, we had Iftar at our friend’s home. Every Ramadan, they would gather everybody around their table. To be true, I was not starving and I did not recall myself jumping on food, as if I hadn’t eaten for months. I recall taking the time to eat, to value the food I was putting into my mouth.

But being horrified by the amount of food being cooked, half of it being put in the bin. And by men running outside to light a cigarette, without even waiting that others had finished their meal.

Till next time…

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Posted in My Religion is Love

My first Ramadan – The Impulse

I was freshly married. I was floating in a universe of joy and peace. I was happy and blessed. Things were not perfect. I only believed they were.

But anyway, back in 2011, I made the choice to fast for our first Ramadan, as a married couple. Wherever you go, whoever you meet, you’ll be fascinated by the light that shines in Muslim people eyes, when you talk about Ramadan. They seem to all wait for this month to start.

When you don’t know anything about it, you may wonder what’s exciting about it. It, more or less, looks like a great challenge, a real trial.

I wanted to make up my mind. I wanted to have a go. It was also a way to thank God for his blessings and presence in my life.

Till the last day, I wasn’t sure I could handle it. I had wanted to fast the year before that one and it had been a total failure.

Then one evening, there was a documentary on TV about Somalia and starvation. One woman was being asked whether or not she would fast this year. She was only skin and bones. She had 3 children to feed. She looked like a ghost but she answered this: “I’ve always fasted. I will do so this year as well, as long as I have enough for my children. God will provide for the rest.”

I couldn’t believe what I just heard. The face of this woman is carved into my memories. This evening, I knew that I would make it. I knew that if this woman could do it, I could do it with her, hand in hand, so far away and still united by the same wish to get closer to God.

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Posted in My Religion is Love

Ramadan & New mindset

Three years ago, I was newly married and I decided to fast. It was a very personal choice. I am not Muslim. I can’t even say that I am Christian. I am still in search of clarity and answers. I am fine with it. Not every day. Some days I wish to belong to one or another religion, just because it seems easier. Maybe it’s not. Others days, I feel like it’s ok to search and learn again and again.

For some of my friends, Ramadan has just started. I wish them a blessed month, month of prayer, light and peace. Some have brilliant ideas to make Ramadan a real time to reflect on God, to get closer to God. They organize activities with family and friends. They do prepare for it. Check out Salma’s blog.

Mister Pop is still a bit young to understand the meaning behind Ramadan. And I am not the best to explain it to him right now. Which leaves me with one more year to get ready!

I thought this Ramadan would be a good time to share a bit of my story with you.

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In fact, I had to get a bit away of my space here, to come back with a new mindset and new ideas. I feel at peace with my blog. I feel fine in general, despite the difficulties I have to deal with and it’s a big step for me.

Stay tuned and have a fabulous day!

Posted in My Religion is Love

Love your enemies – How are we supposed to manage this?

Thinking about it, is one thing.

Thinking that we can put this “order” in practice is another.

Practicing it is a tough task, a very hard one for the sinners we are. Impossible?

NO.

Some men did manage to love their enemies. Some still do. Martin Luther-King, Gandhi, Mother Theresa, Malala Yousafzai, Nelson Mandela and many others.

They could be super-heroes. But they are like us, men and women wish flesh and bones.

So I imagine we should all be able to do so.

HOW?

I don’t have any clue.

I don’t know if I will ever be able to do so.

I don’t know yet if I will ever be able to forgive the ones who caused me pain.

I feel like I can pray for my enemies but love them the way I love my friends, I am not sure I even want to try doing so.

I don’t even know if this is right for me.

WHAT’S NEXT?

I believe the only way to love our enemies is to see the light of God in every single human being.

Only God can show us how to love our enemies. Only God can grant us the ability to master this task. God is the only one to have the keys. It’s towards him we should turn to understand this nearly impossible equation.

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