Covert Power Play

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Although mankind share many differences the bridge is in the magic of our similarities. Similarities that even if precarious through doubt in some, have the power to be cemented in others.

Our similarities in perception can fluidly travel to and fro from the above types. My favourite among such similarities is that of the power of perception.

Irrespective of the external differences that separate people into “us” and “them” mainly, race, religion and gender. Perception serves as a magical bridge that binds hearts and minds in understanding because what is perception except as popularly translated in the dictionary,as the way in which something is regarded, understood,or interpreted.

It can be argued based on the content in image above, that Queen Elizabeth’s refusal to respond to the request of apologising for britains role in the slave trade is because she is _______ (fill in gap with any charge that claims a narrative connected to racism and lack of empathy)

Such an argument stems from the perception of the one making it, which isn’t something I personally care to condemn, refute or debate.

I’m interested more in sharing what came from my own perception. I read excerpt from a article discussing Megan markles ancestry amidst talks of her shared ancestry with prince harry.

The first feeling I had was….that’s a bit awkward, followed by a thought that asked why put the request to her publicly?and then another that was criticism based ‘it’s funny how some people expect muslims to apologise for heinous crimes done in the name of Islam’. A train of thoughts followed, that led me to my annoyance for all those who did apologise due to similar pressures that accompany such matters. My annoyance came from my individual personality that couldn’t and still doesn’t accept such situations when I’m made to witness it.

Because of that, I as a black Muslim didn’t have a problem with Queen ELizabeths claimed refusal to apologise.

Why? Because the request seemed like a covert power play and in the grand scheme of things, I felt that she recognised that and actually respected her for refusing, solely because of that.

Those who felt frustrated by it perhaps did so because the need behind the power play was not satiated. And those who were not bothered by it (like me) were not because of the perception we have about it.

“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves” ~C.G. Jung

Whatever the reaction whether frustrated or not bothered, it’s important to note that we merely serve as the audience the one attempting the covert power play, relies upon for the support that ensures the success of their attempt.

Ever since 9/11 happened I have genuinely cringed when ever I saw someone feel entitled enough to request or expect, a Muslim to apologise for or disassociate themselves from attacks that harmed innocent people. Through the condemnation of the attackers, simply because said attackers shared similarity in religion or race. (I cringed even more when some did it)

The entitled individual was exercising a covert power play over the Muslim whether knowingly or not in such situations. The choices presented were basically; apologise so I can feel better and if you don’t it means you are like them!

My soul has never felt comfortable witnessing such psychological power plays. Successful Covert power plays leaves the aggressor feeling powerful and the victim of it powerless. It’s an exchange that taxes on ones honour whilst granting the other an illusion of increase in their own.

The motive for empowerment is concealed in what ever narrative the sought after empowerment is presented through, hence why it’s covert. It’s disgusting to say the least. In some ways even cowardly as it shares fragrance with passive aggressiveness.

Elizabeth may have condemned slavery in other ways but it’s the refusal of requests like this that many choose to judge by. Although I have no interest in other people’s conclusions per say, I do care about how certain truths can be obscured when viewed through a black and white lens.

It opens the doors for much judgement as a battle of the twits commences. A black person who shared my perception on this matter can be quickly labelled a sell out who isn’t “woke” and a white person who has it will be labelled a concealed bigot, relentless perhaps in making excuses.

When the truth is in today’s day and age differences in perception, is what separates people into a new form of us versus them.

I’m just wondering what is us and them in this context? Intellectuals vs pseudo intellectuals?

This isn’t about pride it’s about honour, and what is self love without the awareness of when you are getting mugged off on the sly? Successful covert power play simply means you’ve been subdued successfully.

It’s successful because one remains non the wiser while it happens to them. Apologising through empathy or stating your position about something through compassion for another as a show of solidarity, isn’t the same. Definitely not the same when that intent is fulfilled through you being a victim of a covert power play that invited you to state what have you, in the first place.

The former elevates a soul and the other dishonours through subjugation. The former shows a strength of character whilst the latter the lack thereof (for many reasons)

What’s interesting is I feel compassion for the one covert power play is exercised on and anger towards the doer. I feel anger for the latter because they attempt to commit, what I see as psychological humiliation on another.

Islam doesn’t only place value on human life but also the honour of a human being. And a coverted power play attempt disregards that ones honour is sacred.

Is it fair for me to state that one who has been subjugated under such circumstances lacks character?

In some cases yes and in others no, there is a plethora of reasons as to why this happens. In summation the reasons that support the no in my answer above, is because some people get subjugated due to blind spots that stem from unconscious matters in play in their own psyche. Matters that can’t really be equated to their character by default. The reason why I view it as an attempt on ones honour is why I also see those who don’t see through it, as having a lack of character. It’s that lack that allowed the infringement on their honour, an infringement I feel their wholesome character could have evaded.

Character is something that can be built as well as discovered the more one understands themselves. It’s innate gifts can be discovered and through experience and knowledge other aspects of character can be acquired. Hence why I like to shed light on these things.

After all at times ones perception of granting the benefit of the doubt in some cases towards some people, is also the root cause as to why covert power plays
happen to be successful. What’s more it’s the shield of ‘misunderstanding’ that the one waging it hides behind. It’s what gives them the guts to attempt it.

So Perception is not only the lens through which reality is understood. It’s also the lens that leads to what reality one experiences…..in any given situation.

Disregard? Regard Dis…

To respond to ones disregard is to disregard the fact that you have been disregarded. It doesn’t seem that way in the moment though, in the moment you most likely feel like you are checking an absurdity. A diabolical piece of nonsense that is in need of correction. Your correction of course….

It’s always in nuanced moments that we are granted the gift of expansion, often without realisation. Ironically It is in such moments that we also steer off course, leaving our ports of reason.

To look back later with a bewildered thought process that asks my favourite question of all “what the hell was that?”

Favoured because it captures the nature of the aforementioned nuances. In its conclusion it encapsulates and balances both the event and your contributions to it effectively. You have to get to know what the hell that was!

“To recognize one’s own insanity is, of course, the arising of sanity, the beginning of healing and transcendence.” ~ Eckhart Tolle

One shouldn’t converse with disregard
nor take defence as a weapon.

To do the former is to co sign your erasure and to resort to the latter is to live in disorder, whilst assuming you are creating order.

Above it all one shouldn’t take shame as a companion and fear as a tenant.

When someone disregards your voice or your needs, whatever you disregard in such moments, it must never be the disregard itself. Due to misunderstanding of what your actions actually represent.

The intention to check the nonsense is a trap that makes one give nothing but validity to it.

If the nonsense was a disregard of you than in response to it, you grant validity to being disregarded. Honouring yourself by walking away, removes from the other the validity that hides them from their own shadow. The validity that illuminates the illusion that due to your reaction, matter is now levelled.

The hardest cross road a person can face, is the cross road of choosing between transcendence over a problem and entanglement with the problem.

It is hard because in the moment with adrenaline high you don’t see the choices for what they actually are. (transcendence or entanglements) No you see injustice and speaking out. Which is the case when you are summoned through compulsion and not composure.

Nothing has ever made me grow more than to wander about my own insanity and watch through it sanity be born.

“…and half of learning to play is learning what not to play
and she’s learning the spaces she leaves have their own things to say.
and she’s trying to sing just enough so that the air around her moves
and make music like mercy that gives what it is and has nothing to prove

she crawls out on a limb and begins to build her home
and it’s enough just to look around and to know that she’s not alone

up up up points the spire of the steeple
but god’s work isn’t done by god
it’s done by people”
~ Ani DiFranco

Worth knowing…

There seems to be a lot of focus on the topic of others forgetting ones worth. There isn’t enough focus on the more important reality that we ourselves have misunderstood the very foundation and function of our own worth.

In most quotes about worth we see statements like “your value doesn’t decrease on someone’s inability to see your worth”

Or “Never measure your self worth by what others think you should become”

Even though both statements are true,it constantly directs the mind towards the false notion, that ones worth is only at risk of being forgotten or not seen or valued due to the shortcomings of others. The focus on crime against our worth not being acknowledged, is therefore pitted against the external reality first and foremost.

This leads to resentment of experiences and shame during them. What’s worse the self criticism that arises in the individual, becomes a burden because the premise behind it is unjust and irrationally fashioned.

When we consider the fact that our worth is fixed, that it is something we are born with and not something we cultivate through knowledge or skills we obtain in this world. Then we come to the realisation that our worth isnt also something we can increase or decrease.

It is our potential it is a gift carried by and imprinted into our individual souls.

There is a profound liberation from limiting beliefs and shameful judgemental feelings, when we view our worth through the correct understanding that its foundation is absolute and not relative. That its function is fixed and not malleable.

If our worth cannot be increased or decreased. Then presuming our actions or non actions that leave us feeling disappointed or shamefully self critical, have a correlation to us doing a disservice to our own worth becomes nonsensical.

Presuming how others treat us being a reflection of our value as individuals by default also makes no sense.

Our worth is something that is there in and of itself whether not acknowledged at any given time by you yourself or another.

Anything you do or don’t do, anything done to you or not done to you. anything you achieve or don’t achieve…bears no mark on your worth.

Talents are an expression of our worth it isn’t our worth per say. Talents are glimpses of our potential and our potential is our worth.

Our unrealised potential is our unrealised worth. We strive to meet it and to embody it yes, but to forget it’s there? Would be a misguidance that gives unconscious core beliefs ample room to roam and manoeuvre so as to direct our fates.

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To truly understand this is to achieve freedom from the mental constraints and judgments that shackle and limit us. Every sad feeling or disappointment we have, carries the huge momentum it does only because we unconsciously relate it to our worth. When our worth is protected and sacred.

It isn’t something that can be taken away, something we can get rid of, chop up or expand. It is simply something we can use or not use. Acknowledge or not acknowledge.

The comfort and liberation is in knowing it’s there and it never went anywhere. Nor will it ever.

We celebrate our worth when we feel good about ourselves or when external matters we strive towards reflect back to us success.

When we don’t and it doesn’t we are quick to presume a lack of worth.

This assumption is deep rooted in the misunderstanding of the blue print of our worth.

Our worth is a gift that was never destined to be diminished by our actions. Our actions can utilise it but can never take away from it.

Flaws are not a signal for absence of worth. It is sign of being human…

The Self & the Soul

Flashbacks play the role of the witness
and our hearts?…the platform that was pillaged.

The question “How did I get here?”is like a traffic light signal, inviting the self to take a second look. It’s encouragement of the soul for the self to see. A chance to cultivate understanding, for all that it (the soul) knows. The self may at times lack awareness but the soul was there concious and still through all of life’s experience.

‘…Certainly, I run the affairs of My servants by My Knowledge of what is in their hearts. Certainly, I am the All-Knower, All-Aware’” [Tabarani]

As we unintentionally project onto Allah all that we feel about ourselves. We exercise an oversight in regards to his mercy and knowledge of what is truly in our hearts. What we reveal and conceal is perhaps most easiest to understand but what about all that is stored away blocked through unconscious veils never having seen the light of acknowledgement.

He guides, our only task is to be receptive and live in the moment.

He knows, and for us to be able to hold space for that which he knows, being more than we could imagine. Due to the barrier between the self and the soul is true pragmatism & sound reason.

It would be a lie for anyone to say I see I know and so I’ll act. Or regarding a successful past matter, where sound conclusions for it exist…… it would be a lie to say I saw I knew and so I acted, as a summary of what happened.

No we see or saw and the rest is and was, always a mercy from Him. A mercy that assists or assisted us on our individual journeys.

There is a relationship between Allah and the soul that the self is not always privy too….

I think the moments where the self comes to know about this relationship, are the only times it truly feels inner peace.

Anxiety and choas reign supreme in a being, when we allocate understanding of “knowledge of what’s in their hearts” to simply be to what the self knows.

That is not the knowledge by which Allah runs our affairs. It’s a mere fraction of it. Usually the fraction that causes us the most anguish. Because through it we judge and berate ourselves for mistakes made, through it we can end up in the valley of despair. Through it we project onto Allah. Through it we do too much…

The self often has access to knowledge of the how and not the why, the soul both and Allah a witness of it all. So through that barrier that keeps the self out, Allah knows and through his mercy with that knowledge and more he governs our affairs. Through his grace he opens the door to understanding…

Through him in many ways we are blessed.

Reflection: winter 2017

In my life I’ve met all kinds of people both negative and positive. I’ve learnt from them, my uniqueness and how there is a place for it in this world. In so long as I show up as myself.

From the reckless I’ve come to admire my shrewdness. From the disorderly I’ve come to appreciate my structured ways. From the heartless my heart and from the suspicious? my mind that sees perspective like a buffet. My soul that values truth over narratives that please the ego.

But the best of what I’ve learnt was from the positive people I’ve met, heard or read about. Peoole I’ve learnt from in unconventional ways. I saw glimpses of my unknown self in the good qualities they possessed.

To see them hold space for themselves I’ve learnt to do the same. To see them embrace being misconstrued and blamed with a dignified poise of no response, I learnt to not deface my soul or empower another with my words.

To see them embrace vulnerability as a strength I’ve learnt to invite back my own. From them I learnt love, and to save a lot for myself.

I enter the winter of 2017 grounded in myself, not fearing it’s cold nights like I did in previous years.

The winter came wheezing and freezing but it met a version of me that wasn’t shaking or fleeting. I feel quarantined by a warm and steadfast soul.

The greatest change to infiltrate my world is change that arrived as a gift from the grace of my lord.

To know that someone saw me beyond the pedestal I was put on, a pedestal that burdened me most of my adolescent and adult life. To know that someone saw through the smiles I dished out and the problems I solved. Through the hardships I endured and mundane cycles of self neglect I rinsed and repeated with no resolve.

To know that someone was all along ‘seeing’ and cared enough to destine change that serves me…. Is to know that I was loved deeply.

To be able to look back and connect the dots, to find a pattern of this love creating and placing things in place to assist teach and bless me…

To bring me to where I am, to be able to stand in awe and finally understand. Is to look back and witness, no to look back and KNOW where to place my trust always. I put my trust in he who created me and thereafter took care of me.

As strong as I’m precieved, to him my vulnerable self always greeted.

The vulnerability I hid from the world he saw in all its cracks and confusion in the dead of night away from the judgment I was accustomed to in regards to how vulnerability was perceived.

I am glad In spite of all of the poisonous beliefs I adopted unconsciously that daring to believe he hears and gets me wasn’t contaminated. That belief was the safeguarding of my heart and sanity. The tunnel of life the cord between me and my lord. It’s a tunnel when entered your projections on him are rejected & left outside.

Without the space that tunnel led I don’t know how I would have survived the past 7 years.

To expect the best of Allah is to expect that He will have Mercy on you and relieve you of hardship.

The how never matters what matters is cultivating the wisdom to know where to direct your expectations.

Is it not wise to direct expectations towards he who not only is most capable but most gracious and unwilling to see you disappointed?

“Verily your Lord is Generous and Shy. If His servant raises his hands to Him (in supplication) He becomes shy to return them empty” (Ahmad, Abu Dawood, Tirmidhi)

It is also wise to know that the empty hand you sometimes see is a mirage for it’s not from his sunnah/ways to leave you empty.

The relation between what we know and what we see is only ever settled through him.
Ibrahim alayhis Salam understood that when asked to slaughter the apple of his eye, his son.

I came to understand that through many chapters of my life.

I find peace in the statement leave the outcome to Allah.

To surrender where he is concerned is an insurance against anxiety, fear and concern.