These Weekly Tips are a reflective elaboration from my speech at the 2016 Muslim Women’s Literary Conference: “Just Let Me Bee: Finding Your Creative Niche”
Subhanallah. It’s amazing that as I rewrite these posts to you from my lecture, my life’s song plays on the same melody as the slide. Did it hurt you that I didn’t post for a few Wednesdays and left my trust to you in the dust? It hurt me. Writing is therapy. And since I haven’t been writing as freely as I’d like (just jots of ideas down on my phone), I feel stifled. In fact, today, I feel on the verge of an anxiety attack, but I’m working on keeping that under control. The truth is, at moments like this, when stress is high and the proper outlet for me isn’t utilized to let it go, I feel like my back is up against the wall. And I feel that acute fight-or-flight response that triggers an anxiety attack. I’m not a quitter, though. I either get really mean or check out emotionally and psychologically. Lately, I feel ready to fight. Ready to sting.
It’s because a new song has been playing. I thought I signed up for one type of a song–a certain genre in my life. But the melody keeps changing. It’s almost spontaneous, but it’s not. There are traces of rhythms heard and felt before. I’ve been trying to stay on those base beats. I’ve been trying to adjust my dance steps from the last post…it’s taking longer than I thought. There are so many people in my family who need me, and each one needs a different dance to a different song, different tune, different beat. So sometimes I just have to stop and rest…to have energy to dance another day. What I wish for is that we could all sing our songs and be in perfect harmony–a symphony of sorts like the dhikr of the earth. But all I hear and feel is cacophony. I hope and pray we’re gonna get it soon inshAllah…and that we are just tuning our instruments before the big show. Allah is the Best of Planners.
I’m trying not to use my stinger. It’s a risky procedure, you see. It means chancing being a kamikaze pilot, and if you decide to check out before the plane hits, your parachute might not work. The bee, in general, can only use her stinger once. It usually results in death because if and when she uses it, her abdomen is torn off. She only goes on attack mode if she finds the hive to be in danger, or her life and work to be in danger. Her stinger is to be used once at the cost of her life. I do feel like my hive, life, and work are in danger. I definitely need more “me” time to be here for the hive. I have to find joy again…I have to find my song. The one I sang when I was a child and carefree…with matured notes interspersed within.
The Moral: Be cautious in using your stinger because it may very well cost you your life. All of us women have stingers and we get stressed. We tend to carry a lot of weight, baggage, and roles. Some of it really just needs to be set down. What I’m learning is that I have to invest in myself and take proper precautions so that I won’t have my back against a wall and feel the threat and need to sting. It’s one thing to choose to be a wallflower, and a whole ‘nother thing entirely to be pinned up against the wall. But even when pinned, perhaps there is a way out with some wiggling and some honey for healing. Prayers, please. Prayers fly with light, move mountains, and are the weapons of believers. Prayers are honey. Prayers are healing.