So I finally got around to posting my personal reflections on this year’s Night of Power, because I couldn’t fully do so earlier without having a chance to apply it first. Now that I have, I am ready to share, since the past couple of weeks have been amongst the happiest I have had in a long time. Each year, this special night serves as a catalyst for ones spiritual journey towards enlightenment: The theme this year seemed to focus on self-actualization in 3 steps/ways.
1) Faith. Think of it as an umbrella. God is in your every breath, always with you through the bad and good and mundane, as much a part of you as you are part of the universe, connected to everyone and everything within it. Taqat, or consciousness of your inner spark, must be turned into a burning flame instead of allowing it to diminish.
2) Love. This refers to the concept of social consciousness in Islam. That is, helping others to achieve. Isn’t that the purpose? To open your mind and learn about God’s creations, to use the love in your heart to build on patience, tolerance, and compassion within your community and around the world? To give of oneself fully and selflessly?
3) Acceptance. Let go of your baggage- all the bad parts, and the hurt from your past and anxieties of the future, and everything in between. Accept yourself and your life, exactly as it is in this very moment. You have to release all layers of yourself first, in order to reveal the Truth at its core. Only then are you free to simply BE.
We are all tourists and travelers in this world, and it is important to take care of our vehicle (bodies) and enjoy the ride. It is perfectly okay to enjoy all the beauties of life and be a part of the world, as long as you do not become OF the world. Enjoy all that life has to offer and be thankful, for that is the surest key to happiness, but do so with wisdom and kindness and respect and responsibility towards others and environment.
Perhaps the most important realization I had was in the very last seconds of the hour-long meditation at the end of the night. And this was to put spirit first. I always reminded myself that I give my entire life and all that I have in this world into God’s hands, and then I am free. Now I realize that I am happiest and most at peace when I am actively living life and what I know of it, so spirit must come first.
Once I put my faith first, it was easy to feel alive in each moment. It became easier to love everyone, and accept those who I have lost and situations which are outside of my control. I felt like my old self for the first time in a long time, laughing at life instead of taking everything so seriously. Things just felt simple– and instead of worrying about all the things that are usually going on inside and around me, I remembered what truly mattered; and I was free.
“Within you, there is a stillness and a sanctuary to which you can retreat at anytime and be yourself.” -Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha