You will often find me referring to the story of Yusuf and Zulaikha. The first time I read it was from the Quran.
Reading those words , it was like being punched in the gut.
Zulaikha. I was Zulaikha.
I too fell in love. In love with someone that I was not worthy of and I was blind to that truth.
I, like Zulaikha, turned very ugly when I did not get what I wanted. But, thanks be to God, He showed it to me. I saw it all. My internal and external ugliness, my jealousy, my envy, my lies, my anger, my pride, my ungratefulness, my arrogance, my wickedness.
I was an unholy woman.
Being rejected was the best thing that could have happened to me.
“I am a bad person” and I didn’t even know. I knew but not in the way that only God can show you.
That’s when I started to question what is a good and a bad person.
I remember when I first arrived in SL, my first day at work, the ngo gave me a speech about Sri Lankan guys, “don’t look at them, don’t speak to them, don’t walk alone when it’s dark.” Telling me stories of rape.
Well, it wasn’t long until the local guys noticed the white woman. We spoke and I started to spend more time with them, getting to know them. The point is, in a way they were bad, they smoked and did drugs, they lied and cheated. But at the same time, they were the best people I have ever met, acted in ways that would make my heart glow.
My concepts of good and bad were getting blurred. If these bad Sri Lankan guys were actually good and this good Canadian girl was actually bad, then maybe this world is upside down?
Right and wrong, beautiful and ugly, rich and poor! All these concepts that have been drilled into me since my birth were dissipating.
That’s all they were, concepts.
There were not truths, there is only one truth.
I loved those guys. I remember one evening, sitting by the road, discussing of God and life. “What can we do, We’re just poor Sri Lankan guys!” My heart broke, if only they could see what I saw. The beauty, the wisdom, the humour, the intelligence… they couldn’t see it, because as a world, we told them they were nothing.
That is when I realised that the world is most definitely upside down.
I was lost.
What is left of a person when you can’t define things, people and moments without using your mind?
Coming from the west, without your mind, you have nothing left.
I had nothing.
I was empty.
God emptied me completely.
It wasn’t easy, and I apologize for this terrible analogy but it was like a long acid trip. Always confused, everything upside down, not knowing how to react, not know what was real…
Until I finally fell to my knees, face to the ground.
I was nothing.
That it was all because of God. All for God.
That it was all God.