Sacred Authenticity Risks You Losing People's Approval, But Here is What You will Gain Instead!
Updated: Dec 10, 2019
One of the most challenging and uncomfortable things to do in life is to reevaluate and redefine who we are, and assess our values, beliefs, and who we want to be. And one of the hardest things to do is to commit to living a life that is inline with the values and beliefs we become aware of and to choose to be authentic in front of God and within ourselves over hiding behind "who we are supposed to be" simply because it's approved of by the people.
It is very hard to step out of boxes that make us feel safe, ESPECIALLY when these boxes are decorated with the wrapping of "religiousness," cultural expectations, or norms. We become scared to do anything that seems different than what people have defined as religious, or culturally acceptable.
That is why seeking knowledge is an obligation upon every Muslim, because knowledge is what leads to truth and there is nothing more important in this world than truth. For true growth requires sincerity, and sincerity cannot exist in the absence of truth.
Seeking knowledge empowers us to worship God sincerely, through understanding the difference between what He asks of us and what the people ask of us. The more we learn our deen (religion/way of life), but ALSO work on ourselves, the more we will recognize when we are doing something because we are seeking God's approval or the approval of others. We will begin to recognize when we are feeding into the "shoulds" and "musts" placed upon us by the people due to their own personal or cultural beliefs, and when we are really being true to God. This risks us getting the disapproval of others, but the risk is worth the inner freedom we will gain. We will free ourselves from the expectations and opinions of others as we prioritize what God expects and thinks of us. This is what sacred authenticity leads to: inner liberation.
Sacred authenticity is one of the most liberating things we can practice in our life. It means that we are choosing to live a life that is pleasing to God, inline with the truth of who we are (our fitrah), and knowing and believing deep in our heart that this is ENOUGH for us to feel whole and sufficed. It means that we won't let other people's masques keep us from taking off ours and being as sincere and truthful as we can be in front of God.
When we are connected to our intentions, when we stand by our choices, and when we live a life that is authentic in front of God and ourselves, we will be able to face anyone who disapproves even if they also decorate their disapproval with "religiousness," "piety," culture, or anything else!
This is not an easy task, and it is a testing journey for sure, but it is also a journey in which we learn to walk feeling grounded, secure, whole, enough, liberated, and sufficed through our relationship with God and with ourselves. And if you ask me, this is the most beautiful gift God can give us in this world as we walk towards Him, and I ask that He blesses you and I with this gift continuously until we return to Him.
"Seeking Knowledge is an Obligation Upon Every Muslim."
- Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)
Practicing Sacred Authenticity requires that we seek knowledge but also that we turn inward and do the inner work that is so important for any growth, liberation, and happiness we want to experience in life!
It requires that we strive to transform not only our relationship with God, but the relationship we have with ourselves! This requires that we gain both the psychological as well as the spiritual knowledge and tools that will help us renew the lens in which we view God, ourselves, and our path in this world!
To help you begin doing that......
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