I was very kindly asked to write an article for After Iftar. I was excited to do so. After all, who doesn’t have topics close to their heart to share with as many people who will listen? We all need moments of witness to reassure ourselves that our actions, our beliefs, our internal dialogue and our intentions resonate with our peers.
So what does that do?
It reinforces our existential wonderment; it somehow acknowledges that between each other we all have desires, fears and drivers and want to feel that someone agrees.
This is why I decided to explore the concept of “Life Stamina”, a phrase I am pleased to have coined for the purpose of this article, and which is self-explanatory.
There are those I noticed since my curious childhood, who possess this very healthy “life stamina”, meaning they are able to cross hurdles and obstacles more easily than others. I also always knew deep in my heart that they were in tune with some kind of source, which gave them infinite amounts of resilience in the face of life’s quite bizarre and unrelenting events.
These are the same people who were charming, who seemed to know the answers, who practiced self-care, who seemed to achieve their goals quite effortlessly and who knew their way around the bends and turns and knew which road to travel, all the while demonstrating their infinite strength or integrity; and I began to assimilate my own suite of coping skills as I went along learning.
It took years of reading, observing and gleaning. I’m still learning as I go along, always in complete awe with one common trait that they all share, which is that they were all unapologetic and steadfast in their own hurdling marathon all the while building more energy and “life stamina”. These were the people who never apologized for anything, and who allowed most events to roll off their back as if these weren’t the disasters that life intended for them.
Budha said, “you yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, desire your love and affection.” And I think that this quote holds the key answer to the many how’s and why’s that I was encountering along the way. The answer is all connected to one source, one energy and one constant in life, which is LOVE.
This short four letter word I am adamant is the only source we need to keep our “life stamina” in the ultimate condition. Yet how many of us actually ALLOW the love to flow through us? It is astounding how we humans allow other desires to drive us, such as greed, love of money and power. Just looking at the state of the world shows that love is not flowing through those that matter the most; through those who lead and decide the fates of millions each day, through those who shamelessly treat their human brothers and sisters as slaves through commerce and economy. By feeding the wrong muscles and depriving even themselves of the chance to exercise their “life stamina”, they are hampering a natural symbiotic process, which only requires a conduit to flow.
Hence, as I realize how crucial it is for all of us to figure out the ways to allow love to flow into us so that we can continue to contribute to our singular and collective “life stamina” I also realize that we need reminding to do so.
I have long noticed how fickle and forgetful we are as humans, and so I take this opportunity to implore us all to find ways to feed our spirit and soul and to figure out the best way to help keep LOVE in our hearts.
Awareness of what goes on around us, of what others who are less fortunate than us face is a great way to build love. Empathy is never a bad thing. You will hear others tell you that it is, and that once you start putting yourself in other peoples shoes, life gets messy and who wants that for themselves?
I beg to differ.
Empathy leads to greater awareness of what challenges others face, and it teaches us generosity. Once generosity enters our hearts, love begin to flow, and once love enters our “life stamina” is fed.
It’s a cycle … learn, practice empathy, allow awareness to bring you the answer to those questions that you may need answered in order to equip yourself to forge ahead like those brilliant hurdlers who managed to tap into the source and who do everything with love.
By Kinda Al-Faris
Marketing, PR and Media Professional