Overcoming the FEAR of Being Yourself

by Young Che on February 11, 2008

Yesterday I thought I was on my way to wasting another day.  It would seem that I have an uncanny ability to waste valuable time like none other.  There are times when I look at the positive side of being able to waste time in effective ways the way that I do.  In fact my skills in this area have grown over the years.  I’ve refined my skills in such a way that even my wasted time is convertible to productive time.  I am considering sharing my skills with the public one day very soon.  I got up yesterday with the intention of either driving to the Skatepark of Hammond or going to the gym in an attempt to get back into my workout routine.  Neither one of those realities manifested themselves for me for a combination of reasons.  One is the I really enjoy any opportunity that I get to chill because they seem so far and between.  Another reason it became difficult for me to get out of my house in a timely fashion was my stupid laptop which has been compromised recently.  About a month ago it started freezing up, stalling, running slow, shutting down and all types of other bogus type behavior all of a sudden.  I don’t know if it got hit with some type of virus or its just because it’s a low end Compaq computer who from what I understand can really produce usable junk.  It had been trouble free for almost two years so I wasn’t complaining until now.  But what good will it do me?  Not much huh.  The only way I’m able to work now is by borrowing my daughter’s MacBook.  I guess it was a pretty good investment.  She seems to love it.  Although it raises in my mind another debate whether to go with a Dell for my business needs or go the Mac path for my secondary creative endeavors.  Decisions, decisions.  Anyway, I managed to let yesterday morning slip by without getting out of the house like I would have liked to do.  Considering it was Saturday I have to give myself a pass.  Not to mention I had an ace in the hole.  I knew that I was planning on going out with The Brothers on a Final Call paper push later on that afternoon.  That’s always the best way to redeem any day to absolutely ensure that no matter what else you did with the day it was impossible for it to be considered a waste.  Even if I touch one person a day with the life giving teachings of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad I’ve accomplished part of my job.  If I let one person know about the great work that the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan is doing on behalf of Black people all over the earth then I’ve accomplished part of my mission.  And what is my mission?  To help Minister Farrakhan.  We got together about 3pm and went into the same neighborhood that we went into last weekend.  We knocked on some doors and talked to the people on the streets.  They were happy to see us making an effort to get back out into the community.  It feels really weird going door to door again.  It has been so long that we are all trying to reacquaint ourselves with the process of reaching out to our people.  We’ve spent so much time rebuilding our individual lives as a result of Hurricane Katrina that we have not dedicated a tenth of the time that is necessary to help redeem a fallen people.  When you interact with our people in the various neighborhoods in New Orleans one thing is for certain, the poverty that the world witnessed in the days following Hurricane Katrina has not managed to do a vanishing act.  It is alive and well and so is the suffering that comes along with it.  I have to admit that I’ve been intentionally ignoring news programs as well as the local newspapers because to read about the daily violence that plagues our city has a way of draining your spirit. However, I cannot allow myself the luxury of ignoring the suffering of the masses because I still get no peace of mind.  I can’t find any peace of mind because I have committed my life to helping to liberate the very people I would love to ignore.  No matter what I am going through personally I still have a duty to help civilize the uncivilized.  This happens to be the 1st work.  If you don’t read the Final Call already please make it a habit.  In the current edition (Volume 27 Number 19, February 12, 2008) on pg. 26 Brother Jabril Muhammad is sharing excerpts from the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan’s answer from a wonderful book entitled “Closing the Gap.”  “When you seek refuge in Allah from the lack of strength and then the lack of strength makes one lazy in the performance of duty.  Because even though we’re going through a dark period that does not absolve us from requisite duty; duty to God; duty to self; duty to wife; duty to children; duty to community and nation.  So when  you lose strength then you become lazy in the performance of duty.”I’ve referenced this passage because it explains something I was talking about in one of last weeks articles about the intense darkness that we have had to deal with as a nation.  Here in the city of New Orleans we have had to deal with darkness on a number of levels due to Hurricane Katrina but it still does not absolve us or me from a duty that is imposed on us by God.  It is a duty that God imposes on us but it is not meant to be imposing.  Because when we actually submit to God the work becomes so much easier.  An older lady recognized me from the week before and invited me into her home to let me purchase one of her baked goods that she had gotten up at 3am to prepare.  She said that she usually goes out to some of the local barber shops and beauty salons to sell her baked goods but that she just couldn’t make it out because she didn’t have the strength that day and was too fatigued.  She said that many of her ailments that she has to deal with on a regular basis had kicked in full swing that day.  She said she was asking God why but not complaining because she was just thankful that he blesses her to get up every day after 71 years of living.  She said she is grateful for the pain because she knows that she could just as easily not be here.  I agreed and shared with her how I was borderline ungrateful just two months ago for the circumstances that some would have readily seen as a blessing.  I pray that I never come anywhere close to being ungrateful for anything that Allah (God) brings into my life.  We continued through the neighborhood delivering the Final Call Newspaper to as many people as we could while encouraging them to come out to our meeting the next day.  After we finished our door to door campaign we decided to hit Canal St. for a little faster paced action.  It was a fun time but I couldn’t stop thinking about one of my nephews who had come out with us about a month ago.  He enjoyed selling the paper so much.  I’m sure it had a lot to do with the money he made that day but it was still good to see so enthusiastic about something other than his Xbox. I didn’t even think about him until I was already out there.  I completely forgot that I told him I would start picking him up whenever possible.  Of course you have to be ready for everything that comes along with picking him and/or his brothers up because they are a handful.  But that has to be more of a focal point of mine before I end up regretting the time I could have spent with them.  This morning I woke up knowing it would be just as hectic as ever as I got ready for the mosque meeting.  I knew that I had to accomplish a few things with the help of that annoying Compaq computer and a couple of things I had to finish with my daughters MacBook.  Luckily for the Compaq worked like a charm this morning.  I think it only froze up one time on me.  I had to print up a few reports before going to the mosque on Microsoft Excel and the files I had to rely on happened to be on the Compaq.  I also had to print up the latest edition of our monthly newsletter in time for the meeting.  My daughter had already started the layout but I was waiting for any last minute submissions from some of the other believers.  Everything worked well this morning.  Well almost everything.  I was still running a little late even though I was up very early.  I made it to the meeting just 10 minutes before opening prayer.  I managed to set up and proceeded to get bombarded the various tasks that come with my job at the mosque.  By the time the smoke cleared I was able to listen to part of today’s lecture via webcast from our headquarters in Chicago, Illinois.  Over the last two and a half months we’ve been treated to different student ministers from around the country delivering the keynote address from headquarters.  I have to say that I am so pleased to know that we have so many great teachers of Islam here in the wilderness of North America that we are going to be alright no matter what the enemy comes at us with.  Of course we all have to do our job to qualify ourselves individually but we do have some very powerful representatives of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan.  Today’s message was provided by Brother Rasuol Muhammad from the mighty 7th region and the city of Miami, FL.  I didn’t get the opportunity to tune in to the first part of the lecture but by the time I was able to listen to it I knew that it would be one that I would be adding to my collection.  I am going to share with you a few of his remarks and how the resonated with me so powerfully and why they relate to what I am attempting to do with this website.  I apologize up front for paraphrasing and also encourage you to purchase the CD or DVD from the Final Call Online or by calling 1-866-602-1230 ext. 200.  He said “disbelief (or lack of courage) keeps us away from our gifts.  What immediately came to mind for me was an article that I’d read in the Final Call yesterday by one of our great minds who happens to publish BlackElectorate.com, Brother Cedric Muhammad.  In his article he writes: “On more than one occasion, I have heard Brother Jabril Muhammad state that one day in the 1960s he asked the Honorable Elijah Muhammad the following question: “Dear Holy Apostle, how does one know/learn what one is born to do?”  Brother Jabril said that without hesitation, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad answered, “Brother, Allah has given us all many talents, but each a talent we can perform perfectly.” And then Brother Rasuol Muhammad stated “we’re punks because we’re afraid to be ourselves.  The Nation of Gods.”  This makes me think deeply about how I have wrestled with my own idea of myself over the years.  The image of myself that I would love to grow into is scary to me because I have this fear of offending people.  I mean it is absurd the lengths I go sometimes not to offend other people even to my own detriment.  I remember losing someone who I thought was my friend because of something I said and it just got worse from there.  I don’t remember being this bad back when I was still in the world.  There is a fine line between self-denial and self-negation.  I have to grow beyond worrying about what other people might think because it is counter productive not only to me as an individual but it is also counter productive to what God wants in this day and time.  He wants us to grow into ourselves and I am too busy censoring the voice of God in me that I can’t even be what I want to be let alone what God wants me to become.  It is very important that we be ourselves today.  We also have to learn who we are in order to be ourselves.  In the Messenger’s article in the current edition of the Final Call titled “Know Thyself” he writes:  “It is Allah’s purpose that we shall know ourselves.  Therefore, He came Himself to teach us the knowledge of self.  Who is better at knowing of who we are than God, Himself?”We are the mighty, the wise, the best but do not know it.  Being without the knowledge, we disgrace ourselves, subjecting ourselves to suffering and shame.  We could not get the knowledge of self until the coming of Allah.  To know thyself is to know all men, as from us came all and to us all will return.  Brother Rasoul then asked two questions that really made me think.  He asked, “Can a sinner be after the heart of God?”  He also answered that one but I can’t think of his explanation to back it up because just the thought of it sent my mind racing.  He said “yes.”  Then he asked, “How do you think we were chosen?”Personally I bear witness that I was, am and unfortunately probably will be a sinner.  If God saw fit to clean up a wretch like me then I know He intends to do a great work indeed through our people who are the rejected and despised of the earth.  He said, “the only place we can learn the knowledge of God & Satan is right here in the Nation of Islam.  We keep stumbling over each other and ourselves.  We must first get over ourselves.”Next he explained belief and faith in such an introspective way that you have to really examine your own personal belief system and the power that is unlocked by faith.  He said, “belief means to decide with your mind to believe in that which you yet have the knowledge of.  Faith gets us from belief to knowledge.”  This is so true.  It also hints at the secret behind successful people no matter what the endeavor.  No matter if you are talking about belief in God, which is the most powerful of all entities you can chose to believe in and put your faith in, or you are talking about belief in your ability to bring something into existence like a business or idea.  I remember a time in my past when my faith was unshakable.  I believed to strongly that I did not care anything around me because I knew where my reward was.  I knew what I had to do to receive my reward.  My blessings seemed unending and no matter what I seemed to come out on top.  No matter what the situation or circumstances were.  For me my biggest stumbling block outside of me was and is dealing with the loss of somebody close to me.  Brother Rasoul continued, “trials begin to betray our faith.”  For me it was back to back trials.  I lost my younger sister which absolutely devastated my world.  Then the next year I lost all of my home and all of my material possessions due to Hurricane Katrina.  My faith was definitely shaken.  I have to admit that I was barely holding on.  Looking back now almost out of the woods I am just grateful that I was able to hold on.     Brother Rasuol summed up his subject matter best with the following words which happen to be the very base of the teachings of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and the main theme behind this website.  ACCEPT YOUR OWN AND BE YOURSELF!As I strive to get over myself so that I may come closer to who I was born to be I intend to help as many people find themselves in the process.  I have been saddled with a vision of how to best go about this but have not had the courage or the belief or the faith to work to bring it into existence.  We have to work to bring anything we desire into existence because without work its just a fantasy that will remained unfulfilled every year that we do nothing to bring it into existence.    On page 21 of the current edition of the Final Call Minister Farrakhan writes, “Now in assessing the damage, you have to look at what happened to us spiritually, because there is a spiritual disconnect from The Reality of God.  You know God and you love God, but the reality of how God works, you’re disconnected from that, because you are disconnected from The Law of Cause and Effect.  You think things just happen.  You don’t realize that God gives you wisdom to organize and make things happen.  You are sitting around waiting for a Mystery God to give you what you are quite capable, if united, of giving yourself.””The Holy Qur’an teaches us that Allah (God) will never change the condition of a people until they change themselves.”I know that there is so much that I still want to accomplish with this life that God has blessed me with.  I also have seen the worst of life again so that I will not ever take the blessing of being able to marvel at the magnificence of God’s creation.  What has been so frustrating for me for the last year is that the vision in my head keeps getting further and further away from becoming a reality.  I really believed that I was handicapped to do anything to change the direction my life was headed.  I really thought that I was going to have to live a life that I didn’t think that I had deserved.  But finally I am able to see that if I live a life that I don’t want to live itiis of my own making.  God has given me all the tools I need to succeed and He has also given them to you.  You just have to learn how to tap into that power to bring out of yourself the wonderful gifts and talents that God has deposited within you.  You have something marvelous and great to share with the world and the world can’t wait for you to bring it forth.  ACCEPT YOUR OWN AND BE YOURSELF!  

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