How many people have you met that were very comfortable but unpeaceful? Probably a few. How
many have you met that were peaceful but uncomfortable? The latter is probably a harder image
to conjure up. Most of us live as if the unpredictable nature of life was a constant threat to our
peace of mind, which is an oxymoron in itself; because if you have everything but you’re afraid of
the unknown, you don’t have peace.

“Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more
important than fear.”
-Ambrose Redmon

Growing up, nobody really tells you the value of choosing yourself and what it might cost you if
you cover up your truth.

You can’t replace the desire to live out your own definition of life, no matter how shiny the
appearance of objects and people, and the validation that came with it might be.

Comfort to me meant the cage of safety I built around me had to look in-tact no matter what.
It didn’t feel in-tact but it sure looked like it, and as long as nobody could guess the raging chaos
happening in my heart and mind, I could survive through another day.

Keep in mind I wasn’t aware I was doing this consciously, who wants to spark a fire when there
was no need for one?

I was secure financially and my relationship with my family remained unchanged for as long as I
can remember. This is who I was. This is who they knew me as.

I was comfortable and quiet, I was comfortable and unhappy, I was comfortable and wealthy.
I would go outside and treat anybody to anything, I would come back home restless but I was
playing a role I knew how to play and one everyone around me got used to me playing, and that
was good enough.

I believe we’re here to learn hard lessons on self-love, on daring to take the road less traveled and
coming out of it with battle scars and rigid feet, but also with the best stories and a heart so open
it makes us want to sing, it envelops every stranger we meet, every memory we make.

I grew up very secure, and by most standards, I could say I had a pretty good life.

On the outside looking in, it looked perfect. For the longest time, my emotions didn’t align with
what I observed around me and I would beat myself up for not being a grateful daughter, a wiser
sister, a better mother, and a more compassionate friend.
I learnt, the hard way, you can’t appreciate yourself into place when your soul is begging for a
transformational flight.

That’s something your therapist won’t tell you, that’s something you have to figure out for yourself
if treading onto unknown territories is worth it. At what cost am I willing to transform my
relationship with everyone around me, for the peace of mind my spirit is yearning for? And boy,
I’m telling you, it is worth it.

No matter how comfortable I got, there was an impending struggle inside of me that demanded a
bigger blanket of validation from family, in case I needed them. A smaller circle of friends I’d let
myself care about, in case anyone new would hurt me. And more material stuff than I could use, in
case I’d be missing out without one.

It didn’t dawn on me until it was harder for me to breathe, I was sick almost every other other
month, I was on antibiotics at least 6 times a year and barely making it through the rest.

I remember visiting a chiropractor at some point and being told, “if you don’t do anything to heal
whatever’s going on inside you, you’re going to eventually harm yourself.”

I didn’t know why I wasn’t happy and I resented myself for it, for every good thing my family and
friends have ever done for me and I still couldn’t show up and be a normal, functioning human like
they expected me to.

I was afraid to say I wasn’t happy where I was, and frankly, I didn’t know if I even should.

“Without courage we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can’t be kind, true,
merciful, generous, or honest.” Maya Angelou

And then one day, sat on my laptop, I booked a solo flight to Columbia, and everything for me
changed. After meeting people from different countries and beautiful lifestyles, I was inspired.
I realized the reason I was miserable was because I couldn’t take the risk of allowing myself to
feel the sadness and the anger that wanted to come out of me, unconditionally. It meant that for
me to be at peace with myself, the comfortable cage I was in had to self-destruct. That meant the
Universe couldn’t guarantee what was waiting for me on the other side, and if I wanted a change,

I had to jump into it blindly.

It’s understandable to me now why I was afraid of rocking the boat, potentially upsetting those
around me that have gotten so used to knowing who I was before I decided I wanted something
more. I didn’t know what, but I knew I wanted more of what life had to give.

As I’m sitting here typing this, my mind is blown by the simplicity of what my soul yearned for.
I wanted love, safety, acceptance, and validation from myself. But ultimately I wanted the peace
of mind that came with unconditional self-love.

It’s interesting isn’t it? Every cell in my being was aching for me to make peace with who I was
becoming, and that to me meant waging war on the outside world.

There’s a saying that goes, “first you move, then you teach” and that couldn’t be more true for
anyone afraid of breaking out of the norm, to risk it all for themselves, and explore the wonders of
what the world has in store for them.

From someone who was afraid of leaving their comfortable life behind, take it from me, there’s
way more for you in the unknown then where you currently are.

I may have less in my bank account, but I’ve found joy in sharing what I have, and I may be
without certain family members but I have more love in my life than I ever thought possible from
the family that respect me and love me. I have friendships that nourish me and I’m no longer
afraid of including people in my life. And when something unknown makes an appearance, I’m
constantly inspired to show up for it because of the unsurmountable peace I carry with me no
matter what happens.

 

~ Maryam Al Qasimi