Sitti knows that modern-day wars are fought over simple things, like the length and fit of a shirt-the shorter the sleeve, the greater the misfortune. Many times she wants to ask the one-hundred-year-old fig tree in the village center what it is like to be born from nothing and grow into something. She wants to know what it is like to bear fruit every year and not expect anything in return. She wants to know what it is like to be respected for what she could give-no more and no less.
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The name Aziza is of Arabic origin and means precious. I call her Sitti, the Arabic village word for my grandmother. Although Sitti stands true to her name, someone is always telling her she isn't precious. As she grows into womanhood, Sitti hides from her thoughts, her voice, and her own shadow. She doesn't want to draw attention to herself, not even from the rays of sun that bless the entire land. But no one looks at an olive tree and asks it why it hides its fruit. It blossoms when it's ready and under the right conditions. As Sitti grows up, it did not occur to her that this could be the case for herself.
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As women we're taught to believe that the more physically appealing we look, the more love we'll receive in return. If we can just be the perfect cook, cleaner, lover, CEO hottie - well heck, if you don't value yourself with all those attributes, then what's it going to take to get your low blueberry muffin self-esteem recipe to rise every morning?
We are all made from the same seeds. It makes sense to say that compassion, love sunshine, water and nourishing seeds will grow into healthy, happy, fulfilled plants. You don't have to like a certain kind of bread or be a bread maker to have faith. God invented more than brand of toasters to spread the seeds of faith. Those who become self-righteous bread makers shall have self-righteous toaster consciousness. If our belief system excludes us from sharing bread with those who do not believe the exact same manner as we do, that's when its time to re-evaluate our belief system.
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This isn't about convincing you whether or not there is a God. I believe God and the Universe exists. If you don't believe there is a greater force, then surely you believe that something inside of us and is in the driver's seat. In other words, something is driving us towards figuring out how to master happiness, peace, love, and understanding psychopaths, murderers and Taylor Swift fans.
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Once you change, change happens. This is a big lesson. Expecting someone else to change is like pleading with a manufacturer to turn Twinkies into a green smoothie. It makes no sense, right? Often times we feel people are purposely doing or not doing things for us in a relationship - we want to make them better, not for their personal development, but how to make this person fit our image of the perfect partner. We want them to dress, act and say things at certain times. It becomes a conditioned relationship.
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The realization that my grandmother, mother and I are one in the same awakens something mysterious inside of me. The person I am, someone I believe has more opportunities than my mom and grandmother in matters of work, relationships and love is true, yet I am still acting out old belief patterns. I am no better or smarter than either one of them. Our basic needs and emotions in life are the similar. Our experiences differ, but we are one and the same. This conscious awakening is surreal.
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