Rain

I hear voices through the rain 

It’s not the wind roaring

They sound like cries of help

From another domain 

And I don’t know if I’m

Going insane

Or simply listening

With every cell in my being

I see trails the raindrops 

Have left 

On my window pane

Like teardrops flowing

On a pretty face

Shed in vain 

And I wonder

Has a cloud been carrying

Sadness from miles away 

Over skies of grey

Releasing the anger

In a violent hurricane

I wonder

Why do I see all this beauty

But still remember pain?

 

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January: every perfectionist’s best month

January: the first month of the year. The best month to make change. The golden opportunity to start plans you won’t stick to very long. Yup, that’s a fact, isn’t it?! I KNOW you’re nodding as you read this *wink wink*
Well, I believe I’m enough of a realist today to know that seeking unrealistic goals for the new year, and life in general, is just setting oneself up for failure. Grit is one thing and perfectionism is another. I believe perfectionists aren’t people lacking in drive but in self-appreciation. Being a perfectionist leads to delaying or putting off projects because you’re scared you won’t be able to perfect the process. For example, you don’t write the article because you are worried about people’s expectations of you once you post it. You put off that call because you’re afraid of what the person on the other end might reply. You don’t change your eating habits because you find it too overwhelming to switch all your unhealthy choices at the same time. You don’t read enough because you want to follow a certain schedule and feel agitated when you don’t meet your reading goals. You don’t go to the gym because it is cold and you don’t want to miss one session due to bad weather or illness. And this is exactly how we waste the year, one year after the other. 
So this is me, a recovering perfectionist giving all the perfectionists like me a piece of advice. Make this year an opportunity to heal from whatever is drawing you back, especially your ego. Perfectionists give themselves way too much credit, and thus are ruthless with themselves when they make mistakes, and sadly quit halfway! You will never be ready to do anything, you will never be totally sure you can do them. Perfectionists worry about wasting time and energy trying and then failing eventually. Yet, trying is how you gain confidence and experience. Not trying because you don’t want to fail leads nowhere. 
Here’s how to beat perfectionism at its own game:
– Write down achievable goals, ones you can fulfill in a single year, not ones you’d find yourself dragging along to another. 

-Manage your time wisely; i.e. lose some of the major distractions in your life, like social media for example (especially social media for some!) 

– Don’t wait for inspiration. Create it.

– Be very determined to follow through every step. 
Every week make it a point to accomplish one thing, like switching from soda to water, or white rice to brown rice, for example, or reading one of the books you already have instead of wasting a day or two to get that book you’ve always been wanting to read from a bookstore. 
Realize that your brain will always want to trick you into finding the easy way out, because it knows you’ll lose interest once you can’t do what you want exactly how you want to do it. So be well-prepared for set-backs and disappointments. Have plan-B’s in place, in order to jump right back into the wagon before you miss your ride.
Resist the urge to “perfect”, and just DO. DO. DO.
And remember…
“Perfectionism is a dangerous state of mind in an imperfect world.”
May you start this year with great determination and loads of passion,

– Zeina
#to_my_perfectionist_friends

#Just_do_it

#January

Change

Change is not instantaneous. It’s not a decision you take at the spur of the moment. You don’t wake up one day and decide that you’re going to quit a bad habit or adopt a healthier lifestyle now. You don’t suddenly stop liking somebody and think it’s time to cut them loose. The idea of “change” doesn’t drop like a missile from the sky, although at many instances God inspires us by revealing certain signs or omens along the way. However, moving from ideation to action requires a lot of thinking and determination; willpower. 

Change is a slow, steady process. And I’m not talking about ephemeral, often insubstantial changes, like going on fad diets, for example. I’m talking about changes that go beyond the skin and flesh, and reach into the depths of one’s soul. Those changes that emerge from inner conflicts, from fighting battles no one sees. From getting so sick and tired of watching re-runs of your life as it falls apart right before your eyes, picking up bits and pieces only to drop them once again. From wanting to feel good about yourself, if just for a moment, without guilt popping out of nowhere and ruining it for you. From craving meaning, a real meaning, to your passing existence on this Earth and witnessing nothing but absurdity, injustice, chaos, despair, and destruction. 

Change isn’t a word, a principle or journey. It’s proof that you’re a living being, who has a voice and a purpose. It doesn’t matter when or how you make a change. What matters is you don’t remain the same person despite everything you ever experienced, suffered, felt, endured, acquired, and learned. Change isn’t a comfortable process but it’s the most rewarding one. And I can’t imagine dramatic change to be anything but dramatic; there has to be lots of breakdowns and tears. A whole lot of effort, passion, and patience needs to be invested in the process.

Perhaps seeking change IS the meaning to one’s existence. Because those who are numbed with the comfort of status quo’s, however uncomfortable they may be, soon become enemies to change. It’s enough to look around us today, as we approach a decisive phase in our country’s history, to know who really want change and who are working day and night to resist it. 

So, what do YOU really want? Change or the illusion of it?

How I live every motherhood moment

I used to think that Motherhood is a means to an end: raising good, responsible, successful men and women you can be proud of. I used to think that if your children didn’t meet your expectations then this means your motherhood plans have all gone awry. You fail as a mother if your children don’t follow your footsteps. Life has repeatedly shown me how wrong I was to have such beliefs, how destructive it is to have too many expectations of our children or treat them as “products” rather than human beings with unique gifts and personalities. Once I stopped destroying my self-esteem and my children’s efforts to please me, I began to see motherhood from a healthier perspective. I began to notice the blessings, tolerate the differences, and reconcile with the fact that it’s absolutely normal and acceptable if my children don’t reach the heights I’d drawn for them. They will definitely reach the heights they draw for themselves if I, as a mother, am willing to support all their plans and dreams. I will need to liberate my children from my own wants and needs, so they may direct their energy in the right channel.

Motherhood is giving your child their own mirrors, letting them see themselves with their own eyes, and being the bright light that reflects their best image. I didn’t learn that overnight and certainly not the easy way but I’m sure if I didn’t have the children that I have I would would still be stuck in the vicious cycle of expectations that has been robbing me of my peace for years. 

I only began to live “in the moment” when I appreciated every tiny effort they made even if it didn’t end the way I had hoped. 

How do you live your best motherhood moments? 

Leave me a comment below. 
Love, 

Zeina

Hole in my Soul

There’s a hole in my soul

One heartbreak wide, three decades deep

An empty dark room 

with mirrors on walls

Where I look around and see

Grotesque reflections of me

There’s a hole in my soul

A cave where Fear goes to hide

Dragging its tentacles inside 

Waiting for a trigger

to rear its ugly head

There’s a hole in my soul

A void that can’t be filled 

With words or confessions 

Or promises one would 

Surely fail to keep

Too big for a single person

Too small for a Universe of dreams

There’s a hole in my soul

But never have I ever

In all its hollowness 

Felt incomplete

________________

Zeina El-Hoss

Love (v.)

Powerful thoughts by my friend, Riham.

Light Rain .13

It is believed that February the 14th is a day to celebrate Love.
From childhood to adulthood, the idea of love transforms from giggles and red cheeks for the 1m tall cute kid; to the teen with hair gel or dope basketball skills; to the youth who seems charismatic; to the human whose soul resonates with yours.
Haddaway has questioned in his song “what is love” to answer with “baby don’t hurt me, no more”, while Sinatra has wished for it to just “please be true.” We accept the love we think we deserve whether it is one that just doesn’t hurt us or one that is not a lie. But love is futile if defined in its negative form, hindering its potential by emphasizing all that we don’t (or no more) want it to be.
If we are faithful of love, we can allow it to grow from being…

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A message for parents about bullying

If you’re a parent of a special child, I’m sure you feel blessed for this soul-transforming experience. You know how painful it must feel for your child to know “they’re different” in a world where everything must be labeled as either “typical” or “atypical”. I’m sure you already know what it feels like to be the caregiver of a child who is a potential target for bullies. You know how hurt they may feel and you wouldn’t wish for another child to feel that way, because you do care. You actually care about other people’s children, not just yours. 

As a parent of any child, special or not, I’m sure you know that your children will meet all sorts of classmates or friends throughout their academic journeys. They will meet kids who have distinctive facial or physical features; a prominent nose, crooked teeth, acne, darker skin tones, or unruly hair. They will meet kids who wear thick glasses or dental retainers; those are too short or too skinny, those who are too tall or more than just a little chubby. They are going meet classmates who may have facial deformities, sit in wheelchairs, or have mental or psychological disorders. They will meet friends who have all sorts of learning difficulties; those who take a little longer to grasp their lessons, who ask more questions than “they should” or who are too timid to participate in class. 

The biggest problem we’re facing today as modern parents is that, as we try to give our children more of the freedom we’ve been deprived of when we were children, we also struggle with boundaries. We’re unintentionally raising a generation of entitled children lacking compassion and understanding when we give them this impression that they are the center of the universe. We do them more harm than good by inflating their sense of self-worth and egos, by not celebrating their efforts to show kindness to others enough.

Teach your children that we are all different and we all deserve to be treated equally, fairly and nicely. Teach them that bullying is an inappropriate behavior, that it’s cruel to call other kids mean names. Teach them that body shaming is unacceptable. Teach them to treat others as they wish to be treated themselves. Very simply.

Teaching children the value of empathy and respect is protecting the well-being of all children, yours and mine, in any setting. 

My son

One day, a child changed my life

I’m glad to call him my son

He’s the soul within my soul

A blossoming garden under my sun

He’s a spark of genuis

And complexity, all in one

I have learned more from this 

Little boy than anyone

And I’ll do more for this 

Special boy than I could have ever done

For he’s the rain to my everlasting drought

He’s given me much more to think about

than could be given to a loving mom

His Mercy

His Mercy encompasses everything

His Mercy embraces those who sin

His Mercy engulfs the world with blessings

To count those where would you begin?

His Mercy is the prickly tears in your eyes

When someone’s pain shakes your humanity

His Mercy is the tenderness in your heart

And the love you grant unconditionally

If His Mercy is ever withdrawn

What would life be? 

Would we want to know? 

A Letter to my future teenage kids

If you ever come asking: “Mom, how can I make my friends like me?” my only answer will be: “by never seeking their approval.” We are nice because being nice is an obligation, it’s something we, your parents and teachers, have worked day and night to instill in you. But to go out of your way just to fit in and be a part of a certain group: the cool folks, the elitists, the sports squad, the cheerleaders, the debate club, that’s never going to guarantee an everlasting friendship. Take it from your mother, the only friendships that have stood the test the time are those in which I felt loved, accepted and even celebrated for my individuality. Sure, they thought I was crazy at times, and literally had to pull me out of my shell at others, but we made it through the decades. At our time, nobody really cared whether you had thousands of followers and your social media content went viral. We saw the change each one of us could make, we wished each other well, we cheered each other on, we had each others’ backs, we were sincerely connected by the heart. We never needed an internet connection to maintain a friendship running that deep. Try to make at least one everlasting friendship, kids. Find friends whom you can connect with spiritually and mentally. Don’t melt in a crowd and wonder why you’re constantly feeling anxious, dissatisfied and depressed. Be people connectors, not just people collectors. Someday you’ll understand that rebels don’t spend their time at middle and high school breaking rules and having parties. It takes more to be a rebel. It takes a person who’s not afraid of being called crazy or weird for trying to live by their own terms. That’s a spirit that can’t be tamed.

~Z.