Dear Zoya,

Some people make it a passtime to make your life difficult, to constantly oppress you and no I’m not being dramatic by using that word. I mean it in its truest sense. You know those bullies who treat you like dirt because they know you can’t retaliate? You feel as though you can’t influence their narcissistic behaviour nor its impact on your health and life because of certain circumstances: society, people, reputation, blah blah…

Except you can and you did. Take back what is yours by removing their twisted games of power. Don’t feel obliged to continue enduring torture in the name of patience. Sabr is not passive endurance, it is active resistance.

Please stop thinking parenthood is a natural byproduct of birthing a child. You should know this well enough by now. For some people, a whole lifetime is still not enough to transform them from a man or woman to father or mother. There is absolutely nothing you can do about it so stop chasing after it. And if they chase you, well it is far too little and too late…

Silence is the best answer, followed by success. Regardless of their efforts to engage you, remain silent. Trust me, there’s really no need to pull a Faryal Makhdoom. You see, that way when their comeuppance is due you’re in a win win situation because you never said anything in the first place. Just sit back and let their own words testify against them. If not in this life, then in the Supreme Court of the most Just.

Be thankful. Your blessings always follow after the hardships you’ve endured – stop feeling unworthy of them! Stop believing there’s always a calamity around the corner; they have programmed you to think this way. Instead, enjoy the ease with peace of mind and remain grateful to the One who is testing you in both conditions.

You can achieve whatever you want. The only limitations are those you impose on yourself, instead of internalising the b.s people tell you – they don’t know you – focus on strengthening your own inner voice and the renewal of your intentions. Persevere in your aims and trust the One who has and always will materialise your visions.


A year of valuable lessons.