My “Resilience Portfolio”

Dear Fellow Warrior,

It has been difficult to break through the creative blocks I am facing at the moment, but I am trying.

I feel sometimes I am moving in so many directions and when that happens, I am unable to move at all. But I feel one step at a time, I will just need to keep trying, with all I aim to accomplish and achieve in this short life. I am sure you can relate.

I want you to know that I do think of you when I am writing these posts. I always have. I am not sure who you are, but if you value my voice, or have over the years, I hope you are still with me right now. I hope you still see some value, some form of empowerment, as I continue to try to empower myself too.

In a recent Facebook Post, I wrote this:

“Dear Allah. Dear Universe. I thank you. I thank you for giving me more items to add to what I am going to call now, my “Resilience Portfolio.” Thanking you for adding such hardship to continue to help build up my strength in handling adversity, is the only way I’ll get through this one and the ones that will inevitably follow. Go ahead world…Keep punching me and kicking me in the stomach, as Dr. Maya Angelou wrote, “But still, like air, I’ll rise.”

In that short message on my Facebook, I note a “Resilience Portfolio”. I see this as a conceptual folder where I can insert all my struggles and challenges, much of which I have faced connected to my “identity” and “identity intersections”… as a Pakistani-Indian American Muslim Woman of Color, with “invisible disabilities” and also a high-achieving PhD scholar, and Dr... All of this encompasses the whole of my existence and persistence, it does not constrain me as a human being, but it is part of the lens in which the world sees me and boxes me in, or makes me feel invisible. I can choose to stay confined in any part of my identity intersections or go beyond that; break down the stigmas and barriers connected to it all. I am not one to label myself. I am not someone who favors labels, but all of this remains a part of my identity, that makes “love and belonging” so challenging in a cruel world…

It is amazing how much we have to tolerate.. amid our intersections… how much empathy, tolerance, forgiveness that we have to give to the world, and meanwhile we keep being thrown in the trenches, with all of our good intentions in making important contributions to the world.

I am going on almost 7 years from starting this blog, I think it was in the first few weeks of February, and I wrote my first blog piece to introduce myself and the blog on February 20th, 2016, here.

I feel this blog already served as a “Resilience Portfolio” for me, at least in the past 7 years, but of course, I haven’t substantially included all my story here. What I mean by a “resilience portfolio” as noted earlier, is a portfolio of items, people, events, circumstances, challenges, struggles that have attempted to destroy me, and of which I can remember that I have overcome, amid and despite all the adversity. It is reminder of how far I have come, and I much farther I can go, being brave, courageous, and stronger with each hurdle that comes along the way.

With some recent incidences in my life, I had felt so disgusting, I have lost my appetite, I have felt numb, lost, and so small and hurt. And I did not deserve it. Not one bit. Sadly, I know for certain, it was all connected to my identity, my intersectionality. And because of these events, it has slowed down or halted so many of my goals and ambitions. I think I have felt very discouraged over the years, and that discouragement for all of who I am and what I want to share with the world will continue regardless.

I have to take the punches. I have to realize that no matter what I do, I will be kicked in the teeth, punched and kicked in the face and stomach, for as long as I persist and stay alive.

Part of this resilience will have to be forgiveness. Forgiving those who have not had my back, who chose cowardice over courage and bravery, as I chose to be authentic and real.

I have to forgive those who chose to do nothing to help me while they knew I struggled… while they don’t understand, forgive, or acknowledge the need for me to be authentic and live my truth… amid their lack of compassion…we have to forgive, so we can get better, let go, and move forward.

With or without support from those who we thought would be there, we must keep going… keep climbing the mountains, changing our stars, rewriting our stories, breaking down stigmas, walls and barriers for the necessary inward and outward revolution.

I have more to say, but I will stop here for now. And pray that this post would allow me to continue writing here, at least once a week going forward. A space for me to be authentic, real, honest, and for me to connect to other Warrior Kings and Queens, and offer a space for you to know that I am here, and we are here for each other, to empower each other, to help change the world.

I hope that I have inspired you to create a “Resilience Portfolio.” One that will allow you to see that no matter what the world throws at you, you have overcome in the past, and all of that will continue to make you stronger, to take on the challenges that will inevitably come, as you choose to live boldly, bravely, and authentically.

For Black History Month, and the transition into Women’s History month, I take wisdom from the many greats, but particularly Dr. Maya Angelou, as noted above and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, words of wisdom that speak to the essence of our “Resilience Portfolios:”

“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.” – Dr. MLK Jr.

You may shoot me with your words,

You may cut me with your eyes,

You may kill me with your hatefulness,

But still, like air, I’ll rise.“- Dr. Maya Angelou

Peace, Warmth, Solidarity, and Blessings,

Your Sister,

Dr. Elsa

Warrior KQueen

“She wasn’t looking for a Knight. She was looking for a Sword.” – Atticus

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