بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْمِ
Our first email to the Remember Me Journal community ended with a dua. The first part of it says,
“Oh Allah, our hearts belong to You and only You can heal it. Grant us the peace and contentment we are searching for. Ya Rabb, never let the weight of this world be too much for us to bear. Ya Jabbar, You are the Restorer and the Compeller and in Your Hands all deficiencies are fixed, and all things are Healed.
Oh Allah, we place our hearts in Your care. Ya Basir watch over us. Help us to take small strides and big leaps towards You. Ya Tawwab, on our best days and on our worst days, help us to remember You. Help us to recognise and accept that You are our safety, and You are our anchor.”
Alhamdulilah it was beautiful to see that the dua resonated with people but here’s a behind the scenes fact no one knows. That this section of the dua was written when I heard about the death of DMX. I didn’t grow up on his music and the only time I ever came across him was on an episode of Iyanla Fix My Life. But reading the stories people shared when he was in a coma, it was impossible not to be moved. His sincerity, humility, vulnerability and genuine love for people shined through in every single one.
But most of all, watching the videos of him praying, thanking God, acknowledging his struggles and asking for help will floor you.
In our last episode of Bookversations inspired by Yaa Gyasi’s ‘Transcendent Kingdom’, we talk in depth about addiction and how horrible it is to battle with the disease. DMX was introduced to crack cocaine at the age of 14 by a much older friend/ guardian which marked the beginning of a lifelong battle.
One of quotes that stands out from Transcendent Kingdom about the uphill battle addicts face is,
“Do it again! Do it again! your brain tells you, but every time you listen, the drugs work a little less and demand a little more, until finally you give them everything and get nothing in return. No rush, no surge of pleasure, just a momentary relief from the misery of the withdrawal.”
And also our perception of the disease as a failure of willpower,
“I know that it’s easier to say their kind does seem to have a taste for drugs, easier to write all addicts off as bad and weak-willed people, than it is to look closely at the nature of their suffering. I do it too, sometimes. I judge. I walk around with my chest puffed out, making sure everyone knows about my Harvard and Stanford degrees, as if those things encapsulate me, and when I do so, I give in to the same facile, lazy thinking that characterises those who think of addicts as horrible people.”
Transcendent Kingdom was a touching tribute to the process of loving imperfect people. DMX lived a complicated life but his ultimate legacy I pray, will be his vulnerability, sincerity and love for people.
I pray that you benefited from this post and I would love to hear your thoughts in the comment section.
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