The Right Spot

A few years ago I read a story about the Sufi woman, Rabia al-Adawiyya which I am now sharing with you.

Rabia was an old woman with failing eyesight so it was a bit difficult for her to see. One evening, just as the sun was setting, there was a bit of light still on the road, people found Rabia sitting on the road searching for something. Her neighbours came to help her and asked “what are you searching for?”

Rabia said, “that question is irrelevant. The fact is that I am searching, so if you can help me, help.”
They laughed at her and said, “have you gone crazy? How can you say our question is irrelevant? If we don’t know what you are searching for how can we help?”
Rabia said, “okay, just to satisfy you…I have lost my needle. I am searching for my needle.” They started helping her then realized it would be a futile search since the road was so big and the needle so small.

So they asked Rabia, “please, tell us the exact spot you lost it otherwise it is far too difficult and we could be searching forever. Where did you lose it?”

Once again Rabia said, “that question is also irrelevant. How is it concerned with my search?”
They stopped and said, “you are most certainly mad!”
Rabia said, “fine, if you must know, I lost it in my house”.

They asked her, “why are you searching here?”

At this Rabia said, “because here there is light, and there is no light inside”.

I absolutely love this story, not only for its light humour but more so for the thought-provoking questions it brought to the fore.

What am I searching for?
Am I enlisting the help of others without providing the necessary information?
Am I looking outside because I am afraid to face the darkness within?

True transformation, the one that brings about something new….different, involves the darkness. The insect world serves as a great teacher for us in that regard (lifecycle of a butterfly is a well known example).
Psycho-spiritual transformation – transformation involving the body, mind, emotions, and spirit; is widely sought after today as more and more people are realizing that we are living in an inside-out universe. This simply means that the results we expect to bring about physically/materially must first exist internally….we can’t be expecting to have (as an example) solid, beautiful, honest relationships with others when we do not first have that relationship with SELF.

As you continue (or think about beginning the journey) to design YOUR path while practicing the art of SELF-CARE, keep Rabia in mind.
Intimate knowledge of SELF is the necessary foundation to creating the life you would love living.
Begin your journey on the inside….

As always, I look forward to our conversations. Here’s an open invitation to comment below and share or send an email if you are more comfortable with that method.


Comments 6

  1. Wow! This is so true. Many of us seek to find happiness from the “outside”, instead of really taking care of ourselves on the inside. We walk around with a brilliant smile.and still dying inside. Yet, the first mission should always be to heal self first then help others.

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      Hi Michere. Thank you.
      One of the reasons we seek “outside” rather than “inside” is the fear of facing SElF. Some are afraid of what might be unearthed in the process and also of the work necessary to transform the “lead” into “gold”. The process of healing and caring for ourself begins with knowledge and understanding of SELF. We must know who we are in order to accurately determine what will truly satisfy us.

  2. Most times I think we all have something to hide… maybe stuff that we are not comfortable admitting but of course these are the “dark” areas we need to challenge in ourselves and pacify. Well said.

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      Gillian, I wonder if we all have something to hide or it is that we have chosen to hide something. That which we are not comfortable admitting…(sometimes not even to ourselves) is precisely what we need to work through to advance to the next level in our journey.

  3. For many, self searching is a daunting task, as we are afraid of what we will find if we look within. While taking the Design Your Path course I was forced to assess who I am, and what I truly want for my life. It also taught me all about self care. On this journey I’ve started, I am embracing who I am and I am no longer searching aimlessly. I know what I’m truly passionate about and enjoy the path it’s leading me on. I would recommend taking the time to self search. You might be pleasantly surprised at what you find.

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      Leisha, I am joyful that you are proving each day that happiness is indeed in the journey. When we are passionate about our PATH we find that our journey is filled with celebrations along the way (no need to wait until the end), as we are constantly looking within and shedding more and more light so we can be that beacon for others.

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