11 thoughts on “Filling the Spiritual Void with Sex, Money and Intoxicants

  • November 4, 2017 at 2:43 am

    As a child, I was abused by my then stepfather. Going to church, singing in the youth choir and having faith in God helped fill the sense of emptiness I often felt. It was also during this period that I began writing poetry which helped me to express things I was not able to talk about.
    In my adult life, when I feel a sense of emptiness or unrest, I still find music comforting and, when I sing hymns it is worshipping God. I also find that if I am able to get to the ocean and listen to the waves, smell the sea air or even write or sit quietly on the beach, I feel more centered and balanced.

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    • November 4, 2017 at 12:03 pm

      Absolutely, singing hymns of worship is a great way to bring that light and comfort back into our hearts and show God our faith is unwavering, even in those tough moments. We have songs called nasheeds which are essentially the same, vocal only songs that praise God and bring in various aspects of daily life.

      Abuse and trauma is difficult for adults, let alone kids, I know this all too well and personally. It is a blessing to be given that coping mechanism of church and songs of worship.

      I am an advocate for art therapy and it comes in many forms, poetry as you mentioned or painting etc. A way to take the inner feelings and make them external, give them a physical representation and set them free.

      Thanks for the great feedback!

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  • November 15, 2017 at 1:59 am

    I am just seeing this now and wanted to say I am truly sorry you have suffered abuse also. I hope you have (or had) support as you’ve worked to heal, someone to listen to your story and believe!
    May I ask what country you are from? I am curious because I like listening to other people and learning about different cultures. From the limited amount I know of the Muslim community, they are a very modest and private people, are they not? If so, it must have been even more difficult for you, a Muslim woman to find the courage to speak out against abuse if you have done so at all within your community. I have heard that it is often difficult for people of the Muslim faith to seek therapy for ANY reason and that your leaders frown upon it. I wonder if that way of thinking has changed at all over time?
    Anyway, I wish you well!

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    • November 15, 2017 at 8:51 am

      I am not sure which leaders you are referring to, Islam has scholars and schools of thought but we don’t really have a central authority or leader. Nor is the religious aspect against it, actually much of beginning psychology came from Muslims centuries ago. The first large scale psychiatric hospital was built in Iraq and a hundred years later one in Egypt. Many advances in medicine including psychotherapy can find roots during what we refer to as the Golden age of Islam. We are told in narrations that much mercy exists for those with mental health concerns and the pen is lifted from them. The pen is lifted references they are not held as accountable per say as one who mentally understands all they are doing.

      Culturally to some therapy is not as readily accepted by some as to others yet this is backwards if they looked to our history. Like all faith traditions, some people are more apt to say “pray more, read more” and not seek out therapy, but there are many within the field that are Muslim more and more. It is growing. That is not as readily seen in areas with a lack of education and difficult life conditions.

      I was born in Texas πŸ™‚ mostly raised up north though, although I lived in Europe as well (army vet). Lived in Georgia for a few years (best pecan pie ever) I have settled down in North Carolina. I like the south better than the north. Some people assume I am Arabic..nope. Actually the largest demographic within the Muslim population are Asians. I am a born American, I am not a born Muslim. I converted years ago.

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  • November 16, 2017 at 3:51 am

    Thank you for your response, Monique! (Is it acceptable to call you that or do you prefer something else?) I am sorry for making assumptions out of ignorance! I DID assume you were Arabic and also, by “leaders” I was referencing the “religious police” that I have read a bit about as well as any others who make the laws in countries that are predominantly Muslim.
    I get confused.. is Muslim a religion or an ethnicity/culture?
    I also didn’t think of the obvious which is that of course, people who are of the Muslim faith could be born here or could have converted as you have!
    That’s so interesting to learn that Iraq built the first psychiatric hospital. I would never have known that so thank you again for explaining and I am sorry if my questions seem at all insensitive or simple minded. There is obviously a lot I don’t know!

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    • November 16, 2017 at 8:48 am

      Most people call me Monique, other religious people sometimes refer to me as Sister. I don’t mind either. The CEO at my hospital calls me Monica lol (they know its not my real name, it has become a sort of in-house joke with the CEO) I get asked a lot what country I am from LOL. O

      Ahh yes the Saudi religious police. They had a good idea, but they went too harsh and strict with it. In our history we used to have people that gave reminders, but those reminders were done in a good way not a harsh way. Essentially we give a gentle reminder to our brother or sister that is perhaps stepping outside of the bounds of our faith and then we let them choose. Maybe they will keep doing it, that is their choice it is their life, but perhaps they will think on it and reconsider. Anyways those people are not leaders. We don’t have a hierarchy like some religions do, we have scholars who study and educate others, we have schools of thought that dig through holy text and issue religious rulings, but those are to be taken with a grain of salt. You don’t just believe everything they say. We are told to educate ourselves. So many of us (like me) look to the source. Quran (word of God as revealed through the final prophet) and hadith (narrations from the final prophet).

      Of course we have lecturers, we have Imams (like a pastor), but not an absolute authority.

      Okay I will try to explain. Islam is the religion, Just as Christianity is the religion or Judaism. Muslim refers to the person who is following Islam, just as a Christian follows Christianity. Now the problem is many times people confuse cultural issues with Islam. They may look at Saudi Arabia for example that does not allow women to drive. Some people say this is Islamic oppression. Actually, that is not from Islam at all. Women were never stopped from driving (used to be riding animals but same thing, transportation) nothing in Islam says a woman cannot drive. The country of Saudi Arabia decided to do this, that is their culture and for them it is normal and some women don’t mind because they have drivers.

      Of course you will find some Muslims born into the faith that don’t actually practice Islam, just as you find some Christians born into a Christian family , but they don’t really practice their faith. They are religious by title, not by practice.

      I don’t want to jump too deep into this, but education about Islam could solve so many problems. Education for the Muslims themselves as well as non-Muslims. As a revert, naturally I have studied a lot and continue to study. All too often I see people doing things they think are from the religion, but actually are just cultural. I am a big advocate for education.

      BTW I would rather people ask me questions than assume. I don’t mind. I have been asked much harder questions than this, trust me lol. Perhaps I should write up a “FAQ” for non-Muslims? hmm…

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      • November 22, 2017 at 2:57 am

        Hi Monique,
        Thank you for taking the time to explain religion vs. culture etc, to me. I love your idea of doing a FAQ for non-Muslims sometime. I think something like that would be useful in ALL communities actually because although there are always going to be people who judge, are intolerant or even hate certain people no matter what, there are also people who wish to understand, who perhaps are embarrassed and thus, hesitate to get to know those who may believe differently or appear different, etc..
        I read today that ISIS and some related websites are calling for the assassination of 11 year old Barron Trump! That is so despicable and deranged to me. I will NEVER understand how they can think such a thing would be acceptable to any decent human being–much less a holy God!!
        I hope you and yours have a wonderful Thanksgiving! I just read your most recent article on the Thanksgiving holiday and anxiety and I had to smile because just before seeing it, I had been thinking about that very thing. I have an anxiety disorder and sometimes have panic attacks if it gets very bad. I love my family but there is some dysfunction there including a few with substance abuse and anger issues, moodiness etc. It can be very stressful for me to get together with a large group of them all at once. I think my sister is expecting 14 of us (including herself, her husband and 2 young adult kids) at her table this year! Please keep us in your prayers! Lori

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      • November 22, 2017 at 9:41 am

        I didn’t hear that they did that regarding Barron, it is horrible and has nothing to do with ANY religion. He is an innocent kid. It is like the KKK, I recently watched a documentary on a group of them that live in NC and they were talking about how burning the cross is part of Christianity and they said horrible things about the holocaust and made it sound like it was a good thing and it was Christian. Anyone who thinks ANY Abrahamic religion (Judaism, Christianity, Islam) advocates for the murder of innocent people is close to a Satanist in my eyes.

        I will have to consider doing the FAQ πŸ™‚

        My daughter thinks I am working this thanksgiving, I often have to (hospitals don’t close for holidays) but this year I have it off. I am going to surprise her at my parents house πŸ™‚ My Mom is in on it, but my daughter has no idea I will be home.

        I know how panic attacks go, I used to battle social anxiety a lot. I remember one time I was going to bring a “welcome to the neighborhood” basket to my new neighbor, as I got close to their door my heart was racing and I began to sweat and felt dizzy, I was so scared they would think I was “weird” or not like the homemade cookies I added lol It got to the point that I waited until one day I knew they had left and I dropped it off by their door saying “sorry I missed you!” to avoid any social contact. Alhamdulillah I have worked past these issues, deep breathing and combating those irrational thoughts with more logical ones.

        Have a good thanksgiving, eat too much pie! lol.

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      • November 23, 2017 at 3:57 am

        I agree with you–targeting someone in that way, especially a child, is not part of any religion! Or, at least it shouldn’t be and certainly none that I would want to be a part of!
        That is so special that you get to surprise your daughter tomorrow and be with her for the holiday. I hope your time together is very special!
        Will you have a traditional turkey dinner or something else yummy?
        Now you’ve got me thinking about pie–lol!

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      • November 24, 2017 at 9:21 am

        I woke up today to hear about 115 Muslims killed during Friday prayers in Egypt , supposedly by Isis. Friday at a Mosque is what Sunday is at a Church. That is when they target us, when they know we are gathered in prayer. BTW that alone should be enough to show they are not of the same religion. Horrible acts, tragedies.

        It was a traditional dinner, and I got pecan and pumpkin pie. I love pecan pie, but they are never as good at the pecan pies in Georgia. If you are ever in Georgia , you have to get pecan pie!

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      • December 4, 2017 at 2:44 am

        Hi Monique,
        Yes,I heard about the horrific attack as well and it saddens me. Some people do such unfathomable cruel things and then try to say it was “God’s will” or because they disapprove of a certain culture or religion. I know in our Christian Bible, the shortest Bible verse is in the book of John and it states “Jesus wept.” I believe it surely MUST make God sad to see the discord, turmoil and at times, downright evil in this world!
        I’m glad you had a nice Thanksgiving. Can you believe I have never had pecan pie? I have heard of it and seen it but have never tried it!

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