When I was a mere student eons ago , I managed to charm a veteran journalist concerning my theory on why people like to listen to sad, love songs. During that interview, I confidently spewed verbal diarrhea on how human beings knowingly or otherwise, need (and like!) to go all the way down to the depression pits before springing back up. Sad, weepy love songs are merely instruments to allow the person to hit rock bottom, drowning himself in self-pity – before the magic rocket of feeling positive takes place. I expounded on how it is not possible to heal when you only allow yourself to feel the pain ‘halfway’, which only translates to a halfway recovery. Who wants that?

I did not know any better then. I was 22 years old when I came up with that. I don’t know how I did it. I do know however, that the journo in question was so impressed and kept on asking me questions on my supposed, insightful background. He factored my majoring in Philosophy had a lot to do with it. God knows.

Fast forward to today, I am acquainted with the concept of contraction and expansion. How you will be passed along a period of contraction before you can expand – in your inner realm. One can truly expand when he has the ability to pass the test of bad times (contraction) and remembering Who is in power, and eventually surrendering the burden to Him to take care of it. This is a period of flourish. And this is cyclical.

I recalled the day that lesson was taught. I couldn’t explain any more than the fact that it was by divine permission that my so-called philosophical insight came out of my juvenile, 22 year-old mind. It was not from me, but from Him. The familiarity is stark.

During yesterday’s Tafsir class at Zawiyah Foundation, Imam Fode Drame was explaining about the nafs lawwama – the blaming nafs. On how we blame everyone and everything but ourselves. How the nafs lawwama is a veil we put upon ourselves (and unfortunately, nurture) between us and God. In the discussion, we took examples from the story of Prophet Yusuf – on the importance of saving more, and eat a little. Yusuf had a dream of how Egypt will be in a period of drought for 7 years,and flourish for the next 7. He had advised the king to save for the drought while times are good.

This morning, I was reminded by DH on how it has been seven years since 2001. That fateful year when Bush came into office, 9-11 happened and all the world is topsy-turvy. It has been seven years before we are hit rockbottom by a global recession. We have been in a period of contraction since that year. We are, at the seven year mark.

I can therefore, take solace that there is expansion in store. I am telling myself to look and see, and be alert of it. With Obama looking like he is getting into office, it is obvious that the non-performing administration is getting an overhaul.

I seriously cannot wait to see what’s in store for the world next year.

Strangely, I am the only one I know who is excited about a recession looming.

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