Arduous Voyages

By Hakim Abdul-Ali

Today’s rap is rather simple in literary delivery, but it’s powerful in meaning. It’s about handling some of the distressing twists and traumatic turns in our lives.

We all go through some “Arduous Voyages” in life as my mother used to call the difficult times in life that many “hue-mans” in her life’s time had to go through. There’s a lot of credibility to that reality now and forever no matter who comprehends the statement.

Listen carefully and, if you’ve read my thoughts and opinions before, you know that I’m an admitted mommy’s boy who learned much from my mother. My mother was a kind, spiritual woman and an optimistic motivator; gifts she got from her mother.

Mom was a wise old soul, one who had gone through a lot in her life, so I had no choice except to pay close attention to her words, because I knew she “knew” what she was talking about. Her words and example live with me until this very today with renewed insight.

As I grow older, my mother’s instinctive loving guidance and personal spiritual strengths have led me to recall and understand one of her most poignant messages to me. She said that sometimes some people get a little beat up inside their own minds and around the inner edges of their pressing thoughts, and when they do, they may become frayed at the edges. 

Do you know what she meant? I’d like to think that you do and, if you don’t, then continue reading because, hopefully, I can explain it a little bit clearer. It’s a position some “hue-mans” might want to deny, but I’ve definitely been there a time or two in my sorted sojourns in life.

If you’re the kind of realistic “hue-man” who I think that you are in this reflective present time and space, you’ll probably have to say and admit rather openly that you know what being a little upset within yourself in tiring times is about. It can be an inner “Arduous Voyage” of sort.

My mother used to say that behind all of life’s personal mishaps and self-induced mistakes that affect most “hue-mans” from time-to-time, there are always the catastrophic certainties of disregard and slight that shadows life’s “Arduous Voyages,” which a doubting spiritual believer has left unchecked and unfinished. That’s some potent stuff to comprehend for a serious seeker of truth.

 My mother was a schoolteacher by profession, and she told me and others who knew her that life’s “Arduous Voyages” are merely “passing fancy” obstacles that we have to learn to deal with in life’s journeys from here to there and back again. She said that, by having faith in God (Alone), we’ll come through the dark moments in our lives with strength, vigor and vitality. “Just have faithful consistency” is how she said it.

That’s some additional and heady advice that she gave to me, and I believe that it’s applicable, if you recognize the tenor of what it implies. While you contemplate that question, the present and future collective “Arduous Voyages” in all of our lives will always continue be to there for us in some manner, shape or form. That’s life, pure and simple.

Life’s unexpected and undesired tests are there in our paths in order to challenge the very fundamental nature of our spiritual make-ups and the sacred core of what we prayerfully believe in. My mother taught me to remain steadfast during life’s “Arduous Voyages” and to deeply believe in the power of faith and prayer. Do you?

Think about it for a stark second in time knowing that the next moment is not a certainty for you, me or anyone else. With that in mind, I think that we mustn’t forget that life isn’t a misconstrued and demanding isolated voyage that some “colored” folk in “hue-manity” think that they will get a free pass from.

To the contrary, I’m sorry to have to admit it but no one in “hue-manity” gets a free pass in this life, and I do mean no one, including you and me. “Life is what it is,” and the onerous experience of living is a taxing one at times, which is constantly unfolding.

With that being profoundly uttered, I assume that all “hue-mans” should sensibly know from their visceral experiences that in order to make it through life’s “Arduous Voyages,” they have to develop the inner fortitude of faithful positivism in order to stick it out through the hectic moments and jagged times in their lives. It’s a continuing  battle, and it’s what winners in the game of spiritual survival have to do in order to move on to the next confrontation in life that will surely arise.

 My mother was a proud Southern South Carolina Black woman, who had to endure so much like all ladies of color like her had to back then. These wonderful “sheroes” of Afro-color certainly had a grasp on what “Arduous Voyages” in life were about, making them fully aware of the struggles that they and their offspring experienced and had to endure in life’s trials and tests.

So, when my mother used to say to me that life is full of “Arduous Voyages,” I really know (now) what she was saying. I’m sure that as you read, you can remember, hopefully, what the wise mothers and older ladies in your life said to you when times were previously strenuous for you.

I know that I do, and I also remember something else that was told to me by my mom and otherwise ethnic folk, men and women. They said “beware” of some of the folk who, sometimes, smile to your face, but, in the long scheme of things, they may be backstabbers in camouflage. Did I hear you say, “Hello?”

That’s a bitter sentiment and an ever-so valuable lesson that many “hue-mans,” like yours truly, have come to learn as each new day approaches. Many ethnicities have told me that message in my life’s travels, and they’ve also reminded me, again, to be doubly aware of the fickle-minded souls who you can’t and shouldn’t trust. Living is voyage unto iself.

Life is truly filled with “Arduous Voyages.” Can I get an “Amen” to that? If I can, then please know that what I said in the last paragraph is real wisdom for the ages, present and future. Comprehending that should help you and me, and other souls to relish the majesty of experiencing all of life’s tests with a greater calming sense of ease.

In concluding my vibes for today, I’m feeling something else my mother said that I want to share with you, and I hope that you don’t ever forget it. She said, “No one can escape the “Arduous Voyages” in life because it’s God’s prescribed path for us, but if you have faith in God (Alone) and hang in there, the Most High Alone see you through every one of your difficulties.”

Please remember that, because, if you do, you’ll have a faithful mindset and a prayerful head’s up on making it through life’s “Arduous Voyages.” So, keep the faith in God Alone, and stay closer than close to and with the Most High Alone and also with the sincere and trustful relationships in your life, especially “those” who truly have your best interests at heart. For today and always, that’s, “As I See It.”

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