I must admit that having lived abroad for a while, the concept of Norooz has changed in my life. In my world Norooz is really not a cultural ritual anymore. To me Norooz is a personal ritual that allows me to pause for a moment and reflect on a year of adventures, stories, happy and sad incidents. Well, this Norooz was a special one…The southern hemisphere does not offer you the smell of spring and therefore Norooz did not bring me any kind of nostalgic feeling. On the contrary, this year’s Norooz was simply a moment for me to pause and accept some of the new changes in my personal and social life. This Norooz, my wish-list was a very brief list. My wish was simply for me to love myself. That was all!
It was towards the end of this year when a series of events made me realize that over the past few years I somehow have not been kind to myself. Realizing my urgent need to be loved by ME definitely woke me up from a very deep sleep. It was as if a layer of glass was shattered around me. The tiny sharp pieces of the shattered glass cut through my skin and left me in so much pain that I was not even capable of comprehending. All of a sudden my body rejected me, my feelings rejected me, my logic rejected me…I was alone. I had lost the ability to describe what was happening to me. Even words had betrayed me. It was a battle. No, I guess it wasn’t really a battle. At least it was not the beginning of a battle. It was rather the moment that I had to decide whether I am against myself or against things that make me discontent in this world.
It has been a tough few months. Honestly, at times it has even been harder than having had a father being tortured in unknown prisons. I have spent a lot of time talking with Me, scolding at Me, yelling at Me, patting Me, seeing Me cry and begging ME for more love and more care. It looks like I have survived through this harsh and rigorous monologue or rather dialogue with ME.
And now it is my beloved Persian NoRooz (New Day). It is my beloved Persian new year. It is when the Earth tickles my feet to greet me and wish me a happy new year. This is MY New Year …and all I could wish for this New Year is for me to start loving myself. Loving Me also means loving others, because my family and my friends are a part of my being. Therefore my new rule is that I should not let ‘loving others’ prohibit me from loving ME. Without listening to my feelings and needs, I will not be able to be the Azadeh that everyone is used to having around…
Happy NoRooz everyone!
Poem # 519 (Emily Dickinson from The Poems of Emily Dickinson edited by R.W. Franklin)
This is my letter to the World
That never wrote to Me-
The simple News that Nature told-
With tender Majesty
Her Message is committed
To Hands I cannot see-
For love of Her-Sweet- countrymen-
Judge tenderly-of Me