A New Way of Writing

by Loolwa Khazzoom • September 26, 2014 • Keeping It Raw

I have not been blogging for a long time now. I have done some sporadic blogging, but ever since Fall 2011, I haven’t been blogging consistently, which I had been doing previously.

I always felt I was writing to Gd/dess/the Universe, throwing my thoughts and ideas out into the world with love. The problem is that from time to time, I would get back judgmental, hateful, or otherwise misguided responses to my blog posts, such as from the Law of Attraction set, who would claim I had bad luck, bad karma, or that I otherwise was responsible for things I was dealing with in the world – from crazy drivers to negligent doctors to invasive people – you know, despite the fact that every 12 minutes, there is a fatal car crash, and that medical negligence is anywhere from the third to fifth leading cause of death in America. (I don’t know if there are stats on invasive people, but I’m damn sure I’m not alone there either.)

In my life, I have typically been the person to speak up about matters. In high school, in fact, I was voted “class troublemaker,” the only category that year with no runners-up, because I was always speaking out and taking action – in some cases, landing in top media the causes I was championing, at the tender age of 17.

I think that in every generation, there is just a certain set of people who are willing to speak Truth, regardless of the consequences. And yet, throughout my life, when I have brought various matters to the attention of institution or group leaders, I have, among other things, been told that I was the only one who had that issue. Given the slap-down reaction I have often received in response to speaking truth – in some cases, getting the boot from a group – I could see why others did not want to say anything. And I vocalized that too, at the time – that maybe if leaders were more receptive to feedback and more caring about the experience of group participants, more people would say something.

Back then, I didn’t’ have the language to use the word “safe,” but that’s really what it was about: Most people do not feel safe speaking up about something. They do not want to be singled out, ridiculed, spat upon, shunned, or otherwise condemned and punished for offering the gift of sharing their perceptions and thoughts with the world. I spoke up despite feeling unsafe. Truth was my beacon.

From a young age, I have believed that if and when we follow the thread of truth to its conclusion, we will be liberated. We may clash, things may get really dicey and uncomfortable and difficult, but ultimately truth will lead us on a path of self-discovery and elevation, so that we reach our ultimate potential and all dance in glory. When people try to manipulate, control, divert, cover up, or squash truth, we get into trouble. Then our lives are being dictated by the interference of mere mortals, instead of guided by the light of Gd/dess/the Universe.

Going back to the blog: In 2011, as I was struggling to get back on my feet after two back-to-back medical emergencies unraveled my life, I had a prospective client who was excited to work with me. While he did not have the finances to afford my services, had had solicited the backing of someone who did. She was all in favor of hiring me, until she saw that on my personal blog, I used the word “fuck.” The deal was canceled.

On the one hand, I thought, well I don’t want to work with someone who doesn’t get me anyhow, so – heh – fuck it! On the other hand, I felt suddenly naked, vulnerable, and exposed in a way that did not feel good. I felt not only judged, but misjudged, misunderstood, painted in a light that was not true. And so I became skittish about blogging.

In addition, an energy healer I briefly worked with advised me to stop putting my energies out into the world, via my blog, and instead focus them inward, so as to self-heal from cancer. I thought that was sound advice. I did spend my life up until then in service to the Jewish community, the world, and certain individuals. It was truly time, I decided, to channel my energies to and for myself.

The problem is that when we contain our energies, we can end up in danger. It is by expressing ourselves and sharing our experiences that we are liberated and that magic happens. We need to see each other’s “true colors,” Cindy Lauper style, so as to recognize each other and find our partners in crime. Plus the more we tell our individual stories, the more we are fortified by our collective stories. The feminist movement in fact was launched through the sharing of individual stories. Women discovered that they were not fighting isolated battles, but rather, a systemic social illness.

And yet, I still feel there is so much crap out there – so much finger-pointing, so much suspicion that if you are going through something, and someone else is not, then it must be that you’re causing or attracting it. It’s like Ashkenazim who are unwilling to acknowledge the existence of racism against Mizrahim and Ethiopian Jews, without ever visiting the neighborhoods or talking with Mizrahi and Ethiopian Jewish activists on the frontlines. It’s inconvenient. Plus so many people are so self-centered that they assume if they are not experiencing something directly, it must not be happening at all.

In two separate incidents, in December 2013 and May 2014, I was rear-ended at a stoplight. After years of being pain-free, I was thrown into the cesspool of chronic pain again, and after the second incident, I had a concussion, with a chain reaction of consequences. Months later, I am still recovering from the impact. I have been afraid to tell people about these incidents, because I find that more people respond with a “what’s wrong with you” reaction than an “OMG what can I do to support you” or “WTF is wrong with our society, and how can we fix it” reaction.

It is sick and twisted and an indicator of something being profoundly wrong with our culture.

But there is only so much you can be on the frontlines before feeling beaten down. Over the past four years, I have enjoyed being more or less off the radar and behind the scenes, working as a public relations manager and getting other people into the spotlight. There is something that is peaceful and relaxing about not getting public attention, about having a private life. And yet, there is also an element of hiding, avoidance, and caution involved. Not wanting to get verbally, emotionally, or spiritually attacked again, because there is only so much one can take.

One night last week, I was contemplating how there must be many other people out there who have been in a string of car crashes. I mean, just look at how people drive. My thoughts continued along the lines of how I know that for everything I go through, there must be scores of other people going through the same thing. I contemplated putting together an anthology of stories of people who have gone through hell of multiple injuries, chronic pain, multiple car crashes, and so on.

The next day I got a call from a woman named Carol, who said I was an angel in her life, that she was crying when she read my blog posts, that she had gone through exactly what I had gone through, that I spoke truth unabashedly, and that it was so validating for her to read everything that I had written. I informed her that in fact, she was my angel, because I was needing someone to validate for me that yes, other people are going through this too. I was needing some recognition and encouragement, and bam! There is was.

My mom has said, over the years, that for every email or phone call I get from someone saying that I have changed their life, there are many more out there who are not contacting me but who have been similarly impacted. While I know that to be the case, I recently have been feeling too vulnerable to keep putting myself out there. This angel Carol, however, told me that I must keep on writing my story, and I guess I’m ready to do that, because here I am writing it again.

So here’s the crux of the matter, which I discussed with Carol on the phone: I know, and I have always known, that I am an intelligent, articulate, educated, intuitive, awake, powerful, and assertive individual. In addition, I know that I have outstanding communication skills, the gift of many years of working intensively on my personal and professional development. So if there has been so much crazy shit in my life, I know that there must be exponentially more crazy shit in other people’s lives. They just may not have the wherewithal to speak about it, and therefore, nobody can jump on their ass for doing so.

Maybe they are so disabled that they can’t type or even talk into a voice activated software program. Or maybe they are so poor that they can’t afford a computer to begin with. Or maybe they have been so spiritually crushed that they are afraid to speak up.

On a related note, I have found, repeatedly, that people tell me shit they do not tell other people. People tell me when they have been experienced incest, chronic illness, medical negligence, rape, car crashes, and so on. And they often tell me pretty soon after meeting me. I am thinking that indicates something about me that feels safe. I am also thinking that indicates something about society – including friends, lovers, and family – that feels unsafe.

When I was a junior at Barnard College, I took a macro-economics class at Columbia. I thought the professor was an idiot, because I barely understood a word he said. The rest of the class, meanwhile, thought the professor was a genius, also because they barely understood a word he said. The difference between our reactions was one of self-esteem. I know that I am a profoundly intelligent human being. If you are talking to me in English, and I don’t know what you’re saying, and I ask you questions, and your answers do nothing to elucidate what you’re talking about, that’s on you, not on me.

I think most people, however, do a self-blame trip – they take on themselves and blame themselves for whatever crap is going on in their universe. Then they blame others who are suffering similar things, because it’s a projection of how they treat themselves. If I don’t like what they say to me in response to my blog posts, well I sure as hell am glad that I don’t live in their heads.

All this back story goes to say this: I am consciously now going to change how I am writing and who I have in mind when I am writing. While I always have written for myself, I often have envisioned the heaviness of society when I have written. I have been keenly aware of how “out there” I have been and how ahead of the curve I am, and I have felt the weight of the resistance, arguments, hostility, and backlash against me. I have felt the struggle of a salmon swimming upstream, even in my writing. And while I have not kow-towed to the pushback, it has caused me stress and anxiety.

After a recent energy healing session, where I decided that I need to let go of the energies of resistance and fighting, and I need to reframe things, I decided that I am going to continue writing for myself, from the heart, but I am going to envision not the naysayers, but rather, the people like Carol who will respond with a resounding, “Amen sister!” In other words, even if there are only two people in the world who will resonate with what I say, I am going to write with them in mind, and I am going to keep them in my heart. Period. I am ousting the rest from my brain.

My mom said something along those lines a long time ago, around the time that I wrote Consequence. When I wrote it, I was honestly afraid that the men in the white coats would come after me with a straight jacket and haul my ass off to a funny farm. I remember feeling the fear and writing through it, because it was Truth, and I needed to speak it, no matter what the price and consequences (as it were). I am not sure if it was for that book or some article I wrote around the time, or the combination of the two, but my mom pointed out that it doesn’t matter what the world says, that I should keep in mind the target audience – the people in the world out there who feel exactly as I do and will be so ecstatic to get their hands on my writing.

I have always had an orientation of heading toward the darkness, to shed light on it. In other words, if A, B, C, D, and E were all taken care of and functioning perfectly well, but F and G were broken and fucked up and in trouble, my energies would go toward F and G, to bring healing, wholeness, and light to them, to help them renew and rebirth. I think that’s really awesome and generous and loving of me. It’s also fucking exhausting.

I have been through a whole lot in my life. I have no idea how it compares along the spectrum of what people go through around the world, but for me, it’s been a lot. And at this juncture of my life, I want to give less of me to fighting the good fight. Instead of having my sights set on changing the whole system, I want to stand in my truth, speak it, and gravitate towards those who see the same thing. I want to give my energies to fortifying myself, to connecting with like minded individuals, to building community with those who are on the same page – dancing naked together, in the sunshine and rain, chortling like happy and free little babies.

And so it is.

One Response to “A New Way of Writing”

  1. Carol
    Sep 27, 2014

    I thank you so much loolwa for calling me a angel I am far from that. However I feel bless to be able to have found you. I will con’t keep praying that we may be able to work together because my story was so much a like. I am going to have to keep praying for this evil world. I have been harassed everyday by the governor who would have know people would behave this way they should be put away in jail because it a crime to harassed sick people. However God will deal with them that why I pray for everything evil will come to the light. But I do not fear man I fear God who in control of everything. I always wish the best for the people of this world because they do not know better. Please keep writing and smiling God will bless you as long as we say positive and know he in control not man I took your vice looking into some support groups.

    Thx so so so for writing from your heart God Bless you always! Tke for now!

    Love carol

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About Loolwa

Loolwa KhazzoomLoolwa Khazzoom has worked with leading media outlets, including The New York Times, CNN, Rolling Stone, and ABC News. In addition, she has published two books and has lectured at prestigious venues including Barnard Center for Research on Women, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, and Harvard University. Loolwa is passionate about health, music, dance, multiculturalism, and Judaism.

Holistic Media, Marketing, PR

Loolwa Khazzoom is a a public relations manager specializing in holistic media, holistic marketing, holistic public relations, and holistic promotions. Her services include branding and messaging development, image and communications management, website content development and optimization, social media management, traditional media campaign management, book development, and in-house writing and editing.

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