Testimonial – Discover Yourself Workshop
I am a 43-year-old American woman who in May 2011 embraced Islam after several years of searching to fill the spiritual void in my life. So when, only three and half months after I had become Muslim, a Muslim friend invited me to attend Sadathullah Khan’s “Discover Yourself Workshop” with her, in Pretoria (South Africa). I didn’t quite know what to expect. Ultimately decided to attend, as to me any gateway to better understanding Islam was worth the investment.
I had never attended such a “Personal development” workshop before. But, as is common where I am from, I had a therapist who had helped me enormously in understanding my history and upbringing, how that had led to my adult self and the choices I had made, and how in the present I could better manage myself and my relationships. I, more or less, felt that I would not hear anything particularly new regarding my psychological well being and self management, but hoped to learn something more about the faith I had decided to embrace.
I could not have been more wrong. Sadathullah pushed me beyond where Western psychotherapy had ever taken me. For instance, I had previously accepted that as an adult I could understand people’s motivations for this or that action, “let go” of whatever hurt they had inflicted on me and move on with my life. Essentially, I learned through Western therapy to evolve to a position of, “Who cares? I know who I am, and that is all I need.”
Sadathullah made me realize that “who cares” is a soul-killing proposition, especially when it comes to one’s closest relations and friends. Moving beyond this is forgiveness, acceptance and love starting every moment from a position of “nothingness” and seeking to make all future moments worthy of my innate God-given loving character. The effects of this have already begun to change many of my closest relationships.
The concept of an absolute truth, known only to God, also had a profound effect on me. It may be human nature to believe that our own perceptions are reality. And, I believe that when you hold no religious beliefs, as I had most of my life, this is even more so because the only“truth” you know is the one you create. From a purely logical point of view, this is an anathemato the concept of humanity, because what human unity can there be if we are each creating and nurturing our own personal truth? And it is the source of much conflict in our day-to-dayrelationships.
Understanding a thing or the event as solely only that a thing or an event beyond our human understanding and not underpinned by layers and layers of often false human meaning, is a truly freeing concept. This has helped me to live a more connected and non-judgmental life with others.
Lastly, the simple message of God’s love was profound for me, perhaps because I am so new to it. But it nonetheless, in the self discovery context of the workshop, left me crying in my car on the way home on the final day of the workshop, both because of its power and simplicity.
I grew up being taught to measure myself as successful or not by a whole host of human yard sticks related to societal expectations. The idea that I am loved as I am, and should be striving in my relationships to emulate the characteristics of God, is truly mind-blowing.
In three-days with Sadathullah, I in many ways accomplished more than I had in years of therapy.
The subject the way I live my life and manage my relationships on a day-to-day basis was the same, but the spiritual lens that Sadathullah’s workshop brought to self-awareness, realization and development created a deeper level of understanding within me that I think resonates with the soul’s desire to be connected to something greater and more meaningful than itself, to be one with God.
Thank you Sadathullah for teaching me this, and for your continuing splendid work in this world.