106 - Rumi, Personal Healing, & Fighting Injustice with Love (feat. Melody Moezzi)


you're listening to this podcast. See a major is a podcast at the intersection of faith and mental health. Hey welcome back to the show. I always like Schnee. What the Shit like. Hey welcome back to see a comedian. Podcast about faith mental health. Sure I'm one of your hosts Robert who is a therapist and I'm joined by my co host. Dr Holly Oxygen Learn News a social worker in an associate dean professor associate dean garbage. Well it's Friday Holly. How are you doing today? I must have your title. Can you correct me? You're great I'm doing alright. I'm doing okay robber. It is yes the title is that I am the Associate Dean for research. In Faculty development at the Garland School. Social work at Baylor. University has asked see too many words. I know it's hard not got the I got the court of You. Did you got you've earned as will thank you. How are you doing on this Friday recording? I'm doing well I'm doing well. Today is Kelly and Oliver's last day of the semester. Ooh And so. Yeah and so. We've been finding little ways to celebrate this morning and just try to start finding ways tickets to transition into the summer. But that's what we've been doing today. What about you how are you doing? What have you all been up to? Yeah I'm doing well we Gray doesn't go to form school so there's none of that to celebrate. I know our schools in Georgia finished last week. I know you were talking amount. Do like celebrating that. Do you have traditions? I know people have always done for when school ends. Do you have. Y'All have traditions that you have always done that. You're trying of how to do man. That is a great question so we do we have. I mean first off. We have like a little sign that we do that on the first day school we have you know some details about each of my kiddos and on the last day. There's like some other questions about the both of them and usually we still that out the night before the last day. School an take their picture before they go after school and And so this side by side. Yeah Yeah Yeah so And I love that because I love capturing some of these little things like your favorite song and favorite book and the things they wanted do over the summer and favorite memory of the year and things like that but yet we move slow today and we had a nice big branch Shin. We filled it out together sitting at the kitchen table inbetween. Kelly's like online lessons and things she had if allowed and so usually that's normally what we do and then what we've also been doing like on Kelly's last day school or the day after so we pack up the car and we head out to South Carolina. And you know this year that is not what we're doing so so. I was just telling you before how Kellyanne offensive time yesterday laying out on the HAMMOCK and trying to dream up what you know what we're gonNA WANNA do this summer. And how to fill our time in ways that you know are just good for our family and new rhythms and just kinda living into this next transition this next wave of uncertainty and what this feels like for our family moving into the summer. So yeah what about what about you. I mean I know grace still too little for those traditions. But is there anything that you used to do as a kid growing up at the end? That's what I was trying to think when you text me earlier that you having like a end of the end of the school brunch at the that. That's pretty cool. But we used to always. My parents always took and got us ice cream on the first day of school are fine and then like into into college they would then. Mo didn't exist but they would like no deposit fifteen bucks into our bank accounts for me my bra for and so. We did that with gray when he started daycare back. I guess the fall of last year last fall. Yeah we took him and he didn't he didn't understand right right bunch of pictures of him. You know eating ice cream and stuff like that and so we did that at the beginning which I think is a cool one to kind of carry on a slice cream but also we did every year on the first day of my last Mr of Grad School. My Dad sent Brooke some money and so I think keeping that is something that will probably try and do but nothing on the end. So I don't know maybe that's celing as gray goes into actual grades at some point of. Maybe we'll have to try and think about that's awesome. Yeah it's I mean it's hard in each what I'm realizing to with Kellyanne Oliver. Is that each of them. Wanted to for things to end the year. But you know we're just GONNA be creative. Spent some time this transition a twenty twenty to spend a little time to think through and figure out what we WANNA do this summer so that it feels like summer doesn't just feel like a constant continuation you know like there's still on the yeah. Man is so wild. Wow should we shift into talking a little bit about this week's episode? You tell us a little bit about this week's episode. Yes sure so this week we have melody noisy. On 'em she has just recently published a book called the Rumi Prescription. How in ancient mystic poet Chaim modern manic life and I had actually come across melodies. Work a little while ago. I think I've talked about on the show before I just I love it roomies poetry. I head discovered it in Of Twenty ten from one of my mentors In Grad School who had introduced me to release work and Ramiz poetry is just woven throughout my teaching and some of the writing. I do and I just really love his work so anyway so that is kind of what. Got Me curious about this book and then somehow we just connected. I don't remember I think maybe it was twitter or something but it was just melody is just been such a great voice to get to learn from and listen to and her experience regarding mental health and mental illness particularly with her diagnosed with bipolar disorder and the ways in which room is poetry. He's Kinda spoken to her and she's kind of worked through his poetry translating and writing about it. I don't know I just. I Adore Melody. I Adore her book. I cannot say enough good about it. She speaks so beautifully about her experiences and about roomies work overall. And I can't say enough good about it. She throughout this book she takes these general human conditions that we all tend to struggle with and she pairs roomies poetry with each of them in such beautiful way while weaving in her story. Yeah what about you were there any takeaways or any any thoughts you had about this one? Yeah I think a lot of listeners are probably similar spaces me where you say okay. I've heard of Romy of a couple things that quotes that I could think of but I'm not super familiar. Will I still enjoy listen? You're absolutely right so this is a conversation where I went in thinking like. I don't know a ton about roomy and so will I enjoy this as much as all of our conversations and I absolutely did write them in said she really humanize it talks about her story and things like that and I loved it and so I'll say you know even if you say I'm on I don't really know too much of his poetry. Definitely stick around. Melody does a phenomenal job. It's not all about this that you've you may or may not be familiar about her. Yeah it's really a good conversation. Yeah Alright while without further ado we will get out of the way so that y'all can listen to this episode. Where Melody Moise? Hey this week. We have melody Moisy on. She is an Iranian American Muslim author attorney activists and a visiting professor of creative nonfiction at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. She is a graduate of Wesleyan University and Emory University School of Law School Public Cal. She's written for the New York Times. Washington Post The Guardian and she's appeared on NPR C. N. BBC PBS and more Melody Lists Between Cambridge Massachusetts and Wilmington North Carolina. She's the author of how tall and hyacinths a bipolar life and wore on air real stories of American Muslims and her latest book. Which is what we're GONNA be talking about. Today is called the Rumi Prescription. How in ancient mystic poet changed my modern Manic Life Melody? Thank you so much for joining us today. So good to have you here. Thanks so much for having me holly absolutely. Is there anything that we missed in your bio? I think it's funny. I wouldn't people read my bio. Sometimes I'm like who is that person didn't I mean especially if someone with a mental health issue like their years of my life that are completely empty but I sound really good the way you introduced me but you don't introduce the year the empty years. Those are nothing I got up brushed my teeth and took showers and stuff. You know so that was a success. But there's I think people don't think about that right look. It's not often thought about that all that there's a lot of other stuff there too. Would it be like if we all started writing? Really the most honest by antibodies. Where it's like. I love it. Welcome Robert He made nachos yesterday all our biosphere gonNA become really. I I love it. I love it while we definitely want to dive into the Rumi Prescription today. But I would love for you to tell us about your backstory. That kinda lead up to writing this book touching on the previous books that you've written and what inspired you to write this most recent one well so two things. I grew up in Dayton Ohio as Iranian American Muslim. And that experience like it was a really great place to grow up and I think the division that I saw happening after the two thousand sixteen election especially Was something for you. Know for a lot of people that Activated them and certainly activated me and a lot of ways But none of it would have been possible if I hadn't already had this Intense mystical experience That happened While I was acutely manic so having bipolar disorder it happened to coincide for me and for a lot of people as well with this Mystical side Where I was able to have these beautiful mystical experiences and I had to In my life that have been extraordinary because they've I've felt more connected to every living thing on earth than I ever had before it was very much like people describe psychedelic experiences though. I've never I don't even drink alcohol like don't do drugs But it was a beautiful experience and what happened. Was the medical community. Sort of stole that from me by saying this is not valid. You this is hyper religiosity There's an actual word for it And I wasn't being hyper religious when I was in the hospital as a Muslim. There's a certain way we pray and I think the mental health community in Dayton Ohio was not in Atlanta. Georgia was also hospitalized. I don't think they were particularly familiar with that And they'd only seen it. Maybe on television so to them that seemed threatening right But I don't think it's all people of Faith I. I've talked to people of all different sorts of faiths In the mental health community is not good at helping us through that That was part of the problem. Part of the problem was also the faith community was not so great either. My faith community was like some of them actually told me you know. This is jen which basically means like you're possessed you need an exorcism No not possessed. I need medication. You know so it was like the ignorance on. Both sides was intense an impressive. And as somebody if you're in the midst of a manic episode or you know you're dealing with serious mental illness you lose a lot of credibility really quickly so in any case being after the experience of being hospitalized. That was the first time that I actually started taking this poetry seriously that I started understanding this poetry that my dad had been reciting to me my entire life and that I had taken for granted and rolled my eyes about every time recited a poem. I think like a lot of kids. I I was just brag about it. I just this this is basically my. Roomie is my dad's addiction And like a lot of children of addicts. I grew to resent the object of my father's addiction. Which was this beautiful poetry That every lesson I've ever learned has been accompanied from him has been accompanied with one of these poems so eventually once. I had that mystical experience suddenly. I knew what Roomie was talking about and not be. I lost the ability to read at that point after the mystical and Manic episode and for days I couldn't read and that was when just intuitively. I was able to realize how deeply connected I am in. All of us are to one another and to something greater than us but also that some something that lives within us We have different names for it. But that doesn't mean it's different. You know what I mean. Yeah they do yup. Well I I love that you kinda started moving towards talking about those mystical experiences and I do actually have some questions about that a little bit later but I I do WanNa Kinda start with just talking about the role that your father had in this book and what a beautiful role he had continually offering this deep wisdom throughout and in fact I was going back through some of my highlights and I think your dad may have made up like quotes. The he had may have taken out a large majority of my highlighting in the book. So I'm GonNa tell him that he'll be so happy. Please thank him for his wisdom the gift of his wisdom. That's threaded through this book. But I want to get them on the line. I know I just wanted to get him on the line so he can read some of these verses to us. I mean but we'll definitely have you melody read some of but anyway so as you know just as he pulled out these verses of roomies poetry. I do WANNA Kinda First. Poson just creative face to tell us a little bit about him and your mum Jasbi and who can a day? Are you in in this book? So I'm incredibly lucky. I grew up as the daughter of these people My Dad has name is Ahmad and I've always called him that in my they're both Iranians They both grew up in Iran. They both came to the United States. After or I guess during the Revolution. I was a fetus during the so-called Islamic revolution and they came to America is a dream kind of place. Where things that weren't possible after the revolution in Iran war hopefully possible here and their dream was for us to go to school and to have the same education anybody else would get With or without a Y chromosome And they were very adamant about that and they raised us with our faith being education And I didn't realize until later that that was also Islam within Islam. At you know I had an Islamic upbringing but it was very very centered around roomy And they're just both really extraordinary people both physicians My Mom is a pathologist. So she did autopsies. My Dad was an Obgyn so he deliver babies so we had both spectrums like the entire spectrum of covered Between the two of them so growing up in and seeing them both do work that had purpose. I think was also helpful especially to see my mom doing it and loving her work as well so I was very lucky to be raised by these two people And in this country I love that I love how you just write about them in this book to. It's so beautiful to thank you for sharing a little bit with us about them. Thank you also write quite a bit about this ancient Persian poet whose name is roomy and he has a much longer name that I will let you introduce to our listeners but I would love for you to tell us a bit about him. He was an a little bit about about his poetry. Our listeners particularly in in this link that it has that is deeply grounded in love and an offers a bridge across so many different religions that I'll touch on a little bit later but anyways yeah tell us about roomy in who he is yes so roomie who we Iran people who speak Farsi. We call him Mowlana which means our master and he's a thirteenth century. Persian Sufi mystic poet. So Sufis are the mystics of Islam but also you can run into Jewish Sufis so it's confusing and there's like all different kinds of fees It's sort of I. If you're familiar with Taoism where they say at the beginning I think the beginning of the Dow teaching is like the Dow that has an ISM is not really the Dow Sufism is very much the same way except for now. It hasn't ISM and it doesn't really work that way. But that is basically who he was. He was the first of What we know as the whirling dervishes though he never He inspired that order of Sufis but he he didn't found it. It was founded after his death. So it wasn't that he was saying come Worl- like me. He was very much encouraging people to do what was right for them and for him. Warling was a centering. Act FOR HIM BUT In terms of there's so much about his life and history that is men that we don't even know that a lot of it is legend. Franklin Lewis wrote a great book. That's giant it's all it's called. Romy. I believe it's like East and West something like that but I think the actual title I forget the subtitle but the actual title is Roomy But this book is more of a personal take on how not just learning his poetry. It's more like because this poetry was important for my dad. It was a way for me to get to know who he is and connect with him on in a really deep spiritual way that I really didn't anticipate especially because like I said I wasn't raised in a incredibly religious household the religion was and like I said this poetry. So yeah so yeah. The book focuses more on what Rumi has has done for me in my life now and is not so much like a history of his life and my familiarity with it. Isn't that of an academic? It's just that of somebody who is sort of in love with as poet. I love that I love just the way that you explain that and I totally understand like there's just that general understanding of Romy and what he's done for many of us on an individual level but in a group level as well and I think that that's so beautifully. Paints the picture of who he is. There is one quote that I pulled out that you had written in this book that I think really speaks to the essence of roommates poetry. And and and what it offers to us a new right regarding these of poetry you say they're meant to be applied repeatedly in groups and in unison through song and dance whenever possible beyond superficial. Wurley divisions toward eternal secret connections. It is no coincidence. For instance that this poetry exists in a language relatively free from gender with no she or he know her or him for rooms rhymes live the divine save no room for petty partitions instead they invite us to tear down our barriers and unite us through love. And then you highlight one at your translations where you right of his poetry where you say. Love Nation of origin is separate from all creeds. For the levers the beloved comprises all religions and nationalities. Get that really deep deep down. We all get it. They got the idea even just like God is small to fit into one. Tiny religion is almost comical to me But yeah I think I think humans need a route you know. And religion is is the route that we've created and we're flawed so a lot of our religions expressions of them are deeply flawed. Unfortunately Yep no answer good. Yeah so you do you write about and we mentioned it a little bit earlier but you write about beautifully right navigating the nuance between a mystical experience in a psychiatric episode. Which I think we have a fair amount of mental health care providers who listen to the show as well as obviously people that work in other areas But that might be kind of jarring thing for them to hear right how to understand the difference between those two. Can you talk about those experiences for you? And maybe how they differ where you new in some cases. I needed immediate care. Yeah so the thing about these mystical experiences is I was never. I'm not a monk. I never trained for this So to not train for a mystical experience is not the best place to be So most Sufis will basically go through prayer and charity and fasting and a lot of things till they get to the point where they have some sort of mystical experience. If they do I had not done any of that stuff. I just stumbled into this mystical experience which we call fennel which means the annihilation of the EGO. But it's the same thing in all these mystical traditions the ideas to annihilate your ego. Because the idea that there's a self separate from the beloved The divine as we recognize it is a that's a true delusion So I think what ended up happening for me is initially this beautiful mystical experience. But then it morphed the first time I was able to have it without it morphing into anything but it was a very short experience The second time I was not so lucky the second time I fell into clinical mania and I medication I'm a strong proponent of medication for people who need it like me and I also needed spiritual guidance. And that's what was really hard for the American healthcare system to understand that something could be simultaneously a clinical experience and also mystical one Or just a spiritual when it all right so this in the strong desire to separate the clinical from the spiritual And say you know these are two very separate things and they can't overlap It's you know life isn't like that it's not. It's not that easy and it's frustrating to talk about when I first initially wrote the since. My last book was a memoir about having bipolar disorder. Some people were like. Oh have you cured it with roomy and I'm like no? Please don't get the wrong message here. I'M NOT SAYING THAT. I've cured my bipolar with Rumi. I'm just saying that poetry has a place. Faith has a place and our medical system doesn't recognize that even though study after study shows that people have faith do better when they're allowed to practice when they're allowed to engage in whatever ritual is meaningful for them and yet still we. We looked down on the clinical community. Just the medical community looks down on that As being less than or not valid even though there are these studies that are you know control They still don't really Allow us to have those experiences without some skepticism on their part. Oh my gosh sister you are like just spur reaching to me right now. This is this is actually like the heartbeat of the research that I do around equipping mental healthcare providers to pay attention to client spirituality recognizing exactly what you just said that we have data that shows that it actually can improve outcomes if we pay attention to it so God bless you for doing that work because it's so important that there is actual data that people can look to because they won't believe us on faith And and this is really important that that work gets done in a serious way by people who were qualified by actual PhD's so It matters thank you that means a lot. I thought there was one point in the book where you write about this. So beautifully at from your perspective in your experience where you really put out this gorgeous call for us to consider spirituality in mental health treatment And if it's okay I'd actually I'd love for you to read. This bet. Sure though the conscious mind may be able to forget being torn from its roots. The soul cannot trying to heal a broken brain while dismissing a fractured soul is like trying to build a house while dismissing the shoddy foundation build your house on quicksand and it will sink no matter how sturdy or stunning the roof for all the pain. My mind has caused me for all. It's extraordinary and ordinary figures. I cannot dismiss the fact that it is also summoned alight transforming my wounds guiding my steps imparting a distinct spiritual hunger if not aptitude a compassion creativity a connectedness. I love it so much. I think it's so beautifully illustrates why we do need to be paying attention to this area of our lives. Ns Mental Health treatment. And I think it's such a gift that you were able to wrap words around that so beautifully. Thank you for that. Thank you that the reference there. I think maybe the listeners would want to know. Is this a poem? That combeback says translated. The wound is a place where the light enters you Which is not exactly precise to the translation but my translation is your wounds may summon the light here too but the sacred light does not come from you and I. I should've honestly it doesn't it doesn't. It's it's the idea that only you can heal yourself that you you come from. Nothing is what roomies speaking out against here. He's saying that you're wherever you're wounded. It calls the beloved to you. But don't think you're the one doing the healing yourself because that's that's where ego gets in the way like if we think we're the ones responsible and I think that's why there's such a conflict between the mental health community in the spiritual community because one wants to be right and they think to be right. The other has to be wrong. They don't realize that they could possibly both be right. Yeah no then I yep. I think that's so good so in the book you have in each of these chapters like a diagnosis which is more of a general human condition diagnosis. And then you have these translations that you've done of roomies poetry to pair with it in you. Call these the prescription and for each. I WanNa make it very clear that in this book that you're not saying in this is what I'm picking up is that you're not saying that the poetry will replace medication particularly for these clinical issues in fact slightly. Yeah in fact you even include medication alongside poetry in prayer in helping you heal while emphasizing again at that distinction between clinical level illnesses and more common societal level illnesses that as you know are rooted in ego ambition and prompting fear and insecurity are different. So you talk about these two is being different. Do you mind just unpacking not a little bit and then we'll go into some of the chapters that you write about sure. Yeah the I think ultimately for all of the prescriptions it comes down to love. They're all different incarnations of love in a all the diagnoses are different incarnations of ego and fear As an as a kind of expression of Ego Rumi has this notion that you know you're already so much there's a poem where he says. I'll I'll read it in Farsi. You can hear the music of it. Zach Talla Gusty hold a Vati which means you went out in search of gold foreign wide but all along you were gold on the inside. So the thing that we're seeking Is already within us. And that's that's you know that's why you see in children right like they children already know. These things intuitively We're taught out of this low right like I I. It's hard to meet a child who doesn't have a sense of wonder and and to me. That's that comes from something and I think what's divided people so much is giving it a name and saying this is God and if you don't believe in that there's there's something wrong with you As opposed to saying what do you believe in? Do you believe in nature. Do you believe in science. Do you believe in something bigger than you. And whatever you name it. It's a force that you can feel. That's that's part of your intuition in unfortunately like we are very left brain kind of society that and I think that fulfills a Lotta masculine stereotypes. I think it has a lot to do with misogyny. Just what is acceptable? And what is considered powerful and strong rate like being vulnerable and showing emotion is considered a sign of weakness in our culture and and a whole lot of cultures. And I think that ends up hurting us in in my solution to all of these these different diagnoses in there. It's not exactly a solution But the prescriptions that remains providing. They aren't saying you know. Stop being angry like he doesn't say stop being angry. He says feel like go into that. What is that anger really about? And once you dig deeper into it a lot of times you'll find an anger is what I have the most trouble with but You'll find that that there's ego underneath that. I tell a story in the book about giving a talk at A. Lgbtq Muslim retreat. Where I was the only a straight suspender woman there and I was talking about mental health. And I've been an ally of the LGBTQ Muslim community for a long time. Which is why. Obviously they invited me. But I remember there was some people who took issue with my being there and I remember one girl coming up to me when women young woman and she sort of looked like me and I call her in the buck. My d'appel gang tournaments big hair brown skin like she. She looks a lot like me. So it's almost like a mirror and she's so angry she's livid that. I'm even there an asking you know I need to make space. And she's right and so many ways but. I'm so angry that like how dare you. I've worked for like the only death threats that I've received a result of my work with Lgbtq community as an ally and specifically the Muslim community. So I feel like I've earned the right to view there but my anger wasn't about the cause or injustice or anything like that. My anger in that moment was just like why? Are you being mean to me? Like I'm better than this. I deserve better than this. And you know when you go down to the real source of it especially really strong emotions. Often you'll find the EGO is at the heart of it and that that's tough for me because I have a whole lot of anger that I think I'm very righteous about. I think I'm right and that's so dangerous. And I think especially you know after twenty sixteen a lot of us had this sense of righteousness that wasn't earned in part of writing. The book to is in this moment of such great division Is just to say stop it like I. I'm so sick of IT and I. I'm very progressive. I'm very liberal. I have friends who voted for trump. I have one friend. Who's a Muslim woman who voted for trump? She grew up in West. Virginia I grew up in Ohio. We're very good friends. This has not torn apart although a lot of our mutual friends have unfriendly her. And I don't think that's a solution I don't i. I know that her the way she voted was the result of some trauma that she's experienced. But I don't see that as a reasoning for sort of suspending the love. I have for her. I feel like it's greater than that and I think we have suspended love and we want medals for it. Like we've said I'm disowning my uncle because he's you know he voted for trump. Or He's this way or that way and I I just. I don't know if that's a solution I do. I really don't think that it is a solution. I think it's it's hurtful and I and I know a lot of I've heard this from White Christian Americans like telling me that they've disowned. They're Islamophobic family member and I'm like I don't want you to do that I would rather you say hey. I have friends who are Muslim. Maybe you should meet them. You know and I'm not saying like I don't want them to intellectualize with the islam-phobic uncle but I do think there is a way to reach these people and it's not by cutting them out of our lives and that. I think is what people are doing and unfortunately like for my white Christian American allies you have so much power. You have so much privilege to be able to talk to your uncle. Because he's not gonNA listen to me you know so. Why can't you be that bridge? I understand it's work for you but it's also worked for me to deal with your uncle and I'm not in a position where I can change that but you are and I know it's hard work but it's worth it and that to me is what real ally ship is about. I think those two things are so linked to the second half of what you just said and you started it by talking about. Getting underneath are like heightened emotional reactions right in saying okay if I can get underneath this. What's what's under here. What are the bigger things happening? And I think that's the part that is so hard if you see something and you say hey so and so posted this therefore like we're done because that made me super angry and that's so easy to do and they're certainly like I'm GonNa look at things less or whatever I mean like I barely on facebook because it tends to be a different Rita thing then my twitter feed right so like you know. Everyone's trying to stay healthy but then not just saying okay. I'm done with you as a whole human being because of this right but can we get underneath there and like find kind of the like if we dig down deep enough where all on the same planet you know exactly exactly and I and I really believe that in. It's been helpful for me to realize that a lot of the racism misogyny and all of the things that affect my life directly as an Iranian American Muslim woman. All of these things affect my life so I'm invested in them but I when I realized that somebody else's racism isn't about me but it's about pain that they have it's about how easy it is to blame me or my parents are immigrant. You know like my parents took your job. Well you know this this idea that you know you lost your job. There's pain there And as a result of that it's easy to just put it on someone else so I think that's just a fault in logic. I don't think that's a fault in spirit but when you turn it into that it what ends up happening is it becomes a Fulton's Berry I think we push people in directions Whether we know it or not and right now I think sort of the as woke as they come. I proud of being. Whoa I teach a lot of millennials but I do think this obsession with microaggressions for instance may not be helping us in the macro aggression sense right like if we're obsessed so much on these failures in language The may be using language that is outdated or incorrect An immediately labeling that racist or sexist or whatever. I'm not sure that really helps us? Because I'm not sure that gets to the core of the issue in the first place and immediately shuts down conversation. So I I think the labeling of it that quickly without coming out with love and kindness and with some sense of there trauma behind this there is pain behind this and I understand pain. I am connected with pain so if you accept that each human being each animal like all of us are interconnected. There's a part a divine part within all of us. You have to recognize that if you heard another person. Then you're hurting yourself. You know and I and I think of sort of someone like Donald Trump who I would say denies my humanity as a person in ways right I. He wants to ban people for my country for my religion. Like he's not very interested in that but I also like what a poor little insecure man that that this is what he's obsessing with something or if you think of like really homophobic people right who end up being homosexual in the end right like that is is a trope at this point. You know what I mean so when you're getting mad at somebody for being so hateful it may be that what they hate. The most has nothing to do with you but as something inside of them that they hate And they need to deal with that and if you can help them by being a mirror for them and letting them see who they really are like. What a gift to be able to do that. And that's that's what true friendship is about and Rumi says the faithful or mirrors for one another and not. That's my my father was a mere for me and I became a mirror for him and I think in every relationship. You can accomplish that But it takes work. It takes effort. That's really gotten I'm glad you looped in that piece about being a mirror for others and I think you articulated all of that so well when you know many of those topics that you unpack just now could easily have been very tricky to navigate just the way that you unpacked it. You just articulated it also. Well thank you for that and q for the opportunity so we right within each of the chapters as we mentioned earlier. There's a diagnosis in a prescription. And I I mean. I wish that we could go through every single one of these. But I'm really GONNA encourage our listeners to go pick up the book and walk through each of these as melody at talks about the diagnosis of wanting and isolation in haste and depression and anxiety and anger and fear in disappointment in pride and she unpacked so beautifully. The your journey your pilgrimage. Right through this alongside. What roomy kind of nods to each of these like ego diagnosis? I guess I don't know how are human condition diagnoses Bengo. Yeah tell me I'd be curious like which of these. Maybe which of these the most difficult to write? And maybe which one was the most life-giving as you wrote through it I think you know the the Depression Chapter. I talk about a friend of mine high lost to suicide so that was an I actually recently went to Greensboro and spoke. This is the last event I could do before We were all staying at home And I spoke there about and I in this is the only place where actually read part of that chapter about her and she writing about her was really really hard In my dad's notion of my losing this friend to depression in him saying you know she wasn't trying She wasn't trying to kill herself. She was trying to kill the depression. And the problem is you can't kill the depression without killing yourself. You have to welcome it. You have to welcome emotion every emotional guest Into your home and he really has a poem that I know. A lot of people are familiar with in my translation of it was welcome. Every guests no matter how grotesque be hospitable to calamity as to ecstasy to anxiety as to tranquility. Today's misery sweeps your home. Clean Making way for tomorrow's Felicity. So that means you you welcome every single one of those guests rate and your hospitable to them right and I and I've never really rolled out the red carpet for my version. I'm not I'm not a fan of it and certainly I wasn't a fan of what it did to my friend Mary And being able to see that there was a lesson in that that there's a lesson in all of these emotions in the it's not you're not gonna read you know you're not gonNA reach after about depression than be like okay. I'm never going to be depressed. That's not happening But this is a constant Effort that you have to really work hard to welcome guests and so that that chapter was really hard for me to write because of that My relationship with Mary in losing her But I think one of the most helpful chapters for me and all of them were helpful in different ways but the one around anger because I am naturally go there And it's what I've made a career out of. I'm an activist. You know. My anger has led me to. I mean that's why I right 'cause I get really angry about stuff and that's how I make sense of it So obviously there's a used to anger. I'm a huge fan of Audrey. Lord I believe the anger has a use a just like all of these emotions. Have A us? But you can't let it use you and I was letting it use me. I was getting so angry to the point that it was burning me on the inside and I realized that it was because I was focusing my fight against injustice on my hatred for oppressors instead of my love for the oppressed and so I didn't have to change my actions. I was still fighting for the oppressed. I was fighting injustice but I was doing it from a completely different perspective recognizing that love is our most powerful weapon against injustice not anger. Anger is useful But love is so much more powerful. You can't win someone over with your anger but you can win someone over with your love so good. That's good. I appreciate you You're not torture friend Maryann I am just. I'm terribly sorry about that. That had happened and I thank you that she is no longer with us. I think the way that you wrote about her honors or so beautifully and one of the things that you just kind of mentioned noted was this idea of welcoming guests that you want to warmly. Welcome depression half that. You're like yes but I you right in one at one point in there that you said welcoming guests does not mean you love depression. It means that you feel it so that are so you can let it teach you something Right I just thought that was so beautiful. How you phrased that. So not that chapter on anger I could feel it. I felt it I mean. I think we're all feeling. There was a lot of anger in this moment. Right now is such a great example of all of all of these lessons in a here like chapter two is about isolation So just being in this moment. It's kind of funny. I feel like God is laughing at my ambition because it's not like I got rid of my ambition but it used to be you know as an author you could count on Amazon to deliver a book in two days. But it's like now it'll twenty account. Is that meal out of. Can you slow down enough for twenty days to get a hardcover book and I never thought I would release the this book in the midst of something like best an I I'm sure I'm not alone in that. There's a lot of people in the same position But I do feel really blessed and lucky that the message of this book is useful right now in ways that it might not have been otherwise you know so I'm glad that people are finding comfort in it and one thing that we like to ask. People is about their their hope for their work rice. So whether it's specific to this book or your work as a whole may be both say you know you're putting all his time and energy in what is your hope for this book My hope is that it helps people feel less alone that it provides a community and it helps people create their own communities. Yeah Yeah and it not just for you know. Obviously I have my hope specifically for my fellow Iranians and Muslims who are reading this in terms of reclaiming this inheritance That has been taken from us in ways. You know a lot of the translations of Rumi Really Erase Islam from his poetry But hopefully being able to infuse that back in allow people who have been traumatized to be able to look at their own culture their own background in find healing and resilience and hope in that. And I my my hope is also that it. Doesn't you know for Iranians like me. Yes I want them to come back to romy. I want them to come back to this literary inheritance. We have but my hope is that. If you're Irish and you read it takes you back to your Irish heritage You back because there are mystics roomies in every culture It's just we. I think there's a special kind of healing you find when you go back to your own routes like that and I certainly did. And we're it's really and I write in the book about intergenerational trauma which you know. We love to talk about as academics and stuff but We don't often talk about intergenerational resilience and I think that's just as powerful and just as important and deserves as much attention Same with post traumatic growth versus post traumatic stress There are ways that we can respond to our experiences even intergenerational That can be healing instead of traumatizing. I hope people find healing where they knew trauma before so good. We'll friends. You can connect with melody at Melody. Boise DOT COM or on twitter at Melody Noisy and an instagram at melody dot noisy. We'll have the links for all of those our show notes You can connect with Robert at Robert. Dash FOUR DOT COM or on any social media at Robert Four you can connect with me at Holly Oxygen Dot Com or twitter instagram at hollyoaks. Sandler Melody so very much for joining us today. This was such a gift to get to listen to and learn from you. Jimmy thank losing much of thank you. I appreciate you having me on an just addressing this topic. I appreciate the work that you're doing. It's really important that we be able to blend science and spirituality in ways that we haven't before and it's GonNa take people who know the science to do it so I'm really grateful to you for that. Thanks for listening to this podcast. One a score some major brownie points. Five stars in an honest review on itunes follow us on social media at CSM H podcast and emails with questions comments and interview requests at CSM. H PODCAST AT G MAIL DOT COM.

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