Aisha Tariqa Abdul Haqq is an Indiana native who began writing poetry at the age of 10 and has since started her own publishing company. Her latest poem examines the power self-reflection has in nurturing personal growth.
Everyone knows life is hard but sometimes it can feel unforgiving. Indiana poet Aisha Tariqa Abdul Haqq has been there, done that, and has just released a triumphant poem that illustrates the journey.
Aisha Tariqa reminds readers there’s power in self-reflection, and that the natural next step when you’re emerging from hardship is growth.
Her poem captures themes central to her two books “Four Years in Chrysalis” and “Acres of Shadow.” If you’re struggling to work things out in your own life, grappling with the whys, and getting bogged down in feelings of victimhood you’d rather shed or ignore, Aisha Tariqa lets you know you’re not alone.
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She reminds you that deep inside is a warrior yearning to break free and create a life of self from all the possibilities before you. You really do have that choice. And when you’re feeling defeated, focus on an immediate goal, and then take it one step at a time.
Indiana born and raised, Aisha Tariqa transforms her own struggles as a young Black woman coping with residual grief and a childhood replete with adversity into deeply insightful poetry that illustrates the growth that can come from suffering.
At age 21, Aisha Tariqa was determined to break free from influences that all but suffocated her hopes and ambitions as a young Black girl growing up in Indiana. In her latest poem, you can almost feel Aisha Tariqa giving herself permission to exhale and move forward.
When you read her poem, you’re immediately swept into a confluence of emotions that layer the apprehension she battled when leaving her scant childhood home with the promise that a vast world, replete with possibility, awaited.
Aisha Tariqa says that at that time she was entering a new transition. One from familiarity with those around her to the acknowledgment of who she was, what she wanted, and how she would achieve it. She says the experience was like a bird leaving the nest — one in which the parent provided all of the sustenance and guidance, as limited as it was.
Putting this meager nest in the past, she begins to notice the world is vast, nearly never-ending and filled with truly endless possibilities.
Where do you start?
Well, she says, you start with jumping out of the nest and hoping to fly — and therein lies the fear and anxiety. “Can I actually fly?” you ask yourself, “or will I falter and shatter to nothing but apprehension on the ground?”
You won’t actually know until you jump — until you jump and force your wings open and position them properly to catch the wind.
Now, you must find your own sustenance, as everyone else has already left the nest — there is no nest to return to. Now, you must look out for the dangers and fend them off on your own. Now, you are exposed to the elements and must acquire lodging on your own, or else succumb to those elements. With little financial stability and limited familial support, this was Aisha Tariqa’s reality.
“Can I actually survive? Do I have a choice?” she wonders, and there she was, with absolutely nothing but a head full of ambition and the beginnings of a purpose.
Searching for a handhold that is no longer available or has always been toxic and will do nothing for her, she begins to find her footing in the world.
One must fashion a finish line, she says. A horizon. Something to guide you forward.
And if you falter as you progress toward your goals, yes the finish line may become farther, but it also becomes more solidified, more discernible, and more accessible. Even as you rest as often as you must, you must always keep that finish line in view. And it will — always be there, that is.
No matter how long you rest, that finish line you have set for yourself never wavers.
The worst thing you can fall back on is the temptation to hold onto something pernicious, something that ails more than it aids, something that suffocates more than it provides breath. This is a habit that deserves to be broken — dependency on a past that no longer exists. Stepping out into the vastness of the future and constructing your own world from it — this is the decision you must make and never waver from.
A discovery of self is a discovery of infinite possibilities and that is what awaits. Creating an entire existence with only your mere hands and your aspirations as tools, therein lies your potential.
Hungry for an abundant life built on her own and fueled by inexorable will, Aisha Tariqa draws on self-reflection to realize her potential, and you’re invited to come along for the ride:
❝It is the ripping feeling
As a broken habit finally falls away
Which causes the most pain
And the greatest amount of relief
It is the clarity
That gives the greatest promise
That correct decisions were made
When self is discovered
All else falls apart
As everything falls into place
And we cannot tell the forgiveness of the past from the vastness of the future
We stand in full
Beautiful as ever, whole as never before
Questions have fallen lightly into needlessness
And mental peace becomes the bridgework for all things that will be.❞
As you can see, Aisha Tariqa never denies her past, but instead embraces it, internalizing her resilience and leaving the rest behind.
She wants you and all her readers to understand the past emancipates while tenacity is what paves the way forward. She says that when pain and disillusionment are all that’s known, and you find yourself somewhere in the interim, it’s a sign you’ve arrived and can look forward to a boundless future.
Aisha Tariqa says “Grasp all that you are and all that you have become, of your own steadfastness and toil, surrender the past, and move forward toward endless potentiality.”
This poem is part of Aisha Tariqa’s Imago two-book series, both of which are available for purchase on Amazon in hardback, paperback, or Kindle.
Follow Aisha Tariqa on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram at @AishaTariqa to keep up with her latest news and publications.
And when you’re in need of support, understanding, and encouragement, you can turn to any one of Aisha Tariqa’s poems. She’ll keep you from tuning out and turning inward so you can acknowledge your truth, rediscover your potential, and build on your dreams.
You can find out more about Aisha Tariqa Abdul Haqq, and watch a few of her videos too, at https://www.aishatariqa.com/landing-page