The Lion and the Cage

I will respect myself. I will respect my body. I will respect my soul. I will respect my safety. I will respect my health. I will respect my character. I will respect my beauty. I will respect my heart. I will respect my family. I will respect God.
I will honor my protectors. I will be a protector. I will be my protector. I will find protectors in those who fear Allah and worship Him justly. I am the servant of the Protector of protectors.
I will always move forward. I will inspire. I will do what cannot be done. I will do what has not been done. I will do what has not yet been made possible. I will achieve the wildest possibilities. I will walk effortlessly out of my cage. I will tame my roar. I will save my roar for the day I will give life to the lions of the generations to come. I will care for it and nurture its melody.
With my voice, their voice is lifted. With my honor, they are uplifted. With my character, their character is nourished. With my competence and love, they are empowered to be leaders, activists and educators.
I will not be better. I will be the best. I will be the epitome and the example. I will be the flame and its fuel. I will be the torch and I will be the path. I will be the love and I will be ferocity. I will not take a coward’s leap except to catapult him into the cage he so unluckily tried to put men, women and children in.
I will rise. I have risen within, and I will rise without. Fear not, the day has come when I, the lioness, will leave the cage. And for those who will gaze upon my beauty let their eyes be closed. For those who will lower their gaze, let faith fill their hearts. For those who will honor their women and fear their Lord, let serenity surround them and victory be granted in life and in Paradise. For those who violate and self-appoint as sacrilegious figures of oppression, let the One who takes and gives power snatch it from them, leaving them blinded by our brilliance, helplessly wandering in darkness.
I’m passionate. I have faith. I move forward.
Allah will take care of me. Of that I have conviction.
These are not dreams. These are the steps along my path.