I had the opportunity to read a great literary piece this semester by a well known writer named Naguib Mahfouz. Mahfouz wrote a short story called “Zaabalawi.”

“Zaabalawi” is about a wealthy man that faces a crisis in life and refers to someone by the name of Zaabalawi that he heard his father speak of many times as someone who can solve all problems in the time of struggle. As the wealthy man’s father had previously passed away he was unable to ask specific questions about Zaabalawi.

Therefore, this man spent countless days, nights, time, money and energy on the quest to find the great Zaabalawi that he heard his father speak of throughout his life. He sought the rich, the poor, the wise, the high, the low and all in between.

All had many stories about Zaabalawi, yet none could tell where he could find him. It wasn’t until he exhausted all of his resources and submitted to the fact that he may never meet the Zaabalawi that his father met; that he was visited by this entity that brought him understanding, healing and peace.

Often times we spend so much time asking, searching and struggling that we miss the answers that we are in search of are right in front of us, in the mirror. There is a Biblical scripture that quotes “I knew who you were before you were formed in the womb.”

Whether you are Christian or not we must believe that we are born with an individual purpose and destiny that we are to fulfill during our short time on earth. This destiny was predetermined and the quest in this life is to go back to that root that lies within.

That root that is under the hurts, the pains, the disappointments, the lies, the fears and anything that is holding us back from our purpose. There have been many movies produced, such as the Indiana Jones series, which are reflective of our quest to find that which is hidden, yet we know that it is there. Our journey is to go beyond the things that appear to be obstacles to reach our highest potential in this life.

We can ask our mothers, fathers, spiritual or academic teachers, scholars, religious leaders and all in between, yet there comes a time in our walk that we must stop, look and listen to that which lies within.

Zaabalawi exists for each of us, individually, holistically and collectively. There are times that we need to not always look outside of ourselves for the answers that we are in search of, but look within as we know our ultimate truth, yet we must dig for it.

We are all uniquely and distinctively made, therefore, we at times must do a self assessment to determine whether our actions are contributing to the better of our society and world or the worse. Zaabalawi is a vibration, an energy, a rhythm that creates a ripple effect of positivity, love, unity, justice and that which brings life. This season tap into your inner Zaabalawi and add it to others in fellowship so that the vibration, energy and rhythm of that which is good outweigh that which is not good.

“Take the time to retreat to that quiet place within the pit of your soul and unleash your right to decide what is best for you.” – Iyanla Vanzant