The oft-cited expression that life is about the journey not the destination, feels particularly true in the context of this week’s interview.
While travelling home from one of my learning adventures in Arizona, I had the good fortune to be seated next to an engaging, funny and compassionate young man named Aadil. We chatted the whole flight, and by the time we landed I felt we had gained a friend.
Over the past several months, we have kept in touch and I have been continually inspired by his life’s journey – one of deep bravery, introspection and transformation. We are lucky to have Aadil share some of his story with us in this week’s podcast.
Aadil grew up in an orthodox religious household. After going on a quest to deepen his faith, he came out the other side questioning it more than ever, eventually deciding to leave Islam.
Being the first in his family to make a formal departure from their faith, Aadil has faced much backlash and controversy while simultaneously inspiring rich conversations that have deepened relationships and expanded views.
Aadil’s story is not about spreading any kind of hate or shame to religion. His story is about courage, freedom of choice and love. It is universal.
There comes a time in most people’s lives where we must go against the grain. Perhaps it is because of political views, sexuality, familial values or societal norms – despite the situation, we may find ourselves not being able to fit into the expectations of others.
Breaking free from any kind of procrustean system, or at least perceived as such, can be terrifying. It takes tremendous self-awareness, strength and daring to stand up in our authenticity and say this is me.
Due to the personal and sensitive nature of this interview, Aadil has chosen to keep his last name confidential out of respect for his family. He does, however, have a website for anyone wanting more specific information about his journey and why he chose to leave his religion.
No matter what adversity you may be facing as you read this, I hope the courage is catching.
How do you find courage to stand apart?
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