Can our ‘Sacred Inner-Home’ be our Savior in the Pandemic Life?

A few days ago, a dear friend asked me a question. She said how does one come to terms with the fact that you can’t be with your loved ones, when they need you the most during these troubling pandemic times, especially when they have lost someone dear to them? You not only end up missing a very significant incident in their lives, you also never get a chance to share their pain.

What happens as a result is that you start feeling their pain remotely, in isolation, all by yourself, and knowingly or unknowingly you begin carrying the burden of not being there for them. And later on, even if you do get to see them physically, under all the pandemic constraints, you feel a void in the relationship. As if they have changed, or perhaps you no longer know how to grieve with them anymore because you couldn’t see it all when it happened. All this ends up leaving you with “no closure” and “unresolved emotions”. In her words, “I feel like I am walking around with a raw wound and it almost feels like we now need to reinvent a new way to grieve.”

Dealing with such moments in isolation is perhaps one of the most difficult things we have to bear with today. This isolation brings us to one of the most troubling emotions that we are facing in our lives these days and that is Fear. With the pandemic looming large on our heads, fear is not hidden away anymore. It is staring straight into our eyes – openly communicating with us in broad day light. It is almost as though our fears are no longer neatly tucked away in a secret compartment inside of us, but have been let out, roaming the streets, whereas, we are trapped in-doors with not knowing how to escape from them.

How do we put them back in the box that we had hidden away or rather deal with ‘fear’ and ‘unresolved emotions’ on a day to day basis?


Even though we feel more fearful now due to the pandemic, we cannot deny the fact that in general, life has never really evaded us from dealing with our fears and challenges, one after another. If you think about it, these two things never really disappear from our lives. We often feel that if we can just fix this one problem, everything will be alright. But the truth is that even though the nature of our problems keep changing, they never really disappear. With a new face each time, we get stuck in a loop of falling into despair, and clawing our way out of one hardship to another.

When the outside becomes so frightening and painful, the only place left for us to go is inside, where we can start to address our accumulated pain and grief, and unlearn habits of fear. It is only on the inside that we can begin to free ourselves from the chronic damaging ego patterns, cyclical negative thinking, and repressed experiences and emotions, eventually allowing ourselves to choose to think, feel and live unfettered by their grasp.

I believe that in order to deal with fear and these troubling emotions, it has become extremely essential for us now, more than ever before, to start building a home within ourselves. I would like to call it our ‘sacred inner-home‘. Think of this as the safest place in the universe; always available to you, where you are allowed to feel what you feel without any judgement, a space where you are free to let go and heal. 


This is your ‘Sacred Inner-Home

You are welcomed here with arms wide open.

You are accepted here with all your faults and imperfections.

You are showered here with unconditional love.

 And, above all, here, you are allowed to just ‘be’ – peacefully.


We often spend our whole lives saving up or working hard for that one beautiful dream house we desire in this world, but have you ever thought about creating a home within yourself? 


A home that is actually already there and will always be yours. A home that will always stay immaculate, despite all the turbulence outside. A home that can never be taken away from you, no matter how lost you feel. So why not put energy into making its walls stronger; its roof higher? A home that will always give you the strength you need when you step out into the world? Why not learn how to rest within its loving shelter whenever you feel struck by the outer world’s harshness? Why not see that the longer you stay, the more it is embellished?

So that finally, when you start residing here every day, you learn that no matter how much harm the world offers, you know where to turn? No matter how many emotions rise and fall, you know where to find peace. No matter how many fears chase you, you know they turn to dust at its doorstep. And, no matter how much grief there is abound, you know here you have the courage to breakdown and rise up again to share your strength with those who need it, even if it’s the whole world.

In the words of Imam Ali (r.a):

You presume you are a small entity but within you is enfolded the entire universe…

Therefore, you have no need to look beyond yourself.

 What you seek is within you, if only you reflect.

Much love,

Tehmina Mansoor, Founder Be-khudi

2 thoughts on “Can our ‘Sacred Inner-Home’ be our Savior in the Pandemic Life?”

  1. Reminded me of Ibn Taimiah; each time he was imprisoned his sakinah never left him. “My jannah is in my heart”… So his enemies could never take it away from him. Like the old Faiz sb line no matter if the sham e faragh is taken away ….the moon continues to shine

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This is neat - alumni from AKU-ISMC have set up an Urdu-English meditation platform to help people cope with the crisis of uncertainty and lockdown. We make a big deal about training future leaders in AKU-ISMC and sometimes that means people who have obvious positions of authority, like politicians, diplomats, scholars or entrepreneurs, but sometimes it means taking a lead in more personal capacities to try and make things better for others.

I'm truly impressed and humbled by Tehmina Mansoor and Zohaib Zuby. They are definitely demonstrating the kind of leadership that makes me proud to be part of AKU.

Dr. Stephen Lyon

Professor of Anthropology and Head of Educational Programmes at the ISMC, Aga Khan University,

London, United Kingdom