What does Patience mean to us?

By far the most manipulated word I have come across is’ patience. Here’s a fun activity to do; ask people around you of varied ages what they mean when they say ‘have patience’. You will get a mixed answers, some may make you feel pessimistic about it, some may make you feel good. You see, patience is like a shawl that all of us have had to wrap ourselves with at some point in our lives, and based on how our issues were resolved we define patience. I know that a lot of the people around me take patience to be this miracle that will cure all problems, but their way to practicing it is just sad.

Patience around me mostly has been defined as to bearing with whatever is happening, basically putting up with whatever rubbish it is that is going on in your life. Now mostly our problems are due to others around us and not so much because of ourselves. So once we do whatever we can to resolve our problems, we have to be patient while others continue to be the way they are and hence continue to mess with our lives. Spiritual people will manipulate patience with no end. They will say God will reward you for your patience (as defined earlier in this para), you shall go to heaven for your patient (ditto) blah blah blah….But I was never satisfied, why would my own creator want me to just sit and suffer?

So I got very interested in the topic of patience/Sabr and found much to read, and understand. Some of the stuff didn’t set with me, as humans we always try to apply every concept to our own personal lives and see if it fits, and if it doesn’t or seems like it doesn’t we totally reject the idea/concept/belief. In Islam patience is of different types, there is much reward for the one who is practicing patience etc etc. Understood. My ultimate understanding of patience was discovered in an interview of Maulana Jaun, it wasn’t even on the topic of patience BTW, but in his talk he cleared the air about it. And that is when the cloud of confusion moved away. However this cloud is one stubborn cloud and keeps coming back, and pushes us to despair.

As struggles in life increase with age, I have noticed that the most difficult problems are the ones caused by others. We don’t control the universe, and anxiety can totally take over our sanity and leave us pessimistic, sad and depressed. The worst state that one can reach due to such happenings in life is despair AKA Yas. (It is the second greater sin in Islam). Basically once you reach there, it’s all downhill!

Anyway, today being the first day of the month of Ramadan, I decided to listen to a lecture I had saved in my ‘watch later’ list on Youtube. Usually in life I have noticed that I go looking for something, with good intentions but I most of the time do not end up getting it, however I end up with something more. I guess it’s Gods way of guiding His people. Just like the lecture above I actually went about to know more and learn more from and about Bibi Zainab (AS) since I share her name and believe it is important for us to understand the affect of the name of the person on whom you have been named.

It just so happened that Sheikh Jaffer in this lecture speaks about the various good qualities of her, but focuses the majority of his lecture on Patience, and while some of the information (like the types of patience) was already familiar to me, it was his explanation that answered some of my questions, brought peace to my heart, and most importantly gave me the inspiration to be more patient.

Patience in all it’s true meaning, means to be steadfast, while waiting for the results. And so you don’t sit thinking patience is the finality of your struggle, it is what will enable you to work, struggle, move to make things better.  The truth is that it’s a phase, and Islamically your patience being tested is a sign that you are chosen to be tested.

As mothers and human beings, we have the responsibility of a society on us as we nurture future adult members of the society. It also the responsibility of the fathers, but I am focusing on mothers because I am one. And I firmly believe and second Maulana Jaffer in educating and supporting our children in understanding what patience is. And most importantly as parents we need to not just jabber about the theory of patience, but be brave role models. We all know that children learn through what they see, and they should see the beauty in our struggles, so that they are chosen for bigger struggles and grow closer to their creator, and also become the support system for others who are going through a difficult time.

Anyone can make you laugh to take your mind off worries, but it is a true human who will help you through your difficult time by showing you how to be patient, and be patient with you while you struggle 🙂

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The hypocrisy of helplessness

Human beings have to make decisions in life, these range from small mundane everyday decisions to big life changing ones. Some of these impact only us on an individual level, while others have a wider family/societal impact. Decisions are not easy to make, we can’t possibly be trained to make decisions, no amount of education can prepare us for them, we all have our unique life experiences and encounters that require decision making. However, a strong moral compass helps you make the right one.

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Today I wanted to share the phenomenon on portraying oneself as helpless, when not really making any conscious effort to change your situation in life. Self-pity, playing the victim, are both cousins of the helpless person. You will come across people who are dangerous, and while danger can be described through various definitions, one kind of dangerous people are the ones who meddle, ruin things cause great chaos and when they realise they messed up, they conveniently hide behind the ‘helpless’ tag in order to avoid un-doing their mess. These are dangerous people, because you’d expect them to use the same power that they implemented initially to mess things in making things right, but they choose not to. The helplessness bandwagon is always full, filled with ego stroking, reality avoiding individuals whose conscience dies by the day. You will also find a bunch of soul dead, people in there who pep up and inspire these weak individuals.
When you take a deep breath and think, we are the best of creatures on earth, we are intellectually above every living organism on the planet. And if the animals are able to strive to solve their day to day problems and hustle; then why do we underestimate ourselves? I have observed the self-proclaimed ‘helpless’ and come to a conclusion that helplessness is a choice. A choice you make when you just don’t want to do anything, at the same time not take responsibility. Helplessness is a weak person’s way of gaining sympathy in situations where they know the guilt is killing them, an instant gratification from other humans is important for survival. Helplessness is a phenomenon those who are faithless feel, because they restrict their power to either themselves, their physical/mental capacity, or to that of the other human beings around them. If you’re an adult you’re not helpless, you’re merely trying to pacify yourself and probably create an excuse that will be universally accepted by other naïve/stupid people around you.

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If you want to test such people, give them ideas to help themselves, offer them opportunities to get out of their ‘helpless’ situation and see if they’re willing to put in any effort or just dismiss your ideas all together. The helplessness may also stem from hypocrisy. You will be able to identify it all, just takes a small conversation. I look at helplessness as a disease that makes you weaker spiritually, mentally and even physically. It eats you up, and leaves you in a state of despair. And I refuse to ever regard myself as helpless, no matter how tough life gets, no matter how difficult it seems to get out of a sticky situation, and I get the inspiration from that by having faith in a higher power, a God that doesn’t abandon its creatures. The more power we hand over to others, the weaker we feel. Hand over your troubles to your lord, He will guide you and help you. Stay focused on the truth and acting right. A person who is in a constant struggle to get out of a mess and seeking justice is never helpless, the strength only increases, and the truth about others becomes clear.
I pity and feel sorry for those who take pride in their helplessness. I feel happy that I am not one of them; I am glad that I have faith that makes me believe in my potential- potential whose extent I am unaware of, but am mindful of its existence. It’s sad, to  be the best of creatures on earth, and live it like the worst of creatures. I refuse to belittle myself with the helpless tag.

Playing the victim

I am only 27 years of age. Sometimes when we get into the true adult struggles at a young age, we tend to start feeling like we’ve seen it all. I have to remind myself that there’s much more to learn, this reality especially strikes when my husband tells me that the world isn’t as simple as I look at it. And well while it is difficult to hear those words, I have learned to accept it, because it is the truth.
There have been various experiences I have been through, till date I have gotten married twice, had multiple miscarriages, a pre-term baby, co-founded a non-profit organisation, worked and volunteered, and now growing my family with my husband. There have been problems, and being an observant and empathetic person I always tried to put myself in the shoes of others and be forgiving. But that doesn’t work for all, not all the people are deserving of that. And now I have learned to draw boundaries. I have explored my personality strengths, both in my professional and personal life. I have discovered many characteristics about myself that I need to love and respect, and several I need to work on and eventually let go of. One of the major lessons I have learnt is that there’s always scope to grow, and the right people will bring out the good in you, and help you work on the not-so-good bits about yourself. These people are the ones who are worthy of patience, care, empathy and love.

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What’s the purpose of this post? Well, I wanted to discuss a classic characteristic of people I have come across- Victimizing yourself. The people who just won’t accept their fault, and their ego is too big to accept any weakness in themselves, and when they know they’re wrong, they turn to playing the victim. Blaming you for the problems you are in and they are in as well, instead of owning it. You may have come across such people in your life. What I have observed is such people tend to become the way they are due to backing from their parents, family or friends. Poor parenting results in irresponsible children, who just refuse to take ownership of the rubbish they have created, they also tend to be liars, lazy, selfish, and inconsiderate. If you’re a sensitive or naïve person you will very easily fall into the trap, and start feeling like the problem, because of their skills in playing victim. They do it with confidence BTW.
Fact is, when it’s a stranger you will behave differently, but when your own friends or family are like this you tend to be more forgiving and hence are taken for granted. This is where the damage on you starts while the other person just enjoys the attention and pampering. Anything wrong that happens becomes your fault by default. Point to remember here is; you are strong and don’t need to manage anyone’s rubbish. I learned this the hard way. In the end it’s a logical discussion to have in your mind, take a deep breath and be sure of yourself, be rational in analyzing the scenario and try to see from a third persons eye if it truly is your fault. And don’t worry about how elder or younger the person is, if they’re wrong they’re wrong. You need not be their ego polisher, that’s not our job on earth.

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A recent experience just boiled my blood, and I for the first time stood my ground and didn’t give in to the emotional manipulation. Makes me feel so strong it’s indescribable. Experiences mold us, but we can choose to change our reactions to every situation, see what works best for us. As human beings we have a natural pre-disposition to gravitate to goodness. Let’s liberate ourselves from the negative people in it who unfortunately walk the earth. And make sure we aren’t contributing more of such types, through strong parenting.
Be strong, be right!

 

Essentials of success

There are quotes that inspire me, every-time I read or even think of them, one such quote is from former president of India Dr.A.P.J.Abdul Kalam;

The beauty about this quote is, that it is a criteria for you to know what you’re passionate about. You won’t lose sleep over a gig or idea that you’re not interested in. It’s the things that you fantasize about, what you truly want to achieve that you can pass away your time dwelling in it.

To achieve dreams, and be successful there are several things that come into play. For me personally, it has been 1. time management and 2. facing the challenging situations/ restrictions you are in. We are living in a world where a lot of our work can be managed online and work never sleeps. People who have inspired me have been those who know when to do what. There are no timings to emails, do them early in the morning, or later at night. Make the most of the hour that is going on. That’s the major time management lesson. That’s how I understood the ‘Time is money’ idiom. Truly there’s so much that can be achieved, while people look at you and think “how you did it!”, it’s not super-power just practical thinking.

Restrictions and challenges, this is one that required me to change a bit of my personality and thought process, hence it was rather difficult. It’s a phenomenon I still struggle with, because while you will always have 24 hours in a day, you will have different issues to face each day. Unpredictable ones! As a woman, restrictions can be health, pregnancies, children etc. some of these are exclusive to us. I never had a healthy smooth sailing pregnancy so maybe that’s the reason why it was such a challenge for me, also the daughter was 28 weeks preemie! If you work from home, to get the support and understanding from the people around you s very difficult at-least initially. You will notice a lot of now accomplished YouTubers and bloggers talk about what they faced in their initial days, but as they pick momentum people around them started to understand.

I came across this video some time back, and well that’s what inspired this post really. I thought to myself, there are plenty things I want to achieve, in terms of goals. But there are some I have already achieved and am successful in, the thoughts made me ponder over what got me the success with my Sunday school, and in other things in life. And came this post, with my two findings of true success.

Criteria for me will always be to be able to sacrifice everything except your morals and family for your dream. If you’re at that level, where you can give up sleep, a meal or two, a splurge purchase, just so that you get a teeny tiny step closer to your dream, then you’re going good, and you’re going strong. What are your secrets to success?

 

 

 

Patience

I have never in my life heard anyone categorise patience as something positive. It’s always the last resort of the weak, the unfortunate. In fact even when advised, it’s said with

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a sadness, like the most hopeless thing in the world is to be patient.

Well, all this changed when I listened to this liberating lecture on YouTube by Maulana Syed Muhammad Rizvi. I had read a book on patience, which can similar content as in the lecture, however the introduction and explanation of patience by Maulana Rizvi was eye opening. There are many concepts that we taint with our human thoughts, dirty them with our little minds, and spread the notions with people around us. It’s sad, that something as beautiful as patience has been so ridiculously and openly projected as weak.

I have been maintaining a separate book where I make notes of lectures that I attend, or any other meaningful lectures. And few minutes into this lecture, I had to pause, and pull out my book and start making notes. References of such sort and very helpful to me, I also have a small notebook where I write quotes that have relevance to my life, or inspired me, or changed my thoughts. Significant things should be made note of.

It will still take time to truly believe in the power of patience, and practice it in the right manner, and know when it’s too much. But I do believe, most of us struggle with patience, we all go through hard times in life and all of us struggle in the patience period.

I am glad I came across this lecture, shared it with friends and family, and now on my blog.

🙂

 

2016 is about priorities

It’s a new year, a chance for us to make new amends, change our point of you, just feel like some mercy is on you. For me this year is about prioritising and being reasonable. As a parent is is especially difficult to put yourself anywhere in the top 10priority list. It is a fact. We always put the needs of everyone else ahead of our own.

This is something that has been engraved in our minds and heart, to the point where we lose our own identity as soon as we give birth. It’s difficult to snap out of this zone. It is hence very important to just make a list of what you want for yourself this year, for your child/family. Where do you want yourself to be in the end of 2016. Bottom line is, if you’re happy, everyone around you will by default be happy.

For me this is the direction, no matter anyone says, all I will focus on is my priorities, and focus all my energies into that. Moving forward is crucial, no matter how many years it would take for you to attain your end goals.

What are your priorities?

 

 

The pressure of ‘I’

Fact: the laziest of us believe we worked hard when we want to achieve something. And while some of us are realistic of where we slacked, it is a great feeling to achieve goals. The best feeling of the achievement is not the achievement of goal itself, but the fact that “I did it”. This concept of “me”, “my hard-work”, “my effort”, is great, no doubt, but the counter effects of it when we fail are super bad.

The concept I am trying to present is pretty simple. Most of the time when we are unable to get what we want despite the effort, there’s plenty resentment we pile upon ourselves. “I couldn’t”, ” I should’ve”. The ‘I’ and ‘me’ creep back into the picture, but leave us feeling miserable.

I have learned to be humble and accept that no matter how much effort I put in, only what’s decreed best by my God is going to happen. And if I don’t keep that faith, the negative impact when “failing” would effect me a lot. If I did it, it’s because I put in my genuine hard-work, and the lord was happy as well, and if I were to not attain my goals, in-spite of working hard, I should try to reflect and understand where I went wrong, what could be wisdom behind it, and focus on moving on, having faith that whatever happens happens for the best.

We are too weak to be expecting perfection from ourselves, our own pressures burden us. Being realistic, rational, and using our common sense helps us be the best that we can be. Pushing boundaries of achievement is great, no doubt, but what is important is to not lose yourself in the highs and the lows. We can’t spend our lives beating ourselves down, believing we are the only cause for our success and failure, that we determine our destiny completely, because we don’t. We don’t even know how long we’re going to live!

There’s too much pressure when we isolate ourselves for being the sole reasons behind our success and failure, and frankly no one wants that. And no one can make you feel that you are incompetent, and we should try hard to not get carried away by praises, and appreciation as well.

Part of being an adult is to be sane, and acknowledge that all our decisions effect others in our lives, and people around us are in some way looking to us for some guidance, and learning from our actions. Maintaining sanity poses to be crucial hence.

So relax, and when you look back at the year, and the many goals you had set, remind yourself that you’re human, and only the best happens. Developing insight on issues, showing gratitude, and prioritising is all you need. Set new goals; realistic goals, enjoy the company of the people in who love you and most importantly appreciate yourself for making it through another year of life.