Between Dusk and Dawn…

Some *scribble* *scribble* by Ameera

Tag Archives: relationships

Thoughts on love…

It’s windy here in Karachi tonight and as I sit here in my room, sipping hot milk and taking a short break from the books, my thoughts gently drift from one idea to another. It’s quiet and peaceful in my room and, after a fun and busy afternoon with my sister’s friends coming over, it’s nice to have some alone time.

The rest of my family is in my parents’ room, watching some light comedy show on TV. It makes me smile thinking of them all together, enjoying themselves. That’s because I know there’s contentment and love there. It makes me feel relaxed too, knowing that I can retreat to my room and study with a heart that’s at peace. Life has its ups and downs, for each one of us, and I know cracks and fissures can appear in the strongest of relationships. That’s why, I cherish these moments of comfortable companionship even more… knowing how trying it can be when things go sour, when people are hurt or wouldn’t talk to each other.

There’s so much to learn from watching other people, especially close family, and how they interact with each other. I’m the eldest daughter so I’ve naturally been witness to many incidents, scenes and changes in people around me and not just my own parents. I’ve been through times where things seemed difficult and didn’t make sense either. Why did she do that? Why did he have to say it that way? Then, over time, things started to fall into place. Childish notions of what ‘relationships’ meant were replaced by a different understanding – that each human being has some weaknesses, and that’s fine. It’s impossible to expect people to be perfect. Rather, the reality is that there are amazing people, each with their own particular shortcomings, but that doesn’t mean they’re failures in any way.

As I grow older, I learn something new everyday. I learn how families really function and that sometimes, real love and compassion lies in doing something that’s much different from idealistic expressions. I learn how keeping your mouth shut for five minutes can not only save you from a lot of trouble and embarrassment later, but can earn you much respect in the eyes of others. I learn how the darkest of times upon a family, upon two people who’re committed to each other, can turn into happiness and a real solid relationship that no one could even have imagined possible. It’s about holding onto patience and sincerely wishing to make things better, and if Allah Wills, it does get better… better than better.

I also learn little things from the many mistakes I make daily. When I talk to my sisters,  make a sarcastic comment, or hurt their feelings in anyway… the remorse after that and the pinching of my conscience shows where I was wrong. Sometimes, someone might need me for a minute or two and if I’m too busy in something I feel is more important (but which really isn’t)… it’s my loss in the end because what that person needed, was my love and attention. If I couldn’t give her that, what more could I ever possibly give that could compensate for that? Showering people with gifts is nice but if they know deep inside, you’re not a sincere person, it hardly means anything to them. Instead, make someone a cake or a cup of coffee or tea when you’re really busy and they really need it… that’s love. And that’ll leave it’s mark for sure.

Sigh… it’s either the effect of this hot milk I just drank or the light breeze coming in through the window… or maybe a tender moment fleeting across my soul… that these and so many other such thoughts have come to mind. Maybe it’s the satisfaction that I’m surrounded by people who do love me, just because they’re related to me by blood, and who do put up with my weaknesses and still like spending time with me. Maybe it’s the joy I find in their company, that I just want to express before it’s too late, before I never get another chance. Just today, my father got late coming back from his morning walk and, for an hour or so, I was worried to the point that I really just wanted to see him again and let him know how much he means to me. Alhumdulillah, he got back safe and, after giving him a “scolding” for not taking his cellphone, I did give him a hug too to let him know how much I missed him. Awkward as it may seem sometimes, it’s even more important to seize the moment while it’s there and not have to look back with any regrets later, Insha’Allah.

It’s getting late and I must put in some studying before I sleep. But wait a second… I just checked Facebook and my sister’s status update made this whole post even more relevant. You see, it was her birthday today and here’s what she wrote…

I have the Best friends and the Best family! Alhamdolillah! I mean they sent me off to Sunday Bazaar, snuck into my room, decorated it, blew up balloons, made a huge card, got a cake, gifts, a flower bouquet, a basket of chocolates!!, made pizza, cookies, cheese balls, gulab jamun and more AND almost gave me heart attack when I got home!!! No one would ever do this except out of love! ♥ So Thank you so so much! You made this a truly memorable and wonderful Birthday! There is really nothing I want except a bunch of loving and caring people!

Need I say anything more? Alhumdulillah! 

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Matters of the Heart

There have been times, both in the recent past and even further back, when I found myself cringing over a particularly embarrassing memory. Why, oh why did I say such-and-such a thing? What was I thinking when I did that? Logic couldn’t explain what had gone wrong on those occasions so all my attempts to somehow “think” the situation out just didn’t work. It made me wonder if somewhere in my brain, the wiring just wasn’t right and I was destined to encounter these goof-ups all throughout life.

Being red-faced and embarrassed over past incidents, especially those that led on to other incidents, can really get you down. If it was a certain person you said something to, it will keep coming back to you every time you meet that person. Sure, it might be long forgotten and everyone’s now cool with it, but you always wonder how your words or behavior at that particular incident may have molded a different image in the opposite person’s mind… forever!

It was pretty awkward for me to recall those times when I acted in an unusual way or said something I regretted later, so much so that I began to just block them out of my mind. However, one day I set out to find a real answer: what made me act so uncharacteristically at certain times, with certain people? How could I be totally relaxed and confident with a certain set while become a social klutz with some others? I could be myself, laugh and make others laugh, joke around, speak my mind with people I was okay with while with others, whatever the reason, I made blunders, said odd things and later wanted to bang my head on something, wishing for an “undo” button!

But today, I have an answer. Alhamdulillah, finally, finally, finally… I know what triggers my “clumsy” trait. It’s my heart. Yes, it all begins with the heart! The very reason I sometimes make mistakes in my dealings with people is that, in one way or another, they hold a special position in my eyes. They’re people I like, admire, those who inspire me, those I’d like to learn from and to please… basically, people who matter most to me. And that’s where I mess up: trying to do things the “right” way with these people, I try too hard and trip over my feet!

There you have it. It doesn’t sound as bad as it did before this explanation emerged. I know the popular belief is that you should be able to really be yourself around people you really care for. However, I feel that comes at a later stage, when you know the other person so well that you can anticipate the situation and say things or act accordingly, all from your own heart. But before that, when you don’t even know what makes someone happy or what irritates them, you naturally tend to be careful with every step you take… and that’s where being extra careful can backfire!

Perhaps the take-home message here is that whatever you do, if you do it with a sincere intention and you really care for someone, those blotch-ups won’t stand in the way of a lasting relationship. If you’ve gone and said something that really irked a friend without your intending so, swallow your ego, apologize and look ahead. It’s hard but worse than what you did is to give yourself a harder time over an innocent mistake. Maybe you made a really stupid remark about politics in front of an elderly relative or spoke out of turn in a specific social setting. Maybe you tried too hard to make a new friend and made weird conversation. It can all be cleared up if you forgive yourself first.

Knowing this now, I realize that you should always be yourself, as much as possible, even with people with whom you want to be extra careful about your words and deeds. If other regular people in your life are easy to get along with and you sail through your relationships with them, is it not possible that those extra special to you might like the same version of you? Calm and confident, pleasant, easy-going, flexible… the YOU that YOU are!

That’s my heartfelt intention, that’s the way I’m going to operate now on, Insha’Allah, as much as I can. 🙂

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