Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Facing Fears

When I was in year 9, one of my teachers recommended a book to me - 'Does my head look big in this?'. It was about a typical teenager who decided to put on the hijab and create some other changes in her life. I don't remember much from it, apart from the fact that it was a very typical teen flick type of read (can books be 'flicks?'). I also remember that the main character was inspired to put on the hijab after watching some random TV show, instead of a heart wrenching/logical lecture/discussion/the usuals. I just remembered this again, because, I just finished watching a very random teen flick on YouTube, and I feel... quite inspired! The name isn't even worth mentioning. Yes, I am twenty one and I just got inspired by one of those Disney movies made for thirteen year olds.

I am not sure if I was always a scared little kid inside, but for the past month or so, I am realising that I have a major tendency to hold back. I have been holding back from facing my shortcomings, facing truths, making the right choices, being honest with myself and simply just doing whatever I am able to do. I don't think I ever trusted my full abilities. And I don't yet know what they are because I have a major fear of failing. Thankfully, my life is not filled with too much drama, hence, this 'holding back' did not cause trouble that cannot be fixed with little effort. I realised I am not nearly as assertive as a healthy person should be. God put me in situations where I made life harder for myself because I was not assertive. From next week, I will start a new stage of my work as a 'shadow' for one of the kids I work with. This means that I will be helping him communicate and interact with others in his pre-school. His mum was telling me that the ladies who run the place are quite passive-aggressive, and I must be strong in order to deal with them properly. His mum is my employer, so I am obliged to follow her instructions more than I will be obliged to follow the people who run the childcare. This scared the hell out of me! I absolutely hate saying 'no' and there are lots of things that make me feel guilty. But I think (and forced myself to agree with myself), this would be a perfect opportunity to train myself. If I am with them for two hours per day, twice a day, I will be bound to learn how to deal with them. So, I am looking forward to it, but sort of in a way that you look forward to horror movies.

The worst that can really happen in this world is not so bad. And Allah finds a way out for those who place their trust in Him.

I remember making a good, but rash, decision a couple of months back. When I told NS, she opposed it very much, and said I would not be able to stick to it because it was so rushed. Turned out she was right, I was not ready for that decision. AA once said that when you get hurt, yes, it heals. But you need to allow it to heal the right way. If you put the wrong stuff on top, it might make the wound worse. Both of them makes very much sense. I need to follow certain steps to follow through with the decisions I make, in order to create some real change, in order to heal properly, instead of just covering up a hole with dodgy bandages.

So yes, Allah finds a way out for those who place their trust in Him, but they need to make sure that they are taking the necessary precautions and paving their way as it is given to them. Otherwise, they will be left trying to reach the top of a very steep mountain with one single jump and hope for a huge miracle. Miracles definitely happen, but, often, wishing for a miracle is the easy way out. Either that, or we just need to change our perception of what a 'miracle' is. Let me give you an example. One of my ABA kids' house is a half-an-hour walk from the station. If I walk fairly fast, I can get there in twenty minutes. Being the unfit and occasionally self-concious person that I am, I never run it. In fact, I stopped running for public transport (unless its less than two minutes) about five years ago. The other day, I left their house 15 minutes before the train. I half ran and half walked for a few minutes, waited and desperately prayed for the bus for about two more, then decided to run. I ran for ten minutes, chucking my self-consciousness out the window. I was making dua the entire time. I felt like I wouldn't make it, and if I was my usual self, I would just walk slower and catch the next one, moving my next commitment back for half an hour. But I kept running, even though I felt very out of breath and my legs giving in. I made it in the end. To me, that was miraculous.

I realised, every time I thought that something was a 'miracle', that thing was a result of dua, but I believed, 100%, that the dua would be accepted. (But I would consider it miraculous because there would be no logical explanation for it to occur in normal situations.) Hence, I worked for it in the little time I had, even though, to another person, that effort I put in would have seemed very futile. I forget this all the time. I forget this and I give up sooner than I should.

One of the many things (or few, depending on where you're standing) that bug me is people's strong urge to label everything. If someone shows a few particular traits of being a certain way, why must we label them and define them so solidly? I think people have bits and pieces of a whole lot of identities, and those bits and pieces are precisely what makes them. Why take one bit and define their entire self with it? There is a certain way I am supposed to be, because of the identity that society places on me. Or the identity that people get the vibe of from the window that they view me through. I suppose it does not have to be like this. This is one of those things that happen only if you let it. If you don't let yourself be defined by the definitions of others, then you will not be.

I guess one thing that comes out of all of these realisations is the realisation that I absolutely loath the feeling of guilt. There are two ways out of guilt - you forget about the reason for the guilt and move on with your life; or, you deal with it, and move on with your life. The way to deal with it can be in two ways - you give in to whatever you were doing and block out the little voice in your head; or, you take tiny steps to turn towards the positive outcome. Usually, I just try to forget about it altogether and move on. It seemed like the right way for a very long time, because there were often none or very little negative consequences. But as you get older, and more responsibilities come upon you, it becomes harder to live by forgetting bits and pieces of your life. It is much easier to recognise, accept, swallow the consequences and learn from an experience.

No comments:

Post a Comment