Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Its hard to get by just upon a smile

The first time I heard Yusuf Islam's songs were from a CD called 'A is for Allah'. I remember a particular song from there - God is the Light. (I only remembered bits and pieces, something about birds, something about buildings, something about men. I spent the past five minutes googling every possible combination to figure out what the actual title was.) This was one of the first songs we listened to when we came to Australia, and my sister and I sang a duet of this in a local halaqah of girls. I was ten and didn't care that I couldn't sing. :P Anyway, I just thought the song sounded nice. It wasn't until much later that I read the lyrics properly and understood them. The lyrics are great, but I like the idea behind them. The fact that we miss little things around us and forget about signs that should lead us to gratitude. Only when we stop for a moment, can we truly feel the specialness.

The next song I remember is 'I Look, I See'. This is also another one of those nasheeds for kids that I loved the sound of. We started listening to them again in the car when little Z rides with us. When A put it on the other day, I listened to the lyrics carefully, and loved it! He differentiates between 'seeing', and merely 'looking'; 'feeling' and merely 'touching' and so on. Its as if, everything you do, must have a deeper connection within yourself, and must have a purpose. Teaching to live life like this to children is amazing. You are teaching them from early on that you are not living to merely fill your senses with meaningless and purposeless activities that last only in the short term.

Then, a year or two later, A bought a CD called something like 'The best of Cat Stevens'. I remember being obsessed with 'Moonshadow', then 'Wild World' for a while. I actually still love those songs. Especially, 'Wild World'. I can relate to that completely every now and then. When I was in year seven, I remember coming home and crying to my mum about something that happened at school. My mum told me something about me trusting people too much, and having an overly positive outlook on life. She still tells me that, every now and then. Over time, I realised she's right. You can never rely completely on another person. But the problem is, this realisation hits me in the head, then leaves me when things become rosy again.

One thing I'm beginning to understand, is that life isn't easy, for anyone. We might look at someone and think they have things so much easier than us, or so much better. But we can never completely understand what is going on in someone else's life, no matter how much we try. Quick fixes are easy way outs, yes, but they last a very short time. Sometimes, we try to convince ourselves that something isn't a quick fix. We rationalise it in our mind and convince ourselves that there is nothing wrong with what we are doing. And there may not be any apparent wrong in it. However, quick fixes are always wrong, because of just their mere nature of being short lived.

It gets frustrating when you cannot get yourself out of a cycle. Certain things literally become addictions. And every time life throws you a lemon, instead of dealing with it as brutally as you can and making a lemonade out of it, you decide to chuck it in the corner and try your hardest to forget that it exists. But eventually, that lemon will rot, then you try harder to make yourself believe that the stench isn't there. I guess what I'm trying to say is - we run away from problems for so long that we think we can keep running forever. But one day, you will wake up as a forty year old, and realise you still haven't dealt with the problems you encountered at twenty. So, essentially, you haven't grown.

So, in order to not do that, what you do is this: identify your problems, come up with a plan to solve them, get some help and get on with it. The problem is, for some 'getting on with it' is the problem. Giving something up and sticking to it, or starting something and sticking to it, (basically, sticking to things) become the problem. And when things aren't stuck to, the cognitive dissonance that comes with it, also, then, becomes the problem.


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