Friday, September 29, 2006

As Time Goes By....

After a few days of blogging my latest entry here, I found myself asking a few introspective questions such as "Whose bright idea was it for me to do my Masters Program in Psychology Counseling?" "Why in the world did I decide to become a counseling psychologist?" "What made me do this?" "What am I getting out of this?" " Am I in the right profession?" "Am I doing the right thing?" "Am I any good? And if so, what have I got to show for it?"

I admit, asking myself these questions were a tad too late in coming. After all, in order to gain positively from any introspection, you need to ponder on these questions at a much earlier age and DEFINITELY NOT at the age of 41! However, always the late bloomer that I am, I guess its no surprise to anyone that I only get to this stage of life now.

As I think back to the time when my humanitarian urges pushed me to passionate desire to help and rescue people (apart from the fact that being the first born made me naturally bossy, pushy and demanding), my memory took me back to my early years when I was first presented with the opportunity to give guidance to a young lady whose parents thought that she was a troubled teenager. She was deemed so because she got pregnant out of wedlock by a man who was someone else!

Far from being a judgemental person, I readily helped her by giving her some space in my room (I was still living with my mom) and giving her small doses of advice and guidance daily and nightly, religiously like a prescribed medication. After successfully seeing her through her tumultuous pregnancy and eventual delivery of her baby, I prepared her for independence and let her go on her own way. I haven't heard from her eversince but I never forget to wonder if she is okay now.

Many more years with similar experience ensued continuously from then on and I have never looked back. Luckily enough for me, when I got married to my beautifully noble husband, he was very supportive of my crusade to the point of joining me and sharing my passion with zealous enthusiasm. I swear I don't think I would have been able to do half of the things I've done and helped all those people that needed shelter or help or love or just a little bit of unconditional acceptance without his undying support. He never asked why he should help. He only asked how could he be of help.

Over time, year in, year out, both my husband and I have seen and helped many souls, young and old. We took them into our home and eventually into our hearts. Although the inevitable drop outs are few and rare in between, we have witnessed many succeed in their own lives after leaving our sanctuary. Many have become near and dear to us, sharing our trials and tribulations without a single grumble or sigh of complain.

Most of them had thanked us for helping them through tough times and for making a difference in their lives. Others are quietly grateful and strive to make us proud of them in their own special and unique ways. But little do they know the impact of their presence in our lives. Little do they know how much they mean to us. Little do they know how deeply they had touched our hearts.

It would be a lie if I were to say that they were all stories of success. Some are still struggling to fight their own inner demons and battling the ultimate war with their own lowly desires. But then again, I have never been one to count or value successes superficially. What I value and respect in them is their determination to fight on and strive in improving themselves.

Since most of them were younger than me, they call me kak ana or kakak. When I hear them call me that, it embraces my heart with warmth and sisterly love. If any of them were to read this entry, I want them to know how much they mean to me. I hope that they will understand, in time, how precious their youth is.

It pains me to see some of them meandering through life as if they were tourists, sightseeing in a foreign country, buying insignificant souvenirs just to prove that they were there and coming home only to toss that souvenir away like trash. Life is not about collecting meaningless souvenirs. Life has meaning. A meaningless life is not living. It also pains me to see how some of them continue living their lives selfishly. They only think of themselves and don't seem to give a damn as to how their words and actions affect other people in their lives. They make promises they don't keep and give little value to their ability to speak and communicate. They make words worthless. When they speak, they lie.

However, these rare cases do not represent the angels that has entered my world. There are those that make my heart swell with pride when I see them triumphant in their struggles and actualized their true selves. They go to their destiny with my cheers and blessings.

So, if I was to answer the questions above, I would say this, "It was Allah that put the idea of furthering my studies in my head. I decided to become a counseling psychologist because of those people Allah had sent to me. He has designed me to help people. I do this because I feel sincere with myself, Allah and the people in need, because this is what I was destined to do. I get satisfaction in knowing I can make a difference in someone else's life. Yes, I am in the right profession. Yes, this is the right thing for me to do. Yes, I am good at what I do because Allah has given me all the virtues and characteristics needed to help people effectively and sincerely. And yes, I do have proof to show for it."

I have witnessed how Allah has touched many people's lives through me and my work. And this is what I will continue to do until my dying day. I pray to Allah that when I die, the ones I leave behind will learn from my life on how to live.

"Treat people as if they were what they ought to be, and you help them become what they are capable of becoming."

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