Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Trust Me... If You Can...

George MacDonald said, "To be trusted is a greater compliment than to be loved."

Over the past few months, I have been feeling so overjoyed at being reunited with many of the people I consider as friends, that have, at some point or rather, been a fellow traveller along this journey I call my life. Most of them I have known even before I entered adolescence. After more than 25 years have passed by between us, fate has arranged our steps to lead to a crossing of paths again. Those close to me will vouch how much I treasure old friends. I believe that friendship is like a well aged cheese. The taste get better and stronger with time.

Ralph Waldo Emerson also said, "The glory of friendship is not the outstretched hand, nor the kindly smile, nor the joy of companionship; it is the spiritual inspiration that comes to one when you discover that someone else believes in you and is willing to trust you with a friendship."

It is in my nature to trust and think well of people. The longer I've known them, the deeper the trust I have in them. This is because, to my reasoning, if I have known someone for the majority of my years on earth, they are as good as my brother or sister. I should honor and cherish that friendship as I would my blood ties with my own siblings. I would rather be proven wrong for trusting and thinking well of someone than to be proven wrong for distrusting someone and thinking badly of them.

Frank Crane said, "You may be deceived if you trust too much, but you will live in torment if you don't trust enough."

But in a span of a few weeks, two of my old and treasured friends have betrayed me. One, abused my trust. The other, didn't trust me. I can't begin to describe how much that hurt my confidence in the goodness of mankind. Now my nights are filled with tiresome and disturbing dreams that echoes these betrayals. Is it a coincidence that they both went to school together? That they were of the same skin color? Has the breakdown in their marriages caused them to be so hurt and hence hurtful? Am I being a bigot or a racist for having these thoughts cross my mind and contaminating my reveries?

Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "Our distrust is very expensive." "Self-trust is the first secret of success."

I've intertwined this blog entry with quotes about trust. This is my way of healing myself from this pain of betrayal. However, in reading what Cardinal De Retz said, "A man who doesn't trust himself can never really trust anyone else", I've come to a realization that it's not my problem if people have trouble trusting themselves and in doing so, they cannot bring themselves to trust others. They are the ones with trust issues. But, why does this burden my heart so terribly?

Samuel Johnson said, "It is better to suffer wrong than to do it, and happier to be sometimes cheated than not to trust."

Is this enough to heal a wounded heart that has been speared by the lance of distrust? Is it worth my while to keep on trusting people? How much is too much trust? How little is too little? Is there any way we can guard ourselves from betrayal without cutting ourselves out and depriving our spirits from the nourishment of a refreshing friendship?

From this experience, I've come to understand that the quality of the friendship cannot be measured by the length of it. Because the years spent apart may have a role to play in changing the person we once called a friend and turning them into perfectly familiar strangers. I don't know those two friends anymore. Their appearances may have aged through time. But they are no longer the friends that I grew up with. The friends I knew have ceased to exist in these two people. I don't know them anymore. And I don't talk to strangers.

"Trust only movement. Life happens at the level of events, not of words. Trust movement." - Alfred Adler

Monday, April 14, 2008

Yada-Yada Sisterhood Part 2

I'm being politically correct when I use the term Yada-Yada Sisterhood. Actually, our meetings are called Perjumpaan Vagina Monologue by its members. But somehow, when some members of the opposite sex hear this, they cringe as if its a dirty word! Why is penis not a dirty word? Isn't the vagina a part of the woman's anatomy as penis is for man? Even Oprah had to improvise by calling it "Ve Jay Jay."

Well, as far as I am concerned, these men can cringe all they want. Because the honest to goodness fact is that the vagina is their entry passage into this world. And here is the latest edition to MANkind.

Ahmad Shahiman Bin Ahmad Fairuz.

This time around, our meeting did not have tea and scones. It was in the labour room of a hospital. Wa, my soul sister, had just given birth to her second son. Laton and I joined Wa to celebrate the wonders of motherhood. Now, the score is 2 all between the three of us. Two miracles each. And we agreed that the one who will deliver their third child will preside as the president over our meetings. The first meeting was held on 01.01.08 and the second one was on 08.04.08. Both dates fell on a Tuesday. One was to celebrate a new year. The other was to celebrate a new birth.

Women carry within them the miracle of kinship. Silaturrahim. A connection via the womb. This connection makes an unbreakable link. For this reason alone, women deserve respect. We are the mothers of human race.

Friday, April 4, 2008

On Becoming a Person: Carl Rogers

Carl Rogers (1902-1987)

What is most personal is most general:
I have almost invariably found that the very feeling which has seemed to me most private, most personal, and hence most incomprehensible by others, has turned out to be an expression for which there is a resonance in many other people. What is most personal and unique is the very element which would, if it were shared or expressed, speak mostly to others.

Life, at its best, is a flowing, changing process in which nothing is fixed:
In my clients and in myself I find that when life is richest and most rewarding it is a flowing process.
To experience this is both fascinating and frightening.
Life is guided by a changing understanding and interpretation of my experience.
It is a process of becoming.
I can only try to live by my interpretation of the current meaning of my experience, and try to give others the permission and freedom to develop their own inward freedom and thus their own meaningful interpretation of their own experience.

- by Carl Roger, written in 1961.

Wisdom of Fritz Perls

Frederick 'Fritz' Perls (1893-1970)

"The Prayer"
I do my thing and you do your thing.
I am not in this world to live up to your expectations,
And you are not in this world to live up to mine.
You are you, and I am I, and if by chance we find each other, it's beautiful.
If not, it can't be helped.