Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Truth About Cats and Dogs


I was blitzing away on Facebook while listening to the TV. A rerun of Sex And The City was on. I couldn't help giggling at some of the things that were said by Carrie Bradshaw character. Once in a while, some pearls of wisdom plops out of her mouth and I find myself thinking about it from my perspective, considering my current circumstances. Which led me to this thought:

"When People Show You Who They Are, Believe Them!"

The painful lesson I had to learn at a ripe old age of 45 is very hard to swallow. I see myself as a person who prefers to see the good in people rather than have a negative pre-conceived idea of who they are. Even when they have failed or disappointed me countless times, I still find myself being hopeful that one day they will change for the better on their own. Because Oprah said, "When you know better, you will do better." But then again, Dr. Phil said, "We teach people how to treat us. They will keep on doing something for as long as it works. When it doesn't work anymore, then only they will adapt to find another way to get things to go the way they want it to." This means, truly, that people don't really change. The core of who they are never changes. The changes you see is merely their attempts at adapting to new stimuli and circumstances.

It saddens me to be proven wrong in my unconditional positive regard when it comes to people who matter in my life. I mean, how many times do I have to communicate to them my emotional boundaries? How many times do I have to keep explaining myself why certain things are non-negotiable and no amount of quid pro quo will make me accept their misconduct or misbehavior?

Another famous saying is Action Speaks Louder Than Words. Ok. Fine. Then, show me your actions. Act accordingly. But in their absence, how am I to get any form of affirmations if not through words? And then, things just crescendo to the peak of where they just contradict themselves silly!

This leaves me feeling untrusting and bitter. And I hate this. Because I am not like this by nature. But maybe it is my fault after all. Because they DID show me their true selves but I stubbornly believed that they will progress and evolve into better beings.

Watching Sex And The City tonight made me realize that the reason why women understand themselves better is because we actively involve ourselves in discussions about us and everything pertaining to our gender: challenges, time management, job and role juggling, hormones, friendship, fashion, love and matters of the heart. Who benefits from shows like SATC? Men. They watch a few episodes of this series and its enough for them to understand the psyche of the female gender, as complex and complicated as we may seem. But what about them? How do we understand the mental works of the male gender? By observation? By trial and error? By sharing experiences with fellow girlfriends? By experimenting? By putting them to the test? Because at the end of the day, all women want from their men is reliability, stability and security, in all sense of the word. Or maybe women ought to list their needs in bullet point format. Even that won't guarantee they are able to put aside their macho egos and follow simple instructions... Go figure!

Anyway, just for fun (or lack of it), you may humor yourself by reading the below:

The Differences Between Men and Women by Thomas Bätzler.

Have a good laugh! Salute to the rest of our week. And may God save us all... Sigh...!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Tried and Tested.


When the servant (of the Lord) is tested with a trial, his first impulse is to cope with it in and by himself. If his own efforts get him nowhere he looks for help from other human beings, such as people in power, important officials, men of influence and means, or medical experts where diseases and physical ailments are involved. If he still obtains no relief, he then resorts to his Lord through prayers of supplication, humble entreaty and offering of praise.

As long as he finds it possible to manage on his own, he will not turn to other people, and while human help is available he will not turn to the Creator.

(Having finally applied to Him), only to find no help forthcoming from the Creator, he throws himself down in His presence, incessantly begging, pleading, entreating, offering praise and submitting his needs in fear and hope. But the Creator (Almighty and Glorious is He) now renders him incapable of supplication, and ignores him until he has reached the end of his tether. Only then does he experience the effect of the Lord's decree and the action of His work, and so this servant passes beyond material needs and behavior, to survive as spirit alone.

Since he now sees nothing but the Truth (al-Haqq) in action, he becomes, of necessity, a totally convinced believer in the divine Unity (muwahhid), affirming that in reality there is no agent but Allah, no dynamic or static force apart from Allah, and no good or evil, no loss or gain, no giving or withholding, no opening or closing, no death or life, no honor or disgrace except in the hand of Allah. His status comes to resemble that of a suckling babe in its nurse's arms, of a corpse in the hands of a washer of the dead, or of a ball on the receiving end of a polo-player's mallet - rolled and spun and knocked around, though inert in itself and imparting no motion to other bodies.

Gone forth from his own self, out into his Master's work, he now sees nothing but that Master and His work, and neither hears nor comprehends from any other source. If he perceives at all, if he does hear and learn, His speech is what he listens to, and His knowledge is what he comes to know. His favor he enjoys, through His nearness he prospers, through His proximity he is graced and honored, by His promise he is pleased and reassured. With Him he feels at peace, and in His discourse he takes delight, while from all others he recoils and shrinks away. In remembrance of Him he finds refuge and support. In Him, the Almighty and Glorious, he puts his faith and in Him he places his trust. By the light of His awareness he is guided, as wraps and clothes himself therein. Strange marvels of His science he discovers, and of the secrets of His power he is apprised. To Him he listens and from Him he learns, then for all this he offers praise, gives thanks, and turns to prayer.

Source: Revelations of the Unseen by Shaikh 'Abd Al-Qadir Al-Jilani.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Masks and Masquerades.


God works in mysterious ways. Things may look good outwardly, but there may be evil contained inside. Let no one be deluded by pride that he himself has conceived good ideas or done good deeds. If everything were as it seemed, the Prophet would not have cried out with such illuminated and illuminating perspicacity, "Show me things as they are! You make things appear beautiful when in reality they are ugly; You make things appear ugly when in reality they are beautiful. Show us therefore each thing as it is lest we fall into a snare and be ever errant." Now you judgment, however good and clear it may be, is not better than his, and he spoke as he did. Don't relay on your every thought and opinion, but humble yourself before God and fear Him.

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Anyone who is loved is beautiful. The reverse, however is not necessarily true. It does not follow that all beauties are loved. Beauty is part of being loved: being loved is primary, so when that quality is present, beauty follows necessarily. A part of a thing cannot be separated from the whole. The part must pertain to the whole. During Majnun's time there were girls much more beautiful than Layla, but they were not loved by him. When told, "There are girls more beautiful than Layla. Let us show them to you," he would always reply, "I do not love Layla for her external form. She is of external form; she is like a goblet which I hold and from I drink wine. I am in love with the wine I drink therefrom. You see only the goblet and are not aware of the wine. Or what use would a golden goblet be to me if it were filled with vinegar or something other than wine? For me a broken old gourd filled with wine would be better than a hundred such goblets." One needs love and yearning to distinguish the wine from the cup.

-Taken from Signs of the Unseen: Discourses of Jalaluddin Rumi