I wanted to talk about something that has bothered me for several days. This post was initially going to go up on my Facebook but I decided otherwise. Here on the blog, I don’t have to worry about people losing interest in a long post. If you’re here, you’re already a reader and I value your loyal attention span.
The prologue, the context, the background
When we were children all we wanted was to grow up. Now that we are adults, we realize adulthood is just a plethora of duties and worries. Our parents become old, the finances go up and down, our children and our siblings too, especially if we are the elders, become part of our constant worries. We all are fighting several battles each day.
We all go through problems in our lives. Each one of us has that one struggle that he or she knows for sure that it’s their trial from Allah. It’s a whole process of how we react, what we do and then eventually how we come to terms with it.
So when everyone knows that everyone is caught up in something, it becomes all the more important to not be an asshole after all.
Not convinced? Read on.
The well meaning questions are “harmless” only in your head…
If you ask Pakistani women the biggest pain in their behinds that everyone has, on a constant basis in our society, the answer you will mostly get will be invasive questions.
We LOVE to ask. It’s our national women’s-sport. The questions we ask have nothing to do with us but curiosity gets the best of us. Always. Most of the times, questions are simply asked because for a few good decades of our lives, we forget that this whole thing isn’t really a competition and that in fact, we’re just plain bored.
An imaginary research in my head brought me to this conclusion that an average woman will complain about random people asking invasive questions, yet do the same herself when she’s bored.
I’m very open minded about people coming and talking to me about my problems if what they mean to get is an insight about how to deal with theirs. But people coming to me to first ask if there is any progress and then suggesting how so and so miracle worked for them and how so and so doctor was the answer to their problems.
It’s not okay.
Questioning the normalcy of someone’s life’s also a BAD question
It reminded me of all the reasons why I don’t have a normal life.
Normal = what the people think, what the media feeds you, what a general perception of a complete family is. WRONG.
My normal is a complete family where’s there’s just me and my husband. We are happy Alhumdullilah. We have made peace with it. We are normal because Allah decided this for us.
Don’t get me wrong. I love kids. My husband loves them even more. But we know that all we get from Allah is His Ehsaan and we weren’t entitled to anything in the first place.
Acceptance isn’t always easy
Reaching to a point where you understand and perhaps internalize the idea of acceptance isn’t easy. For me it took several years for constant soul searching. Sometimes it gets tiring because you don’t always get answers right away. Enlightenment and growth takes time.
It is in fact, an on-going process. When God gives you a trial, it’s always something that mattered to you, or something you wanted. Why would you be concerned about anything you find zero interest in?
It’s not something as easy as waking up one fine day and realizing the pain of loss is gone. It, very often, becomes something you decide to amicably live with for the rest of your life. There are days when it surfaces again, and on other days, you feel that you have healed from it.
So if people can accept their losses, why can’t others too?
I’ve walked very far. And thank God for that.
I clearly remember the days when I was obsessed with having a baby and I put my body through hell trying to get what I wanted. Now I look back and realize I did myself more harm than good.
Trying everything I could and failing helped me realize that we should leave people when we see:
Someone who is not married yet.
Someone who hasn’t had kids yet.
Someone who, in our opinion, has had too many and must stop.
Someone who is too career oriented, again in our opinion.
Someone who didn’t breastfeed her baby.
Someone who married really late, or twice, or thrice.
Someone who hasn’t found a good job according to “our” opinion.
Someone with any sort of different life choices as yours.
It could be anything. You name it.
Don’t ask someone where they are in life…
You also don’t get to go up to them and ask them where they are currently standing in their journey. Because perhaps, today was a day when it took them all their courage to forget about their struggle.
Asking them what they are doing about “getting back to normal” or reminding them that their biological clock is ticking is a sure-fire way to bring back the stress that they have pushed behind for now.
Please don’t push them back there.
You don’t get to decide whether you can do that to someone or not. You just don’t have the right.
Their journey is completely different than yours… and that’s okay!
If you mean well for someone, it’s not always a good idea to share a solution. They must have exhausted all the possibilities and this could trigger a memory where something so easy didn’t work out for them.
If you really want to show support to someone, show them the confidence in their sense of decision. Tell them what they are doing today matters and makes a difference. Remind them the power of their potential. Tell them they fit in and that what they bring to the world is something only they could have done.
Differences make our world go round!
We think that the world needs our classic, textbook roles. No, it doesn’t.
Not everyone is cut out to be a mother, or a wife, or a career woman, or any other role we think is “normal”.
Anything that God made is normal.
A family doesn’t need to have at least 10 people. A family can be as little as two people and can still be perfectly complete.
Interested in reading more words of wisdom?