Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Unconditional Love

Relationships are built on compassion, love and compromise. Compromise because there are always differences, and a mutual understanding is pertinent to hold the bridge together. However they are also built on acceptance of who the individual is, without forcing them to change their true identity. To accept one for themselves, not to change them for something we would rather want them to be. That is what true relationships stand for, love and acceptance of someone the way they are. Without stifling their personality or forcing them to do one thing when they want to do another. And it is these relationships which are the truest, and most precious. They involve an element of trust and love which is difficult to find otherwise. They do not care what the majority of the people may think as long as the individual feels he or she is doing something they believe is right.

Mothers are usually someone who have this kind of relationships with their children. They accept you for who you are, love you for being yourself. If they disapprove of something, you automatically don’t do it or you reason with them, but they never force you to change your identity. Even if you do something wrong, or say things you didn’t mean when you’re angry, you know everything is going to be fine because your mother loves you unconditionally and can never be angry too long.

Ever since my mother passed away, despite having close family members and good friends, I have sometimes lapsed into this feeling of loneliness. One can only realize the value of a mother when she is no longer there. A mother is the only person who would love you unconditionally. And unconditional love is a source of moral support to our existence that is incomparable in this life time,

Life is a risk. However, knowing that you are taking risks when you have the support of a mother is actually riskless if you ask me. Regardless of the outcome, the unconditional love would always be there, and nothing is more precious and more valuable. It is sad how our values are so skewed towards the materialistic side that we fail to appreciate these free blessings.

Mothers also encourage individuality in a person. I had always been encouraged to express my true self. I believe we are all artists, and we all have ways of expressing ourselves in this world. I do it through my writing. However because life is a multifaceted prism, it has many dimensions. We can express our individuality through the use of the colors we chose, the way we dress, the way we present ourselves and the way we treat others.

Dressing up and colors of choice are something very personal to a human being. I believe I can be very expressive through the way I dress. I remember in college when I was going through a dark phase, or would not be in the most cheerful moods, I would dress up quite gothic, heavy black eyeliner, black nail polish and full black attire. When serene, I would wear light colors like white. When feeling fresh and happy, I’d wear colors like turquoise and sometimes bright pink. And when feeling myself, I’d wear Red.
This is something which I did not realize consciously before but I appreciate now very much in my mother. She had always encouraged me to wear my favorite colors, or colors which I liked. When I was younger, I would like yellow and she would get the prettiest clothes for me in yellow. When I liked blue, she would always encourage me to wear blue. When I liked red, she would buy beautiful outfits in red for me. I always loved her choice but on the one two occasions that I thought the suits were not something I’d wear, she would never enforce them on me and instead take me shopping for something I’d like. I wish I could thank her for loving me the way I am and trusting me enough to do what I want to. In return I always did my best to live up to her love and never break her trust.

All the good traits that I have in my personality today are because of my mother. From the unconditional love she showed while nurturing my soul, my personality, my identity. The more days that pass without her, the more I realize just how valuable a mother is. Her birthday is coming up in 22nd April. I would end this note with a virtual birthday note to my mom in heaven:

Happy birthday Mama. You are unconditionally loved. From your only daughter, Amna.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Keep Walking

Life is a roller coaster ride. And not just any roller coaster, it's easily one of the crazy ones from the wildest theme parks out there. Personally I love roller coasters, the wilder the better. However when you're on the ride emotionally and suddenly have to face the downhill part, well lets just say it's not the best feeling in the world. Usually I pacify myself with the old rhetoric about how happiness is a relative concept, hence the sad bits are vital to make you value the happy times. There is a lot of truth in that.Yet sometimes being human with all the usual faults and moods catches up with you. And you are left to face the dark emotions that can overwhelm your soul; those of fear and powerlessness.

The first week of April has been pretty rough for me. It was Mothers Day here in UK on 3rd April, and London was flooded with the sweetest and most adorable Mothers Day gifts. Made me muse back to all the happy Mothers Days I had spent with mom when she was alive before she got cancer. My brothers and I would usually take mom out to one of her favorite restaurants in Lahore for lunch, and then we'd all go have ice cream from our favorite dessert spot. Good times however fly by too quickly. It was a pretty rough day, with me wishing mom 'Happy Mothers Day' in heaven via Twitter. I could not even go visit her grave in Lahore to pay my respect, considering I was here in UK. To top it off, my dad had been feeling sick lately and the results of his medical tests came out this week too. The tests results were scary, informing us that two of his arteries of the heart were blocked. What a blow. It was like someone had punched me hard in the stomach, forcing the air out of my lungs, and the pain wouldn't let me breathe.

I love art, and somehow the picture posted above found me the same day. I fell in love with it. I could so relate. Me standing alone, away from my family, watching everything burn away, powerless against the fire. I was in a deep hole of pain and depression, enveloped by suffocating darkness. However when I looked up from the hole, I saw how people were going on about their lives. The sun still rose. And it showed too, which by London standards is a miracle. There were flowers everywhere. Work didn't stop for me at the office. Spring was here, everyone was all happy about the weather change. And it made me want to make myself come out of this dark hole.

Allah has His plans. One does not know what destiny has in store, but when you are powerless to change the outcome, You should just get up and start to move before life moves away from you too. When you feel helpless, you should just submit to the Divine Will and know that God knows what is best for everyone, and each soul has it's destiny to live. In other words, you should  just keep walking, and trust God to see through the distances for you. Replace the fear with trust and submission to God's will, or use it to become closer to Allah. It's not easy. I have to still work on this bit, and blogging is my way to heal. It's not easy at all. However as Rumi puts it so beautifully, we must keep walking.

God bless.