ta na?when the halo slips

One thing my mom always stressed on in our relationships with other people- be it friends, cousins, family, whoever, was that we must be positive about other people’s choices in life without trying to judge them. Of course it wasn’t phrased like this- I doubt it would have made much sense to me and my sisters while growing up but it was there in everythng she says and does in her own life. Her persistent dictum was that everyone needs afffirmation and if you can be the one to provide it, kudos to you. Eventually you will be the happier more fulfilled person. As my siblings and I grew older, we used to poke fun at my mom for being a saint, because none of inherited the calmness she has (blame my dad) and as the years roll by, I find at a lot of times, it’s a task and half to be supportive of other people’s choices in life without expecting the same in return from them.

Someone I liked very much once told me, about me, that I have a heightened sense of “right” which makes me a scary person. If I do x much for someone, somewhere inside me, even I don’t show it or admit it (even to myself sometimes), I expect something from them too. “That makes me scary?” I asked him. “Yes, because everyone doesn’t feel the same way about equality in relationships. There are givers and takers.” Of course I called him jaded and he called me idealistic and we are still friends and all, but his words come back to me sometimes, especially when I have been let down in whatever way by someone who I didn’t expect to be let down by.

When a cousin married at 21 and I didn’t quite agree with child marriage, I told her she was lucky that she was happy that she was doing what she wanted. When another one gave into the pressures of arranged, I told her she was lucky he seemed so understanding. When a friend dropped out of college to marry, I told her that it would be good because she would egt done with the children stuff and get back to her work comfortably later- when the rest of us would be having kids. Another friend I know gained immense amounts of weight after baby number 2, and I never once mentioned it at all. I figure it’s a choice to ignore the bad things that are happening to people and look for the good, because eys the good does exist however camouflaged it is. Why can’t people do that? Why does that random friend of mine who has become neurotically hyper after her very early three kids have the leeway to tell me that I have become “fat” (god i hate that word- it’s SO offensive)? Did I happen to mention to her she’s become insane? And why did my career inclined relative find it  hilarious that I have joined the ranks of the stay home moms? Did I find it hilarious that her husband and her work so hard they don’t see each other?

I agree with my mom that overall for yourself and inner peace and what not, when you see positive strains in how other people, that is what you will automatically start to do so yourself too. In concept and principle, it’s perfect. A win win formula but then, when the reality of real live relationships takes over, where sometimes you need more than you can give or end up giving more than you will ever get, it’s then that you feel the halo start to slip a little.

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14 thoughts on “ta na?when the halo slips”

  1. i just do what feels right to me.. even when i know i wont get anything in return. i really dont want anything. just the fact that i could slightly uplift someone’s mood or insignificantly influence their choices is enough for me. i like to see things from a religious point of view.. so it works for me.
    i always try to be supportive to ppl, even if i sometimes dont agree with what they’re doing.. it’s easy to doubt someone and tell them, but that positive push is so important, it makes all the difference…even if it was only with a few words. the long term effect it has on the person is wonderful.

    However, i agree that after being sugar and spice and everything nice my whole life, i’ve reached a point where i’m like ‘hello?? what about me.. where is everybody?’.
    it hurts.. makes you lose faith in life and all the good, and at times forces you to end up saying exactly what’s on your mind.
    at the moment i’m doing hula hoops with my halo.

  2. Loved this post. Very well written with the right amount of humor and truth! Kudos to YOU for being such a good writer 😉

  3. I love what your mom thinks, and with time our moms have a huge impact on how strongly we shape our own beliefs. But definitely not in our teenage years and early roaring twenties even 😉

  4. it IS an annoying word.. i think youre glowing with insane mama love in your recent photos…

    do you know one woman had the gall/balls/audacity to tell me i was in such lousy shape and didnt bother with makeup and ‘theek ho jao warna tumhara miaan doosri jagga moon maarae ga’ (bleeeuurghk, what imagery)… did i mention that her very properly dressed daughter wasnt close to birthing, marrying, ANYTHING but pretty much looking good? no, i was a bit stunned just then, i wish i had.. sometimes u just have to give it back

  5. haan cheeky i agree you have to listen to yourself- sometimes in the clamour you forget to do that-

    hina thanks- mayyybe the sense of humour is what saves it from being utright bitchy hahaha 😉

    cheesooo i count on you for the mama love reinforcements 🙂

    mayya- moms are everything. now that i am one, it gives me a headcahe even realizing that!

  6. jammie, i love the introspection in this post.

    its soo true, its easy to live on balanced terms, but when the scale tilts a lil, we get tipsy. but in reality no two people can give and take equally.

    the rule that my parents emphasized was to do good and seek reward from God Alone. this way we dont expect anything back from any human and if the reward doesnt come immediately, we know its for the best. i dont know how parents did it, but it reallly takes a strong inner push for me to heed that advice.

    *sigh* that one made me miss my parents. its maazing how much the first few years shapes us in the long run.

  7. The way you remember all teh good acts you did makes your XYZ friend right.
    My lesson of life (Although noone asked for it:( ) Never remember what good in life you do to others, only then will you have the urger to do better:-)

  8. isn’t it annoying when someone who is ALWAYS saying good things to you about yourself shows up? You tend to avoid them. Those are the same people who shy away when you compliment them. They refuse to acknowledge your kind words. Their own ínsecurities filter your words out and they cling to their own negative perceptions of themselves because of which everyone else seems better to them than they are … That’s why you should always hold your head up high and smile when someone says something nice to you – it shows confidence, lack of any insecurity and self acceptance.

    Another form of insecurity shows up when people are extremely ridiculing, the kind of people who just never ever see the good in anyone/anything. it’s nothing but their own egos – their unconscious – that they are working from … I don’t know … I guess it satisfies them. And although you should treat people’s weaknesses with compassion, I cannot help but feel amused by how much of a positive face they try to show, yet how miserable or jealous they must be on the inside ….. and these thoughts become my secret entertainment package for a while … I feel like I know something about them that even they themselves aren’t aware of …

  9. hahaha unaiza if i hadn’t recalled the “good acts” i am talking about- i wouldnt have this been able to write this post. im not sure you or tonkee ponkee understand that its not about the fact that you ALWAYS have to be good or that you ALWAYS seeing the positive in others and denying it in yourself. its about the fact that in the overall length of life, its generally advsiable to go about trying to see a positive side to the decisions people make,. to affirm to them that it will be ok- rather than to be on a constantly blunt or critical streak. there is no way that im being speicifc in this- each situation is relative but yes for the sake of wanting to blog about it, some things must be generalized.

  10. hey there…back in melb and cyber space…just a quick note that i read your sis is travelling to india some time soon…please let me know if she needs any help with the logistics of the trip or more..

    glad that the “sunshine stealers”of your life arent getting you down…a former student of yours at indus (and a cuz of mine…omair) was raving about what a positive influence you were, so you are doing something right!!!!!!

  11. Sara – this was beautifully written – I’ve been going through this phase myself of focusing on the not-so-good in others..that ive been missing out on all the good that there is in them……


  12. great post, as always jammie. i don’t know how i missed this one.
    it’s only natural to expect without realizing, and we all do it. i am working on that though, these days i’ve been trying to do the right thing – what feels right, what i feel like i should be doing.
    and your mom’s really hit the nail on the head – you really have to look for the positive in others – their lives and them, to be able to see the same in yours.
    wise, wise woman, mashAllah.

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