Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Finally, I Told Her Exactly What I Think of Her

Yes, Prophecy! Finally. Finally.

Finally I told her why I no longer labor under the delusion that she was/ is my friend - and that though I have forgiven the past, I am no longer open to the possibility of being backstabbed in the future.

What a relief! Why was I being a saint after all?

My Question
This last week, I realized I am still not happy despite the many changes I have brought in my life. I was thinking - God, I am finally doing all that I want to do (though sometimes being miserable for it, which remains forever the part of "the journey," a little price to pay for the rewards to come) - but I am still not happy.

I thought about what prevents me from being truly happy? What prevents me from going ahead and enjoying the gifts of life? What prevents me from congratulating myself and saying, "You have arrived"? Why, after all, when I have crawled out of what I thought two years ago was a dark, dark, fathomless cave - and I see the Sun and feel the Wind on my air - does my heart still ache?

I kept thinking, crying, bending into the fetal position, looking up at the sky, and searching people's faces - but I still did not get the answer.

The Clue
Ten days ago, it struck that the Creator had slipped in the answer to me a few months ago. I picked up my cell phone, and checked for a message from January. It said:

"Your remedy is within you, but you do not sense it. Your sickness is from you, but you do not perceive it. You presume you are a small entity, but within you is enfolded the entire Universe. You are indeed the Evident Book, by whose alphabet the Hidden becomes Manifest. Therefore you have no need to look beyond yourself. What you seek is within you, if only you reflect."

- Imam Ali Ibne Abu Talib, May Allah be pleased with him

My ailment was from within me - but what was it? I had to think, because the answer was within me too. Finally, finally, finally - the answer started emerging.

The Answer
The answer came to me - clearly over these last few days: I have yet not forgiven.

There are some people to whom I had only been telling in my mind what exactly do I think about them. At other times, I was riven to such sadness for them (for surely, I could see their actions getting back at them) that I prayed for their forgiveness.

I am not a person who keeps grudges - or so I thought. Until I realized I have been doing the very same thing. Actually, I wonder who "keeps" grudges? Grudges aren't elves that we invite into the house, and keep inside. Grudges are other things that turn into a grudge when we don't take care of them.

These are things like "realizing that the person you think is your friend is actually using this relationship to use you, and backstabbing you as a bonus." Then what do you? You deal with this feeling.

Flu, and False Friends
I got to say one thing I've learned: when you have a flu, you take a cup of tea and deal with it by lying alone in a room. But when you have the realization that you're dealing with a cheater/liar/abuser/ass****, you walk to the other person, and ask them. Yes, ask them for clarity - and listen with your ears, eyes, and common sense. Or if you have irrefutable proof, you have seen it with your eyes, or - as in my case right now - it's taken years and years to sink in... just tell them. Don't take a cup of tea, sniff, and lie alone in a room. DEAL WITH THE PERSON who dealt with you. Or else, years later, the karma (unfinished matter's ill will) will eat you.

There is no other way. Don't let such people off the hook without dealing with them - at which point you can choose to forgive them IF THEY REPENT, that's better. Just don't for a moment think that people who elaborately plan, execute, and repeatedly do harm over a long time were innocent. No dude, they knew their plan.

And if I had any such last hope, it was just taken away.

I Called Her, and Told Her What I Feel
I called her. I told her exactly what I think of her - I told her how I feel. I told her that it took me years, but I have finally realized and admitted to myself that she has been backstabbing me, using me, and splitting my friends away from me.

However, it wasn't a continuous conversation, I had to explain myself in between bouts of vehement denial. I can't believe it I have seen this at least a second time in my life: a liar completely denying what they did right in front of your eyes. But I have seen this before: a liar such a deep expert at their art, they would convince you that you are wrong simply for blowing their cover. Keyword: "Unfair" - as in, "you're being unfair." A person who really didn't know what I was talking about would be stunned - not this woman.

I think normally, I would be shaking right now thinking, "Oh my God! I have been a bad person! I have hurt a human being! We are not supposed to do that! Oh dear - she is my friend. One is loyal to their friend! I can't say how she broke my trust because she's my friend!" (Figure that out! But I tell you, when our turn comes, we all do this warped thinking except the ultra selfish who are blessed with a keen sense of always knowing what's in it for them - any time, all the time.)

And though I always knew it, it was experience and consistently repeated lessons that drove this point home: You are also not supposed to hurt your self - because your Self is not yours! You are not the owner of your Self. One Day, the most important answers you will give will be about your Self, and your Soul. That is when the deepest truth will be so clear: we are all creations, and I owe mySelf no more than I owe another.

1 Habit of Highly Affected People: Not Getting to NO!
I was re-visiting Stephen Covey's 7 Habits for Highly Effective Families last week when the riddle solved through a story I read.

It's the story of a woman whose husband kept abusing and cheating at her, after she had given up her successful life to keep a beautiful home with tidy children for him. At a counseling session, the mostly away-from-home-cheating husband explained that he was angered for he had to "clean up after others." As an example, he said he found his shampoo bottle uncapped that day - and "that was enough!"

The woman was finally driven to the point of contemplating suicide after shooting her children - and having been aware of her situation, she admitted herself into hospital that day. In retrospect she realized that even driven to that extreme, she never thought of shooting him!

Today, she lives away and without the leach.

That story - paired with Imam Ali's (May Allah be pleased with him) wisdom finally let realization dawn: my pain occurred because I was letting myself, unnecessarily and for no one's gain, be used and hurt by certain people. I kept fooling myself into thinking that they were right, they were OK, and that somehow I shouldn't stop them from whatever they were doing. And that last thought stemmed from the mis-belief that I shouldn't do anything for myself to get back at another. And that belief in turn stemmed from the belief that I own mySelf therefore I can let it be hurt without getting back.

As some would rightly say, "What were you thinking!?"

My Future Has Arrived
I have talked to myself after prayers these past few days. And I have told myself, "I could be wrong all these years, so it's no harm that I change myself now." I have also put at peace any feeling that I have done wrong by doing right to myself. For once!

Remember the formula of sacred 7even? We change completely every 7 years. I am entering the next cycle as a person who has a much deeper understanding of what's right and what's wrong - what's good and what's evil or bad.

My Time on the Day of Judgment is Reserved for Higher Purposes!
Above all, I am keeping eyes on my persistent life goal: On the day of Judgment, I want Allah to be happy with me, and allow me to assist the Prophet, peace be upon him. I don't think a heart with a grudge would be allowed to do that.

I want no burden on the Day of Judgment. I don't want to waste my time asking Allah to get back at others for me. I don't want Allah to view me as a person who has to be placated with gifts or revenge.

I know that there is always a class of humans above and beyond that all. For a long while, I have played the saint thinking that will put me in that class - but only now I truly see that a true saint takes no baggage to the Day of Judgment. A true saint can tell the difference between two goods, and two ills. A true saint knows that we, after all, are answerable for only our Selves.

Above all, I will remember in my life of the world, that when I wake up in the real life, I will be asked, "What did you do with what I gave you?" And at that time, I would not be forgiven for saying, "I let my love be wasted just to be able to call one more person my friend!"

That's it!

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