what if you miss the perfect moment waiting for the perfect moment?

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I often find my self putting things off for the “perfect moment” but recently I have learned that there is no such thing as the “perfect moment” or “perfect timing” or anything perfect for that matter.

My type A personality always strives for perfection but this is also where my downfall comes into play. I have to learn to just accept each moment as it is and get whatever I need to get done started and over with as opposed to waiting for the right time.

Nothing in life is perfect thus, it seems foolish now to think that things must wait for the right moment. Why not start now? Why not use the moment at hand rather than wait for the one coming up…? After all we don’t know what the future holds. What if you have missed the perfect moment waiting for the perfect moment?

It takes time to change one’s thought process and I am striving to do just that. Great quote.

🙂

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Dear Dad

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Dear dad (in name mostly),

It is father’s day today. Just a reminder of how much I wish for a hug and kiss and the warmth and security of the arms that a father can only provide.

You not only scared  my family and I for life  but you also left a giant void in our hearts. You stole our sense of security and sense of strength and confidence that you get from having a strong kind and protective father in your life.

I often find my self envying friends who call their dads their heroes. While all I can think of you is as a villain.

When I try to remember some of the good in you… its overshadowed by the bad.

I wish I could forgive and forget all the abuse we faced as a family at your hands but I can’t. I don’t know how. At least not yet…

So while everyone is out celebrating their fathers today… I sit here with a hole in my heart and soul wishing you still, good health and sending you love and prayers in my thoughts.

Sincerely,

Your daughter

 

Image from: http://panchi-kella.blogspot.ca/

On changing my thought process

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Everyone can benefit from change in their lives, especially when it comes to changing your frame of mind regarding your outlook. I often find myself comparing my self to others and pondering why I am not where they are? For I too have a the same drive and intelligence… yet everyone around me seems to be in a better place.

It is true that I cannot change my health issues or the harsh circumstances I faced as opposed to most people I know but I always felt that my drive to strive for the highest accomplishments was enough to get me where I wanted to go in life.

I never was the jealous type… nor did I care for material things I saw others had because I knew that with persistence and hard work I too one day would be able to attain all that.

Now in my late twenties that fire no longer roars inside of me. I have been torn to shreds fighting an illness for all of my twenties, for which I still do not have a proper diagnosis. I often find my self envying others. Not for the material wealth but for the simple fact that they were able to achieve their goals and are living the life that I want for myself.

Lately it occurred to me that I do not give my self enough credit for all that I have accomplished in my life. I graduated from school despite my illness. I have grown and helped my husband, who I have dated since high school, grow into a wonderful man. In addition to his hard work, I have been the driving force behind his success.

I have been a pillar for my younger siblings and am still my mothers companion. I try to see her a few times a week. Without a car she is unable to go anywhere or make any friends who speak her language.

Maybe my purpose was different after all. Maybe its greater than what I had planned. I get to spend endless time with my mother and younger sister. That counts for something. If I were in school or working I would not be able to provide my lonely mother with the company she so much needs and deserves after a life committed solely to her children.

Of course recognition is only the first part of the process… Now to actually change my frame of mind to believe in what I know to be right will take time. I guess that is the second part :).

cheers.

Guilt: An anchor on your soul

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Guilt. Who hasn’t felt guilt or remorse over something they have done…or not done? Guilt is one of those emotions that can tear you apart. It chips away slowly… without realization until it has consumed your soul to an inconsolable point of torment.

So how does one learn to deal with and let go of guilt? Is it only a matter of time? Is guilt innate or a part of our socialization? Or both? It has to be partially innate because as human beings we do feel responsible for our actions. Isn’t that what separates us from other animal species? But then again… if I was never taught to feel guilty would I still feel it?

The amount of guilt we feel depends on the situation as well. Taking my sister’s candy without her knowledge or hurting someones feeling will not make me feel the same type or depth of guilt.

It is the soul clenching guilt that I speak of. This type of guilt you cannot shake or escape. Thus, I assume there are actions that result in a guilty soul and actions that cause momentary guilt.

Additionally, there are cultural differences that dictate the feeling of guilt… Which then, proves the socialization aspect of the concept of guilt.

For instance, premarital sex in the West seems to be the social norm. If you are twenty and still a virgin… people look at you like you are some form of anomaly. However, in the Eastern cultures, you can be severely punished for having lost your virginity before marriage. You are taught from the very beginning that premarital sex is a sin… a sin against yourself, society and most importantly a sin against God.

I sometimes feel my self drifting into depression… which I think stems from guilt. I feel like it sits on my chest, weighing me down…  chaining my mind from moving on.

I have never intentionally hurt anyone… then why do I feel this over whelming guilt? I guess the key word here being “intentionally”. I have unintentionally hurt someone. And now that someone is unreachable… galaxies away. How do I deal with this type of guilt?

I feel guilt over things I shouldn’t have done… things that went against my being.

I feel guilt for not having done enough…

I wish I could be a clean slate again… would I do anything differently in my life to rid myself of the guilt? Or is guilt just part of everyone’s life? I suppose no one can every be guilt free because then you are not human… And guilt is a very human conception. And I am only a human.

Even then, why can’t I grasp and apply the simple concept of letting go of the guilt I carry from my past? I guess it is not so simple after all.

cheers

 

 

 

Educating girls? Why it is not worth the risk for many around the world – A personal perspective

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Even though I moved away from Pakistan years ago and left behind a world full of chaos and terror, I was recently taken right back by a  news story.

The leader of an “Islamic” group kidnapped approximately two hundred and eighty girls and has threatened to sell them in the marketplace. I put Islam in quotations because as a Muslim woman I know that those are not the teachings of Islam, which promotes the seeking of knowledge via education equally for both men and women.

I want to make this point because from the Western world, looking into a different, third world religion and culture are often confused as one. Islam is a religion practiced around the world and each culture practices in accordance to their cultural traditions. It is difficult to separate the two as they are so very intertwined.

Back to the point at hand, the threat of violence in forms of rape, torture, kidnapping and death, is one of the major reason people are afraid to send their girls to schools in third world countries. This has been quite apparent in the media recently with cases of rapes and killings of women in India.

At a more personal level, even though I no longer reside in Pakistan family friends often speak of current and recent horror stories regarding the issue of girls and barriers to their education.

For instance, a close family friend’s nieces were attending post secondary education in Pakistan. Since the family could not afford to provide a private car to pick up and drop off the girls to and from school, they often walked and took the bus.

On their way to school a boy started harassing and taunting one of the girls. A girl in this sort of a situation has two choices in such a culture: One is to walk away and try to ignore the harasser and the other is to converse with the him. The second option would lead her and  her family to shame, so really she only has one option which is to ignore and walk away.

Having chosen that option and having had offended the boy, she was met with an acid attack. Barely surviving, her face was no longer recognizable and her body burnt. Now she serves a life sentence of living a lonely and sad life, cooped up in her parents’ home as chances are that no one will marry her in her current state.

With no financial backing, no justice or repercussions for the boy, with no political or social connections, the family immediately pulled their second daughter out of school for the fear that she may meet a similar or worse fate. This is just one of the many terrifying stories that I have heard.

Then of course, there are matters of finances. When a poor family has to decide between their boy or their girl to attend school, they pick the boy. It is not because they do not love their girls, it is because the boy is a safer investment for their future. The girl is most likely to be taken care of by her husband.

Employment for women is also not an option due to the same reason as is in the case of education: violence. Additionally, females are the last ones to be considered for a job in a competitive market with endless availability of large, unemployed and qualified male population.

The environment for girls from the elite  or upper class is completely different as they live in protected areas with private security, private modes of transportation and family ties to the rich and powerful, which in return buy them further assurance of protection and safety. They are also most likely sent to the West to attain their education. Thus, it is the middle and poor class girls that are mostly victimized.

Corruption lurks at every level of the government, including in the law enforcement. If you do not have a system to enforce rules and laws and offer protection then why would any parent risk their child be put on a path with so much danger?

In their minds education is not worth risking their daughters’ lives and their families’ honour, especially in a country where education does not ensure a job for the female population as mentioned above.

Until there is proper protection and enforcement against women in third world countries, there will be little that can be done to educate the majority of the poor female population around the world.

Regarding the kidnapped victims, I pray that those innocent souls are reunited with their families safe and sound. May God keep them under his protection and punish the ones who commit acts of cruelty in His name.

Here is the article regarding the kidnappings that occurred:

http://www.cnn.com/2014/05/05/world/africa/nigeria-abducted-girls/

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“THE POOR LITTLE GIRL” by Vinod Madyalkar, India

There she stands by the school gate…
Wondering whether she would ever make it in…
From here it all seems so great…
Is being poor that big a sin??….

She stares at those toddlers as they pass…
Struggling and scrambling to miss the class..
She starves for those books, she craves for those bags..
But who would care for a little girl , in filthy old rags?…

Even she had dreams , colourful as ever..
But now they are shattered , lost forever..
Yet , she stands by that big black gate..
Hoping somehow, something could change her fate…

Will she ever enter that gate?..
Into the world unseen!! …
The school bell reminds her – she’s late…
There are houses she should clean…

Picking those crutches from her side..
Along the street she limps…
Suddenly, she stops in her stride…
And turns, for one last glimpse…

Blind are we to the mistakes of our own…
Living for ourselves is how we have grown…
Blind are we to the sufferings of others!!
In greed for money, aren’t we slaughtering our own sisters and brothers???

Poem taken from: http://www.voicesnet.org/displayonepoem.aspx?poemid=233930

Everything comes back full circle

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While waiting outside my sister’s high school… I remembered something that had taken place about ten years ago, when I attended the same school…

It was a beautiful summer day. Classes had ended an hour ago but I hung around for group meeting. It was about four in the afternoon when I stepped outside the school and was met with a man. When I first saw him he was standing very still…staring at the school with with a look of incredulity… as if he was reminiscing.

When I got closer to where he was standing, he turned and asked me where the office was. I pointed towards the direction to which he responded… “it’s still in the same place.” I assumed he was a parent or an older sibling of someone who attended the school. Ofcourse at that time I was not very observant of his age. He just looked older and that is all I noticed.

Right when I was about to walk away he says ” you know, I used to go to this school ten years ago” and I said ” wow! that was a long time ago”. That is all I remember of that moment.

I did not remember that moment until I was sitting in the car waiting for my sister… reminiscing about the great and not so great times I had, had in that school… ten years ago… I was now standing in that man shoes… and what seemed like a long time back then… ten years… does not seem that long ago after all. I now feel what that man felt then. He must have seen the ten years fly by… As I have experienced since high school.

That is when I came to the realization that things had come back in full circle…

I would love to hear others’ experiences/thoughts related to the topic.

Cheers

 

 

 

A new day a new perspective

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All cried out and yesterday’s tears dried up, I wake up to the news that one of my cousin’s twelve year old is in critical condition, probably in a hospital ward where hundreds other lay hoping for a chance at life. Most of my extended family still resides in a third world country where those who were not fortunate enough to be born into the elite rich class struggle to find safe and helpful healthcare.

Makes me see how menial the problems we face here in a first world country are compared to those at another end of the world. Reminds me never to take for granted the blessings which were and are bestowed upon my family and I for having left that place behind. To have security and peace of mind, to have proper healthcare. I do not rest my head at night thinking about whether I’ll have food in the morning or not. I walk the streets free, I drive as I please to where I please without the supervision of a man. All things that could not be had I still been living in a different part of the world.

Today I only have a prayer in my heart for my twelve year old, second cousin and gratitude towards God and his blessings. Thank you.