Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Letting Go of the Past, Other Peoples' Mistakes, and My Own

A rule of dealing with anonymous commentators and disabled/blocked or private profiles, is to ask yourself before you respond about any mess they are trying to cause,  does this, will any of it, matter in a year from now, and  consider, that even if they are wrong, they might be well intentioned, even if they are unable to communicate that.
I asked myself that over two years ago when some drama arose. Apparently people are still crazy, mad, and dramatic as ever in the blogosphere, but does it honestly matter to me anymore? Not really. Sure, if you look at my life, there are marks in the sand behind me from the mess, but I have walked forward. That is behind me. It doesn't hurt nearly as much as it did last year, or the year before that.
The truth is a lion. It can defend itself once you set it free.
For me, telling the truth was complicated because it wasn't just my story wrapped up in issues, there were other people's privacy and mistakes and pasts and really, to me, the past is just a story about someone, it isn't who they are to us, and who they are now. In my very distant past, my ancestors were crusaders and killed Muslims, and long before that, viking invaders. I am glad I am not the past, from ten years ago, or a thousand. Same with other women on the internet people seem to trouble themselves with harassing their blogs and other social media as if almost, they were obsessed with something that doesn't affect them now, or maybe never did.
"Love me or hate me, both are in my favor. If you love me, I shall always be in  your heart. If you hate me,  shall always be in your mind".

I am still having trouble forgiving some people (well, a single person really) still, however I have no desire to have an obsession with them, I want them out of my head you know?

Doing this is easier said than done, but I find, the best advice is, instead of being right, care about being kind.

An old Arabic proverb advises, "the mouth should have three gatekeepers: Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary?"

If we kept this advice there would be little wrong we could do even online.
I am trying to follow this, have been. Of course I slip up time to time. I am an angry person in general with little patience. However I have finally allowed myself to rememeber that mean ignorant or stupid people are not my job to educate: I am not the jackass whisperer.

Ali, the Prophet's nephew, said that silence is sometimes the most eloquent reply. I agree. Have difficulty doing this, but he was right and remains right.

And in Islam, being able to forgive is tantamount to having a means access God/Allah's mercy.

There was a girl who was my roomate. She stole, she lied. She owed me money. In the end, I was like, let her keep it, I just don't want to deal with her anymore. She was all like, thank you, at the same time, lying to other people saying it was her I owed money to [even though I have a signed piece of paper from her saying exactly how much she owed me]. Then a few months later I get myself back on the career path, I have new friends, I will get married soon, she calls me up and acts all friendly. What has happened? She lost her job and she wants to use my connections to find a new job.
I didn't help her. I felt she deserved it, being in the situation she was in. But then, now who am I to judge? Giving someone her CV (not asking them to RSVP an interview for her) would have cost me so so so little, and maybe helped her to become a better person, definately would have made me one, I don't know.

All I know is, I didn't do it, and will always have to wonder. It wasn't vengeance exactly, but it wasn't kindness either. It wasn't the brave thing to do, or the best.

The past (even other peoples' mistakes in their own lives) should make us better, not bitter. I kind of find it pointless to use someone's past against them if they have already changed, if it would not make them better, and if it would not make me myself better as a human being before God/Allah, not anyone else in this world.

I mean, it is one thing to learn from one's own mistakes. That's what a smart person does. But a wise person? They learn from the mistakes of others'.
Now I know, from the drama way back now, some people seemed to be concerned with how we should believe someone (where they live, what they do, how they live) when they blog or suggest something when they are not perfect and have a past. But you know what, what I HAVE ALWAYS, ALWAYS found, is the people with the best advice once upon a time had the most problems. And an old Irish proverb states: "the truth does not change, whether it arrived late, or on the back of a liar. What is right remains right, and what is wrong, remains wicked, whoever  and however the message is delivered, and when that message comes to your door."

So why does someone's current life, and what they advise, matter in terms of their past, which is gone and no more? And even, if unchanged, cannot help you or me to become a better person for saying anything against?
When it comes to our mouths (and our hands as they type in blank message feilds) having three gatekeepers, perhaps it is better to close the pathway, the gate, the door, not out of  pride, incapacity, or arrogance, but because that door does not lead us anywhere good, kind, or brave.

I took my daughter to see the new live action Cinderella movie over the last weekend. I liked the idea they were representing, of Cinderella being a superheroe, and that kindness and courage were superpowers.

They are really.

Islam says the kindness is incumbent upon the true believer.

So now, from now on, I should probably say nothing about that person I still haven't forgiven until I forgive them, because even it is true what I say, it does not make me better, and it is not kind.
About the past I have read, we should never look back, unless the veiw is good. People always want others to do this for them, but we should do it for others as well.

Leave the past to be summed up as, lessons learnt, and good memories, and tha'st it. Carry nothing else with you. Life is heavy enough, as it is, without anger, self-rightious indignation, and incessant lost causes. This post is addressed to me first, before anyone else.


Housewife R. said...

Very heartfelt post. Well-written and you know what there will always be someone who will say all kinds of crazy shit about someone else. We all make mistakes but the best of us are those who own up to it and *try* to make amends. Unfortunately there are those like that hobo in Victoria who likes to make fake profiles and social media accounts, probably because that's the only way she can be a part of our world (no one would want to be friends with a two-faced Internet warrior)...

I felt bad when a blogger from Riyadh made a post about me but my feelings of anger turned to pity when I found out about her personal life. If my husband was constantly abusing me and my child, I would be very mad at the world...

I've noticed lots of Muslim bloggers use the excuse of being overzealous and "deep piety" to cover up for their traumatic personal life. If you ever see someone attacking others with religious edicts or pointing out every single misdeed they have or haven't done, it's most likely they are doing so in order to hide something. Be very careful about this.

At the end of the day, the only One that matters is God and how comfortable you are with yourself. I hope anyone with hangups of the past can forgive & forget :-)

Muslimah Delights said...

True. I think we get so caught up in the moment and more and more, people don't really take a step back to think about the bigger picture.

Lovely use of pictures btw.

Omani Princess (not Omani...yet) said...

Housewife R: Victoria;) inshaAllah.

I believe that's true. You never see a hater doing better than you. So they hate on the flaws you have or what you have or....

I wish it would change.

But I remember when you were super pious and correcting us lol, and honestly I think your judgements came out of love, and the right thing, so I am never mad about that you know, even if you have changed (and come into who you are instead of what others wanted you to be----including me he he he). That's one of the good views I have when I look back, and any other past after that or before that is gone and dead to me.

Because that's not who you are to me. And that's what it comes down to for me. People should be their best in our minds right, and if they are not, their honesty and integrity is at least brave so kudos to that.

And who are to yourself and who you want to be now? That isn't my or any other person's right to decide or control or force or judge really.

But I can't udnerstand someone who makes up lies and tries ot cause fighting, or tries ot make others lose what they have so that we can be same with that person you know?

That is so so so hurtful and hard to get over.

I don't know if I ever treat friends now like I did before. I don't trust as much, I don't open myself up, I don't make an effort to help others' or readily believe them when they have something sorry in their life.

But I guess, the least I can do, is be kind, if I cannot be brave or overly generous and good.

And that's what Allah asks of us when it comes to other Muslims. Be kind.

Rambling now ....

Omani Princess (not Omani...yet) said...

Muslimah Delights: I love me some eye-candy;)

Yeah---me definately that happens to, the remaining OPNO girl----she's way more patient than me so I think that helps people to consider the larger world....

But patientce sucks lol. It is a lot of work.