Why are my I love you’s less than my I am sorry’s….. I wonder?
As a daughter, as a wife, as a parent as a sister .. as far as I can remember I have always heard myself say "sorry" more.
The loved ones around me have been kind, generous and forgiving honestly. But why is the love and sorry proportion so disproportionate.
I have a theory …
It is because loving is way tougher than asking for forgiveness. Humans would rather make mistakes, satisfy false egos and instant gratifications than restrain for the sake of love.
I will talk about a parent and child’s love more specifically. I am not going to analyze, evaluate and then categorize the degree of love. God forbid, who am I to know what the hearts hold?
I understand our weakness, our cowardice, our courage and our selfish gains.
Not a while ago I wrote an Urdu poem about mothers.
Mothers are neither Godly, nor demonic .. they are just humans.
People responded saying yes mother is love.. or mother is interchangeable with love.
and yet again the message I was trying to give was lost …
In Quran Allah Subhanahu Wa Tala, gives parents a high place of regard and respect. Allah Subhanahu Wa TALA acknowledges the misery of pregnancy, the discomfort of delivery, the pains of taking care of the new born and then weaning them off.
Such important developmental stages in baby’s life that directly correlate with how they will turn out in life, and Allah Subhanahu Wa TALA does not tell the parent to do a good job. Allah Subhanahu Wa TALA is saying the parent is doing all of this and so the children should have mercy on their parents, when the parents turn to old age.
The mother is taking care of the child and often
believing she is killing herself doing so
or failing miserably at it
learning along the way and proud to be the present, kind, positive parent the child needs.. however, somewhere we begin to believe we own our children.
We understood them when they had no language, we calmed them when they got scared getting to know the world and trusted us alone and Alhamdulilallah for the gut feeling of a truly vested parent. We have made more right decisions to keep the baby alive.
Alive…. thrive.. are not interchangeable.
A growing skeleton of flesh, bone and muscle is alive. A healthy, thinking, believing contemplating, learning mind and body is alive and thriving.
Our intentions are always in the best interest of the child (according to us).
Not necessarily true though. The moment the child is born we somehow believe that they are going to correct all the wrongs of our lives.
We sadly morph in to demi gods, believing that the child will worship us.
And here I would chime in again, mothers are mere humans. They are baggage carriers and receivers.
Why do we not help the mother, with her baggage? Why is that bag so invisible or ignorable?
I remember once, a class fellow of mine came to school, I believe we were in high school at the time, with a lab coat over her school uniform. Curious about her odd attire I questioned her choice. She showed me her uniform. Her mom had thrown a hot cup of tea on her, because they both had an argument.
Fast forward today I heard of a middle school boy who hit his mom. When things calmed down and the boy was asked, he replied, mom was being totally unreasonable.
I know the feeling of just yelling and throwing everything in the air. I have done that.. I have thrown things at my children, out of frustration and anger. I am not proud to admit it. In fact it is extremely embarrassing. It was easy to give in to my desire to let out .. melt down .. I did not have the skill to channel it in any other direction. I did not believe that Wudu would calm me down, may Allah forgive me for my arrogance. And today I can see how my ego blinded me to become downright disobedient to the commands of Quran and Sunnah.
There was no Ahsan…
later on it was always easier to feel self pity and say sorry. Mama made a mistake.
and the poor children, helpless, not knowing anything but their mom would always forgive..
So far just writing this has disgusted me… it has reminded me of my dark days, days of anger, shame and fear of losing hope.
I want to clarify my children did not turn me into an angry human being… my baggage did. The weight was bone crushing and mind numbing. It was as if oxygen being cut off from the brain. The heart being heavy and constricted. Oh how sweet was the poison of self victimizing.
You do know, that the baggage I am talking about it, only the one carrying it will see it and that means only they can unload it .. unpack it .. dump it .. get rid of it.
But I turned a page, I learned.. I made dua…
I have not recovered from unshackling myself of my dark tendencies, but I am in the process of loving more and saying sorry less.
I listen to myself saying I love in my head before I do anything that would make me say I am sorry later.
I imagine their eyes light up, the situation de- escalate, and the horror of yelling turn to smile and laughter all in my head. Then it becomes so easy to choose
I love you…..
I will link here for the Urdu poem again .. I want you to listen to it after you have read this. May be this time you will see the message in a different light.
I am trying to reach out to that mother who thinks she has no hope, who somewhere is crying herself to sleep, thinking nothing will change.
She might have the sweetest heart, and the best of intentions but nothing seems to be working. I am talking to that mom who in the heart of her heart knows … she is capable of changing the narrative… she does not know where to turn….
Turn inwards, to Rab , to the heart , to unloading the baggage. That’s where you need to start.
Face yourself .. without fear, without blame , without shame …
that’s where the I love you should begin with .. the excuse for I am sorry should end. ….
We will always fumble, that’s given and there is a universal wisdom in falling and getting up each time stronger, wiser , braver ..
I am talking to that mom.. it’s time you got up…