Thursday, November 23, 2006

Appearing on Oprah

What's the difference between the Jerry Springer Show and Oprah's show? Visualize that for a moment.

If you were to air your story on a program, which one would you rather use as your mode of communication? Low brow? Or high road?

So, we don't have a choice about the story Allah sets infront of us. Those are the challenges and we have to accept them, say elhumdullah and do our best.

Is it our best to participate in our life ala Jerry Springer? With angry words? Crazy actions? Are we the people who throw chairs and tear our clothes?

Astragferallah.

I'd rather be on Oprah with calm people sitting and discussing and thinking before they speak. I'd rather be a woman of dignity who shows she perservered through the pain and came out INTACT on the other side. There is another moment beyond this moment.

Jerry Springer is about being an animal and acting no better than a beast and not using your brain to see further ahead than your desires; your fitnah. If you notice, Muslims don't show up on Jerry Springer. Sure, our stories, of temptation, infidelity, and second wives could be fodder for the undeducated masses, but why? Why would we want to live on that level?

We, as Muslims, want to rise aboveSo, while the stories are sensational, our reactions must be grounded in the inspirational. I have come to this. I must continue to be the person I want to be regardless of the pulls on my lower self. I must continue to be a person I can be proud of; as the mother to my children, as the best wife to my husband and most of all as a Muslimah in the ummah.Now, this is EXTREMELY hard to do when my children yell that they hate me. Kids do that. It's EXTREMELY hard to do when your husband is leaving on a trip to see his ex wife to see if they can re-marry. And it is EXTREMELY hard to do when so many temptations around you pull you from Islam.

Yesterday, I got a grip, as I was in the throes of my freefall. And I remembered that I am still married to this man. He is still my husband and I am still his wife. Well, I am! In Islam, there is no such thing as a seperation. You live together even during the three months of iddah, and only after giving it that time are you considered divorced. Up until that time, you give your marriage every single, and I sincerely mean, every single last chance.

Why? For the husband? Are you doing him some great favor? No.

For yourself? Because you're such a pathetic loser who can't handle life on her own? Please, no.

For the kids? So, you don't break the foundation that you were building for them? Even that isn't the biggest reason.

For Allah. You do your best in your marriage for Allah.

And if you have even an atom of belief that your marriage could work ...Well, then that's the one grain of sand that you use to start piecing together again the life that you want. It's not easy. It doesn't always feel good. It is a test of endurance and patience. It brings you to the ends of your limits and the depths of your soul. But, I believe it is worth it.

My husband leaves tonight for Egypt.

Last night, I realized that he should be with me and the baby during our house showing. I realized that I wanted to buy gifts for his family. I decided this is without a lot of recent niceness between me and my husband. But I wanted to be nice--not for him, or them, but for me; for how I want to be. I want to be the kind of person who is proud of her actions and does more when others insist on doing less. At the end of my life, I can then say, "I know who I am and I am proud of my time on the earth. I wasn't perfect, but I always strived for better."

I thought about their connection FOREVER to my son. Our son. He belongs to them by name and blood. Why alienate them? That doesn't make sense. I felt I needed to reach out to them and make an effort. If we stay together, or if we don't, then at least I've remembered that my son stays a part of them.

Even when my husband wanted to look for winter coats for his kids (knowing full well that the coats he sent last year were still fine) I went. He saw the pricetags and we left without buying anything. His mind is better.

And while I know that his mind will have moments of madness, I still kissed him. The first kiss to touch his lips in over a week. I decided that it serves nothing for those lips to go untouched. Nothing. If he leaves me with bad feelings, then for sure his actions will be stem from the low place our marriage has been residing. How then will he make good, well-informed choices? How will I ever feel like I did my best? And Islamically, it's not my job to push him away, but to embrace him.Is that a Muslim wife? I believe so.

And I was Muslim when I bought the little round boxes, placed the bracelets inside with a chocolate and a handwritten note in transliterated Arabic. It cost just over two dollars for each of my sisters-in-law and my nieces. For my mother-in-law a tinned candle with her initial letter on the cover with matching stationary. For my diabetic father-in-law, sugar-free candies. For my nephews, a book on cars I bought previously for the the younger one and a big pack of the older one's favorite gum; Wintergreen Apple. Sugar substitute for my brother-in-law (the other one in U.A.E., I was told not to buy for). The kids will all get English books I've saved up for them. My husband's children will get all the little garage sale toys I stock up for them. And that is me. This is who I am. I give because I want to.

Now, I'm not going to give my life for my husband and his family, but I'm willing to give him this time. I'm willing to say that these next two weeks will show me more and until I've been shown more, I will hang tight. I've waited for a year and a half for this resolve, so I don't want to bail now. It hurts like hell, but I can go to Allah with my pain and Allah has guaranteed me time and again, "After a hard time there is ease."

If you only knew how much that means to me. If you are Muslim, then you probably know how much it means for you.

Maybe a lot of you, who support me to make my own decisions, will leave me now in this decision of mine. If you decide to withdraw, I'll understand and I'll thank you as you go. But, if you decide to stick around, then please do so with an open mind and see how the ability to go backwards and re-think is a worthy one. Acting in haste means you repent at leisure. And in this world, we are held accountable for all our actions.I can't change what he's doing. I can't. I can only change what I am doing. I haven't been doing my best. You say I have, but I know better. I've been 'appearing on Springer.'

Now, I feel like I'm doing my best; I'm 'a guest on Oprah.'

1 comment:

Faith Confusion said...

We've definitey had some Springer moments at our house of late. My husband turns into an animal and then quickly withdraws.. he is bad tempered for little time, but i get stuck thinking about it. I don't know how to get him to be gentler. I'm not sure where our marriage is going but I hope that i can be on Oprah even if we fail. Springer is embarrassing, especiay when you realise you coud be on it :)