Vanishing Time


In a world where “time” seems to vanish into thin air while “things to do” keep lingering on with constant hope of catching “time”, I am left to wonder where is time vanishing too?

The alarm rings at 8:00am and I keep snoozing it for an hour hoping to get more sleep yet dreading the wasted minutes that are passing me by. That hour of snoozing is a restless hour, filled with thoughts and continues demands to enjoy my sleep. A battle deep within me makes it impossible to fall back into the wonders of my dreams and away from the schedules of my reality.

I finally push the covers off my body, jump out of bed and rush to the bathroom. It is at this point on that I am unable to relax, every minute counts, every second makes a difference and the whole schedule starts to form itself accordingly. I flip through my clothes in the closet in hopes of finding something I feel comfortable with, knowing that I will be out of the house all day with no hope of coming home to take an hour break I had to choose something that would last me all day long.

Within 10 minutes I am done getting dressed and go off into the TV room to have my mug of coffee and cigarette before I have to rush out of the house. I walk into the TV room to find my mom already there fully dressed and sipping on her coffee in delight watching the news channel. I sit with her as we have a quick update of both our mornings and then immediately finish off my coffee as I move myself towards my laptop to check my e-mails, wondering if there is anything that needs to be done before I have to leave. As it just so happens, there is always something to be done, and so in complete indulgence I dive into work mode, hearing nothing and answering no one. My mom tries to open topics with me and all that keeps coming out of my mouth are the words, “yes”, “oh”, “really” and “hmmmm”. Recently I have learnt to add the word “no” to my response system since I had found myself saying “yes” to things I have no interest in doing or the time to do.

Hours keep passing by as work over takes my entire soul, i can’t seem to stop, I can’t find a way to stop. One thing takes me into the next and into the next and in no time 3 hours have already passed and I haven’t seen the streets yet. I am already running late, my phone won’t stop ringing and I finally pick it up to go through all my bbm’s, my missed calls and any sms’s. I roll away from my desk, switch off the lap top, and rush back into the bathroom to wash my face again, brush my teeth and put on my flip flops. I return back to the tv room to pack up my lap top to take it to work with me and to my dismay my mom has a list of things she wants of me. I stand there on edge, all that is running through my mind is “I have no time, I have no time, I have no time.” Therefore I have not heard 50% of what was requested of me. I kiss her good bye and rush out the door carrying my lap top and hand bag that weights a 100 kilos from the weight of all the notebooks and books I have wedged into it.

At last I am on the road, its already 1:00pm and I am so far away from where I should be. The traffic is insane and I know that I am spending a good hour, if not more, on the road. I pick up my phone, attaché the head set to it and go through all my missed calls and unanswered bbm’s. As I am driving at no more than 3 miles an hour I am able to return all my phone calls and respond to all the bbm’s and sms’s.  Finally an hour later I arrive to work excited to get hold of my lap top again and start working on all the things that I had to cut short to get out of the house. As I park the car and walk towards my work in the Art Café I am bombarded by a whole bunch of people who are there taking classes or asking about the classes we offer there.

Quick summary about my job: It’s a place that me and two other friends decided to open together, a place where people can go and enjoy a few hours in a very artistic environment that provides nothing but art. It was 7 years ago that the idea became a reality and its been taken care of solely by one partner. I had spend a good two years in it then I left town for a good 5 years and finally my partners decided to convince me to come back and be fully involved. I came back to an amazing environment that was filled with people and over 30 different types of creative art classes. Our business had expanded and all the people in Cairo knew the name “Art Café”. I was so proud of my partner, she had done a great job at marketing the place and I was wondering how we were making no profit at all. That is when my role came in, I needed a base for it, a solid base, formats, schedules, prices, cost estimates etc….New branches needed to open up, yet was impossible to do with the lack of any profit we were receiving. We were requested to be more available in different areas in Cairo. We needed to expand in so many ways and that is when all the work began. On the other hand I also had my passions that I needed to pursue, reiki and NLP coaching. And so I revamped a room to turn it into a quiet reiki and NLP room.

So going back to the day: As I walked in to the Art Café I realized that getting any work done on my lap top was going to be near impossible. There were workers there renovating the space outdoors, there were workers inside painting the walls. There were children working on an array of art projects, adults coming in to take their art classes and the whole staff running around like headless chickens. Luckily my partner is there also and we try to find any place to go and have a quick update on the new upcoming art season, to no avail. We are able to exchange a few words every few hours, as we are being asked a tone of other things to do and work on.

By 7pm the day has calmed down and there is just one class taking place and the Art Café is silent with the amazing background music taking over the silence. I take out my lap top and with a joy in my heart, I take a seat to get some work done. I look at my phone and realize there is a whole new set of bbm’s, and missed calls. I decide to return the calls which eat up another hour of my day as the evening plans with friends take place. I do a few NLP’s on friends over the phone to help them out with a few issues and work on 1 or two people in Art Café who need a quick reiki for a certain emotional or physical pain.

Its already 8:30pm and I have not worked on any of the things I needed to work on, my own personal deadlines. I close my lap top, pack my things, say bye to everyone still working in Art Café and head off to my social outing. Another hour in the car, and this time I choose to hear my music blaring on blast to stop my brain from thinking. The music provokes more thoughts and so as I sit stuck in traffic I take out my note pad and jot down all the things running through my mind, my schedule gets even larger.

Finally I get to my destination point, hop out of the car, leave my lap top in the car, take my hand bag as the phone is wedged between my shoulder and my right ear talking to my friends, figuring out where they are located. As I walk in, I take a deep breath and realize what a great feeling it is to disconnect and just hang out with my friends for a bit, somewhere outside of work and all the work things I can’t stop thinking about.

The evening turns out to be very interesting, different friends join in as others leave and I find myself sitting there for at least another 3 hours, enjoying every minute of it. It’s already past 12:00am and I start itching to leave, worried about my sleep and the morning snooze. I finally get up, get in my car again and head home. It’s around 1:30 am as I park the car, exhausted and totally burnt out, my eyes burn, my head is throbbing and my shoulders are completely knotted up.

I get home, go into my bedroom and rip the clothes off my body as I rush to get into the shower. the excitement of putting on my pj’s is overwhelming and I relish every item I put on. Sleep has left me, and I am wide awake again, I go into the tv room, my mom is already fast asleep and so I have time on my own, time to just flip through he tv channels and zone out into a good show or movie. My cats greet me with an amazing amount of love as I take out their brushes and start to groom them while I watch something interesting on tv. Once done, I flop on the couch and get into a state of mind filled with nothing but interest in what I am watching.

Its 2:30 am and finally I am sleepy again, I switch off the tv set, say good night to my cats and head towards my bedroom. I cozy up inside the covers, take out my eye glasses, pick up my book that is perfectly placed on my bedside table, and I start to read. No less than half hour later my book has returned to its designated spot, my glasses are thrown into their box and I am fast asleep, inside my world of dreams and love.

Things are still pending, time has passed me by, and I have gotten only 60% of things done. Time seems to pass me by, life seems to fly by without my being able to catch it. If only I can find Time, if only I can hold it down and tell it to wait…wait for a bit…..wait for me….wait I have so much I have to do, so many things I want to do…..STOP and wait for me.

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When does it become unacceptable?

Anger boils over inside of me as Jack asked “Well did he hit you?”

“No” Emily says, surprised that he would even ask that question. Was all what she was saying not enough to walk out on her current relationship? My face was starting to hurt from the frown that had over taken my face for the past half hour, listening to Emily re-tell her story with her husband to Jack as tears rolled down her face. I couldn’t understand why Jack was even asking if her husband was hitting her? What relevance did that have to do with the pain Emily has been suffering for years with this man?

I asked him point blank “What relevance does this have? Is it not enough that He is constantly swearing at her, slamming doors all over the house, being completely impolite to any member of her family or any of her friends that enter her house, he doesn’t give her money to be able to support the house hold requirements and her baby girls requirements yet spends a ton on his friends and his entertainment, he is out partying every single night without her, he doesn’t allow her to go to bars or clubs at night without him even though he does constantly, he has caused his little girl to wake up screaming at night fearing that her father would kill her mother, he sits and does nothing in the house except talk on the phone to his buddies laughing or flipping through tv channels as she keeps running around the house fixing things, he uses his kids for his social outings to be accepted in society, he doesn’t allow her to work so she doesn’t attract the attention of the opposite sex” I take a deep breath in, calm myself down and asked calmly “So answer this Jack, what does it matter, to you, if he hits her or not?” Jack looked at me surprised as though I was asking him a question about giving birth and how he felt during it. I repeated my question to him more aggressively and he finally responded saying “Well since he does not hit her, then they can work things out. hitting her would be unacceptable in every way possible.”

Shocked out of my wits I didn’t know how to answer him back, all that rummaged through my mind was the fact that if a woman ever dared do all that to her husband she would be banished by everyone including her family, they would tell her that it is up to her to make this marriage work. Any man who went to complain about the same things would have given the green light for every human being (male or female) to reprimand the woman until she breaks down in humiliation for her actions. Yet when a woman complains about being mistreated on a daily basis the world tends to stand by his side and ask the woman to accept it as long as she is not being physically abused. She is supposed to take in his infidelity, his rudeness, his verbal condemning ways, his absence physically and financially and only be able to make a valid stand if he went out of his way and hit her.

Strange how this type of injustice is not accepted upon animals and yet upon women it is considered bad, yet not unjust. A woman is put in a position today to accept all that is done to her by a man because he has not physically abused her YET. A woman is expected to be the brains in the family, the glue that holds everything together regardless of what her mental state has become because of all the degrading ways she has been treated.  A woman has to turn a blind eye to her husband having affairs hoping that he will one day come to his senses, but when that day never comes she has to confront him and in return the society gives the excuse of him being a “Man” and men need more than one woman. She is then asked yet again to accept it and be a better wife to her husband cause she was probably the reason he went to another woman for sex. If a woman cheats on her husband she is thrown to the gutters, her kids are taken away from her, her marriage is over, her is shunned out from society with not a single word mentioned that it could have possibly been the husbands fault.

What really gets to me is this, after my talk with Emily and Jack, I found Emily agreeing with Jack, seeing his point of view, assessing the situation and wronging herself the whole time. She provoked his anger, she allowed him to neglect her and stop spending money on her and the family, it was her fault she was too busy taking care of the house and her child and her new pregnancy, of course he would go mad and naturally she thanked God that he never hit her “He is a good man that he never hit me. I would have left for sure.”

And in that ended the whole pain she had been suffering for years with her husband. I later on found out that all her girlfriends gave her a similar advice and sad as it was, women accept this upon themselves. Women will tell women to stick around in a horrible relationship, with a cheating man, with a stingy guy, with a man who has temper management issues and tell the woman it is all in her hands to make this work.

When have we ever become the weaker sex? We are able to give birth, take care of a house, go to work, socialize with the world and sleep for a maximum of six hours a night and still have the ability to do everything and more than any man could even dream of. What happened to reprimanding a man for his misconduct and behavior, who said it was ok? Who said that we were born, as women, to live this way? How come every man gets away with murder and women can’t get away with an extra hour of sleep if needed?

Women know how to build fear in other women, making them accept the unacceptable. Telling them horror stories of what life would look like if she did leave her husband “You will not be able to support yourself, you have not worked for years.” Or “What about the kids? They need a father figure” or “Live with it till your kids are old enough then leave”or “ Who will every marry a woman with children? It is too much baggage. So it is best to stay with the man who helped in procreating them.”

What women don’t understand is this “If women stood up and supported one another and did not accept to be treated in such a disturbing disregard to their humanity then men will have no choice but to stop.” As long as the world accommodates such actions and only the visual physical abuse is the allowed reason to leave a man, women will always be where they are today, and they will keep procreating more men that abuse their women, cause women don’t know how to stand up for their human rights.

If every woman keeps accepting this as a way of life, and if women will always advise women to be the abused member of the family then things will never change and women will always be spat on. Her kids will also treat her with disrespect the way their father had, and they will repeat the same pattern onto their wives in the future and every woman will again tell that woman in pain “It is ok, it is all in your hands, you’re the smarter one. Men are like children let him do his thing, and you stay the good wife, he will come around. As long as he didn’t hit you then you can fix it.”

Emilie’s story is one of the many stories I have came across in all these years of watching and listening to couples. With such sadness I have to say that I might have met one in every 30 marriages where there is a balanced relationship between man and woman. What women don’t understand is this: they are telling their daughters that it is ok to be treated this way and they are telling their sons it is ok to treat a woman this way. They think they are making life better for their children when in reality they are allowing the same patterns to continue to evolve and have no regard to how their daughters will be treated in the future or how their sons will treat women.

Insightful Remedies

There are times we feel really good and there are times we feel really bad. We are human and that is the human condition. There are those who watch for the patterns and those who neglect the patterns. How do we detect those patterns and where do we start……

1- I truly believe that your body manifests sickness to get you to pay attention.

2- Your always thinking of what it is you need to do to, as opposed to just following your heart even if it doesn’t make sense…

3- Be brutally honest with yourself.

4- Stop conforming to what you think you need to do.

5- Listen to your body…it’s giving you an opportunity to change, to get back to your heart.

6- Life has a way of repeating the same or similar situation until we learn.  You don’t have to DO anything.  Just observe, be aware and listen, because i really believe if you’re feeling unhappy inside there’s something you’re not being honest with yourself about.

7- You might be suppressing something; like when I suppressed knowing that my ex-husband wasn’t a healthy relationship/that we weren’t meant to be) notice patterns in your life and how you’ve handled them, notice how your body has been reacting to them and see how that can help you in future decisions.

 

The beauty of my Planet X

I was reading through all my previous articles and i realized i loved this one so much, that i had to re-post it again 🙂

Within the last three years my life took a detour unlike any I had ever encountered in the 32 years I had existed on this earth.

I had lived a life filled with love, hope and dreams of pink ponies and a prince on a white horse. I believed in all the beauties of the great possibilities of what the future may hold for me. My existence was based on love; love of others, love of life and most importantly the belief in everlasting love with my soul mate. I believed in every cell of my body that my soul mate was just a step away from me, I dreamt of it and at times I felt it. I dreamt of my happily ever after as I basked in the comforts of security and financial bliss provided to me on a silver platter by my parents.

Life was a pink bubble of dreams waiting to happen. I lived in my heart, I lived in my soul and I lived most of my time in my thoughts; a place my family used to call “Planet X”. I spent 80% of my time on planet X and I utterly relished every moment of it. On my private planet I had a beautiful home that was white in color in the rare areas in which something other than glass windows showed. It possessed a beautiful large dark wooden terrace that wrapped itself around three quarters of my glass home. My home over looked the most luscious green fields on one side and faced the wide ocean expanse on the other side.   A cobbled street lead up to my front door as it settled itself amongst an array of fruit trees providing a colorful design to the surrounding fields of green. Butterflies flew haphazardly on top of an abundance of wild flowers that continuously swayed with the soft chilled breeze that blew across the sea. There were Small colored shops filled with the smiles of potential buyers and the hopeful sellers. There were a small variety of restaurants that were embedded underneath the gushing flow of a tempress waterfall.  I had horses and ponies that knew me by my fragrance and raced towards me when I would enter their fields of freedom to welcome me into their world. I had peace, love, happiness and honesty amongst everyone that lived on planet X. Most importantly my Planet X gave me the ability to see my real world with peace, love, happiness and honesty.

For the last three years I have been trying to find Planet X, I try to sit on my own to conjure it back into my life; sadly I have realized that Planet X has left me, it spat me out of its heavenly comforts. It left me to fend for myself; with no more fruitless hope on the great possibilities of a dream like future to go back to.

I miss planet X, I miss my outlook on life and I miss having trust and belief in the good of others. Within the last three years I had married a man I believed to be my soul mate, no later than eight months I was demolished and divorced the cruelest man I had ever encountered in my whole life.  That was the first sign of the hazy disappearance of my Planet X, as it still remained a part of my life, but a lot less vivid, I believed that things will only get better after the biggest crush of my life. Sadly, I made another wrong choice as I was still trying to believe in the good in humanity. I chose to share an apartment with a woman who showed nothing but kindness and love for me, to discover a year and a half later that she was disclosing my pain to others and destroying my reputation using tactfully planned lies for no reason other than preserving her need to make her surrounding environment believe the lie of the person she really was. Once I had gotten back on my feet again trying to bring into my life my Planet X in hopes of reviving my bright hopes of the future again. To my dismay it took a few months to find my Planet X, and this time around I noticed how its previously vibrant colors were diminishing behind a grey colored smog. It was hard to acquire hope or muster up any positive outlook on humanity. During that period in my life, my only sanctuary was my work, I had a passion for it unlike anything else, and any possibility of ever leaving it was deleted by my abundance of loyalty I had for it. After pouring my heart and soul into my work and proving myself completely competent of all the tasks that were under my scope and out of my scope of work I was pleased to know that my company decided to hire a new member into our wonderful team. A few months down the line, the new member’s attitude started to slowly creep its way into my professional life, I was unable to comprehend what he was trying to do. He smiled with earnest in front of me as he praised my continuous ability to make things happen at work. To my dismay, as time elapsed, I found that most of the jobs that I was handling were nowhere to be seen, he was discarding of me, and hating my tremendous closeness to all the people I worked with and for. He took work away from me telling me it was taken care of while making others believe I was not competent enough to do the work. He never once confronted me with anything, his mode of communication with me consisted of nothing more than jokes, gossips and continuous praise. The work environment became competitive and it lost all the beauty of group work. I had to watch my back with my every move as I monitored his every move, suspecting all his underlying truths knowing they were all lies. I fought like a lioness protecting her cubs, not succumbing to a bully trying to demolish all the hard work I had slaved for in two years. He was tranquilized for a few months until his strength was built again, taunting me with the same methods in a much sneakier way this time around.

As I continued fighting my work battle I lost total faith in humanity and planet X had completely disappeared. I could not even access it anymore for I was unable to sit with myself for more than five minutes. A month after my first confrontation at work took place my parents got divorced and I lose sight of everything I ever held close to my heart. My sanctuary, my security and my home were gone. All what I believed to be real was erased from my being and there was nothing to hold onto anymore.  From a life of complete love, acceptance, support, humanity, respect, values, loves from great men, friends that were devoted to my friendship and an artistic business that I owned; came the forceful gush of the harsh doors of emotional and mental hell. Of course planet X disappeared from my existence as I had come to understand that I don’t believe in it anymore. My three year experiences showed me a side to humanity that I had never known existed before. Those devastating three years poured its black gunk all over my beautiful pink bubble, over powering all the beauty that lived within it.

Today as I am still battling the dark disappointments within me, I have missed Planet X with all the innocence it had provided me with. I want to go back to Planet X, I am working hard to seduce it back into my life, I am exhausted of disappointment, I am tired of sadness and I am open to all the upcoming experiences that I must face. I have come to terms with a few of my disappointments, knowing that today I am fully aware of what I DO NOT want in my life giving me more clarity to the things I truly cherish and want in my life.

I am able today to see my planet X, i actually can touch it every once in a while and it is a welcoming feeling that i have longed for. My planet X has found it’s way through all the mess and has started to cleanse my soul bit by bit and with every breath i take it filters me with hope and love and removes all the dirt and dust.

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Screwtape Letters – Relationships

The Screwtape Letters is a book written by a great and prominent author called C .S. Lewis…..I found it very interesting and very insightful. It’s a story about the devil (screwtape) and his nephew (wormwood) . The book is composed of letters from screwtape to his nephew wormwood explaining their work that has to be done on humans. God is called the Enemy, their human victim is called the Patient. This coming paragraphe is one of the extracts from the book….i wanted to share it with you all I thought it was very insightful. There will a daily extract coming your way after this one.

 Extract: Screwtape is offering advice on the value of daily annoyances in trapping the patient (human).

When 2 humans have lived together for many years it usually happens that each has tones of voice and expressions of face which are almost unendurably irritating to the other. Work on that. Bring fully into the consciousness of your patient that particular lift of his mother’s eyebrows witch he learned to dislike in the nursery, and let him think how much he dislikes it. Let him assume that she knows how annoying it is and does it to annoy – if you know your job he will not notice the immense improbability of the assumption. And, of course, never let him suspect that he has tones and looks which similarly annoy her. As he cannot see or hear himself, this is easily managed. 



Wanna Read it click here: The Screwtape Letters – Special Illustrated Edition

Bizzar advice

In 1997 upon my arrival to start living in cairo,I was deprived of any sort of possibilities of any type of classes I was used to having when I lived in Montreal. So when I heard of a yoga instructor that had just started giving classes in Cairo I was the first one of five people attending the class. He was a British guy that had just left his home town with his wife and one year old child to start a life in Cairo. His Yoga space was a room in his apartment and surprisingly three other people; outside of me and one of my best friends, decided to attend. It was lovely, I felt alive and rejuvenated, and the excitement made me vow to myself that I will never miss a yoga class with Charlie.

As I drove home that day, blasting the music in the car, feeling on top of the world I decided to tell my brother about Charlie, knowing how my brother is like, I was sure he would also love to attend these classes.

That night, as I sat in the tv room bummed out on the couch, my brother walked in, stood at the door and started to watch tv with me silently. I jump of the couch as I rememberd the yoga class, i mute the tv and start telling him about the amazing fact of finding a yoga class in Cairo. I told him about Charlie and his family, and I explained how wonderful this whole thing was for me. Not surprisingly my brother decided to join me the next time I go. I was thrilled and I felt that things were starting to pick up in Cairo, maybe life could be normal to a certain degree.

Two days later me, my friend and my brother walk into Charlie’s apartment all dressed up and ready to yogi. I introduce my brother to Charlie, they shake hands, talk for a bit, laugh and then we all head off into his yogi room. To my surprise there are five more people there making the room extremely tight and unbearably stifled, yet I am still 100% determined never to miss a class.

As any normal yoga instructor, Charlie goes around the room and makes sure that everyone has the right posture and stance. He makes sure to position you right as you breath correctly while he rests his hands on your stomach to feel if you’re in rhythm with his instructions. Other times he would pass by the whole class putting his hand on their behinds to make sure that they are crunching their butts correctly as they move up and down in the table position. After an hour of excessive sweat and horrible stench we all stretch out on our mats and start doing a breathing exercise to end the session.

We all get off the mats, smile at one another and everyone starts heading for the door. I look for my brother to hurry him up and I find him standing with Charlie talking; so naturaly I move towards them. To my utmost horror, as I get closer to the conversation talking place between him and my brother, I hear my brother telling Charlie “Look Charlie, some advice you need to know. You’re not in England any more, you’re in Cairo and here you are not allowed to touch women” as I get closer and my smile starts to slowly part away from my face I hear him say “…so if you want to help my sister with her posture I suggest you use a stick and not your hands” he says this with a bright smile and full force of need to help Charlie out in an Arabic country. Little did my brother know that we lived in an open culture and no one was going to arrest Charlie for indecent touching. Little did Charlie know that my brother didn’t know any better making Charlie sweat in panic.

I stood there dumbstruck, I looked at Charlie and then I looked at my brother….i gave a faint smile of apology and extended my hand to shake his; in hopes that he does not think we are a demented culture. He just glared at me then at my extended hand as he slowly gave me a respectful smile and then moved his face to eye my brother in hopes that he passed some secret test.

Needless to say, I had never gone again to that yoga class in fear that he will hit me with a stick instead of using his hands to fix my posture.

Note from Rain- Your feedback.

Dearest Readers,

I am very interested to find out from you what you think of my story “The Spirit Coin”, i am planning on continuing it outside of the blog and i put it up as a trial to see what you all think of it.

I would greatly appreciate any comments or insights that you can help me with in regards to the story line and the writing method. Also interested to know if it is a gripping tale or not and what would or should be added or removed to make it gripping.

Great thanks and appreciate your upcoming efforts to advice me

In light and love, 

 Rain

Evolution of inner peace

I got to meet this wonderful person a few years ago, in the midst of all my misery with my ex husband, she was the only normal person that entered into my life. She was from the states and had just moved to the emirates, she was a life jacket to my drowning life and being. I met her a week ago as we exchanged information on both our lives and we updated on things that have been long forgotten.

Jessica lived in New York most of her life, she was born in Florida and moved to New York after she graduated and became a prominent Engineer. Her main relationship attractions were mainly Arabic men, their dark looks, their brooding eyes, and their manly mannerism gave her something she felt she lacked in the normal American guy. Jessica dated one Arabic man after the next, hoping beyond hope that one of them would end up being “The One”. It was during her Arabic man attraction phase that she met Mohammed, a young man who had been living in the states for no less than five years. As per her tale, they fell madly in love at first sight and pursued a romantic relationship for four years. As I got to know Jessica better, I got to know her story with Mohammed, her first true love, her first heart break, her first and last abusive relationship.

On  the rare occasions that we would meet for coffee back when i was married she never informed me about her previous encounter of a similar relationship to the one i was in at the time. She never really told me the whole truth, not until I knew through my own observations and constant tears that I was walking out on the life i had chosen to lead. That is when Jessica shared her story with me, her very abusive story with a man; who in two years after their relationship resorted to drugs without her knowledge, and that was when the constant verbal and emotional abuse turned into physical abuse. She left him on several occasions yet always went back to him after his pleading tears and sorrowful promises. Her whole focus in life was on him and for him, Mohammed was her life and all that mattered, her work was not taking a big role in her life, her family was a distant memory to her, her friends lost track of where she was in life. After four years of hurt and pain she went to a therapist to help her move away from him. It took her another seven years to heal from all the abuse she faced and gain herself back, her self-confidence and self-appreciation. She dated a few more Arabic men in the seven years, as they still possessed the qualities and the looks that attracted her to the opposite sex.

After seven years, Jessica  picked up her life, got all her friends back, spent time with her family and focused on her job fully. She turned into a workaholic; she breathed work, ate work, and lived work. She worked so hard that she was promoted to Senior Director in a well renowned engineering firm in New York within three years. She gained herself respect through her job and her accomplishments. Jessica knew that there is no man who can take that away from her. To her, this was who she is and what identified her as a person worth respecting, and it gave her the space to disconnect from committing herself fully to a man. It gave her the ability to stand alone diving only into her own life not into a man’s life.

It was at that point in her life that she met John. John was the complete opposite of all the men she ever dated, he was American, blond, blue-eyed, very Caucasian with simple expectations. She was not attracted to him at the beginning although they hit it off really well as friends. He lived in the emirates and so their relationship was a long distance one. It took her a year to really focus and see what a wonderful man she was with. John wanted Jessica in his life, but his pursue of her was simple not the same aggressive and taunting manner that she had gotten used to from the men she was attracted to. His methods confessed her and it took her some time to adapt to John’s ways. She was glad he didn’t live in the same country giving her space for herself to disconnect from a daily life with a man, yet having him there to listen to her when she needed him around. As she became comfortable with her new arrangement, her company had decided that they wanted to open up a branch in the Emirates. In doing so they requested her to go and set up the office as well as making her a partner in their company.

Her whole adaptation changed, as she was looking at a whole new life ahead of her. She moved to the UAE and started to set up her office branch, working crazy hours as she had gotten used to making her job the one thing that identifies her as an individual. John was there with her, ecstatic to have her in the same country having the ability to see her as often as he lived without having to book a ticket and fly all the way to her. Jessica had no time to fall in love and devote any of her time to John, they lived in separate homes for she did not want to be fully attached to someone, she needed her space to maintain her new-found base of independence.

It was at this point in life that i met Jessica, a very kind loving romantic person who was a workaholic dating a wonderful man. I remember in those days, when i was facing a tremendous agony with my husbands lack of kindness and attentiveness towards me, she would disclose the kindness and attentiveness she was receiving from John. I used to sit there and listen to all the wonderful things that John was doing for Jessica and i remember clearly thinking “Do men really do that?”. There were times where i would beg her to find time for him, that she had a great man who worshipped her, that he deserved her time and attention, i also remember her saying that she loved him very much and was giving him all that she can but her work is her priority.

I could not hear Jessica talk, i could not see where she was coming from. All i ever did, when i thought i was listening to her, was judge her for not appreciating with all her heart what she had. She had everything that i was craving to have at the time, and for the life of me i could not understand what she was trying so hard to make me see. I did judged her on so many levels internally and verbally. John had proposed to her a few months after i met her, to my surprise she had said yes but was very skeptical about it. Naturally my situation was getting a lot worse with my husband at the time and my judgment of her became more severe. I talked to her about the right way to do things, what she should and should not do. I didn’t not hear her, i never heard her. In time they got married and pregnant within the same month. I had gotten my divorce by then and got to know about her abusive relationship. I was ecstatic that she married John after all she had been through and even happier that she was pregnant, hoping that by having a child and settling down she will come to understand the value of giving herself and her time to her husband and child.

After giving birth, Jessica had no time for our coffees anymore, we met up twice after that because she was inundated with work as she was caring for a baby and still trying to adjusting to the new concept of being married. To my surprise her work still came first although her heart was aching to be with her child. Of course i judged her again, believing that she was unable to see the wonderful things in her life that required more of her time.

When i met her a week ago, a year after giving birth, Jessica was completely drained, she was fully immersed at her job, trying to manage her time with work and her child, fitting her lunch breaks and morning hours to spend a few hours with her son. This time around i really heard her, for the first time i paid attention to what she was really trying to tell me. That is when i realized that i fell into the same trap everyone falls into, the trap of judgment, disregarding what i was being told and only hearing myself vandalize to her what i thought was the right way to live your life.

After all what she had been through, all the hard work it took to find herself and walk out on an abusive relationship, Jessica was unable to let go of all her learnings. Her work identifies who she is, her work keeps her sain, her work is what bought her out of the rut she was in, her work was the one thing she could depend on. Jessica is in constant gratitude for her job and her accomplishments, regardless of how tired she is, she is happy. So who was i to judge her all this time, who was i to keep telling her what she was doing was wrong? How did i find the right to advise her on how to manoeuver in what she found the most comfortable way to live her life? She may change her priorities in the future, or she may not. That is not for me to say or to judge it is for her to find her most comfortable way to live her life and keep building the confidence she needs to manage her life the best way she sees fit. All i can say today is, Jessica is happy inside, she is managing her life the way see is able to, and all i care about as her friend, is that she is happy in which ever form she has chosen to be happy in.

Dream Killers

It is always a wonder how people have a tendency not to listen to what others are saying. Everyone is busy in their own heads, wanting to make their point, disregarding the words and body signs that the person they are talking to are displaying to them with all clarity.

Last night I decided to maintain my chilled out day and so decided to go with a friend to this cute little place called “Jazz Bar”. The atmosphere was very simple therefore attracting very simple people to it, making it easy to talk and singing along with the entertainer of the nigh; a man on a piano. As we sat there on the bar chitchatting for a while, I got a few black berry messages that I had to respond to, leaving the conversation I was in and focusing on my phone conversation. What happened then was interesting, my friend carried out a conversation with two men at the bar, discussing the night life of Dubai and the ups and downs of work opportunities. When I returned to the conversation that was now taking place with my friend and two strangers, I realized that I had missed out a lot on what was going on and so I made sure to focus and dive into the topics that were taking place. One of the two strangers started to focus his conversation in my direction as he started to tell me all about his way of life. His name was Marco, he was from Italy, and he was living the life that most of us would love to live if we had the means to live it.

Marco went into a grand explanation about his well thought of plans for his life, the philosophies he had come up with in life, making him able to live the way he lived today. He was in the F&B industry, he didn’t believe in becoming a CEO one day, he didn’t want to run with the heard and loose the flavor of life. Marco would work for a year in the Emirates, make a bundle of money, then take a year off to go back home to Italy and spend his money on his family, loved ones and himself. After his money would deplete and his free living existence would come to an end, he would return to the emirates to work for another year and so on. I listened carefully to every word he was saying, I was watching all his moves and how his body was in motion with the same excitement and pride that his words were portraying. Marco was thrilled with his philosophies in life, and better yet, he was not only a talker, he was actually a doer, he was living the life he was philosophizing about. At this point my friend started to focus in on the conversation that was going on between me and Marco, and it became a three person conversation. What happened then was very interesting, my friend decided to give Marco his advice on life, advice about Marco’s life. The advice first came out with a question “So Marco, how old are you?” and Marco responded “old, I am 30” to which Marco smiled assuming that me and my friend were of the same age group, awaiting our approval on the fact that 30 is old. To his dismay, my friend decided to tell him “oh that is young, your still so young and that is why you are thinking the way you are thinking”. With the uncalled for advice that started to pour out of my friend, came the slow depletion of Marco’s enigmatic energy. My friend made sure to touch up on all the fears that all humans have when it comes to living outside of the box, making Marco’s new resolutions childish and not well thought of. He fed his fears of the future, telling him that he has to be responsible that life is not that simple that one day he will look back and hope he did it differently. He made sure to tell him that at 30 he used to think the same way, but then life showed him differently. To my utmost surprise, Marco started to agree as his eyes started to widen in horror to the reality he was trying so hard to fight against.

In the process of my friend giving the uncalled for advice, Marco’s fears came to surface, making it obvious to me that he was still coming to terms with accepting his way of life, still looking for approval from others for it. Marco then tried to explain that he has a house in Florence, that he purchased and it will be his cushion if ever needed. To my utmost dismay I realized that my friend was not listening to Marco at all, my friend was too busy in his head, listening to his own internal words, negating and neglecting the fact that Marco was actually living the life he tried so hard to live. My friend put the foundation of fear all over Marco’s new map of life, Marco on the other hand was trying meekly to defend his way of life, but listening attentively to my friends demolition of it. With every philosophy that Marco would throw in my friend’s direction for approval, my friend would shake his head, and make sure to tell him that he lived that life at 30 but today that didn’t work for him. What my friend did not realize was that Marco believed that my friend had lived that life, when in reality my friend never lived it, he only dreamt of living it. Marco was living the life my friend wanted to live, yet my friend decided to take it away from him, never really listening to what Marco has been going through, never paying attention that Marco is NOT dreaming of living it, but is actually living it.

Marco left, looking devastated, agreeing fully with my friend’s outlook on life, while the whole time hoping that in one of his many come backs my friend would approve of his life style.

People are too busy wanting to through their advice around. No one is able to actually hold themselves back and really pay attention to what the others are saying. If my friend really heard Marco properly, he would have actually congratulated him on his choice of living, giving him the approval he obviously was still seeking from others. What my friend didn’t realize was that Marco WAS living his words, they were not empty dreams, they were his reality, and obviously his reality was challenged ever day by the humans living the rat race.

It is vital to really pay attention to what others are telling you, really listen to them and feel what they are feeling. Look at the way their eyes when they talk; is there a sparkle in it? Are they sad? Do they look like they have found a long awaited answer to their quest? Leave you’re head alone, stop your pompous reason to provide advice when it is not needed, and listen attentively to what is being said to you. There could be a lesson you could learn, there could be something new you can add to your life. There is always beauty in listening to others. When a person wants advice, they ask for it, when a person is communicating then they need an attentive ear. It is more challenging to know how to ask the right questions than to throw in your own tainted advice of their life.

Learn to keep asking the right questions, challenge the person with their own words and their own insights, do not force your opinion on them. If there is something that needs to be said, then say it carefully by first assessing the entire person in front of you. Look at their body language, listen to their tone of voice, pay attention to what they are saying and look into their eyes. To contribute to someone’s obvious fears of life, is making another person stop their dreams from happening, to throw our own fear out there on someone else’s account is unfair to that person. Stop your own mind from working; get rid of your ego for some time. It is not your ego that needs to be rubbed at that time; it’s the other person’s conversation that needs to be heard, why else would they be sharing this information about themselves if not their desire to be heard and accepted?