Friday, April 13, 2007

Purification for Civilization

Reflecting back upon the week it would appear last weekend’s tranquility was the calm before the storm. For since the beginning of this week, I’ve been presented with one situation or another either through other individuals or writings that replicate the lack of moral fiber in the male character. This is not a blog of male bashing, but rather a means to understand, process the events, and perhaps gain inside from God on the matter, inshallah.

Certainly the events of this week that have unfolded have been one of a personal nature to me, which has been mirrored through other people’s lives. In an attempt to spare too many agonizing details, I will try to stick to the point or points I wish to reflect on most.

In one of my professions, I work for a divorce mediator who assists individuals who choose to dissolve their marriage in a dignified fashion. Certainly we do not advocate divorce, as we believe in the unity and sanctity of marriage to the highest degree. However, we live in a society where divorce is very high. We assist those that have made the decision prior to coming to us to dissolve their marriage without having to go to court. Anyway, getting sidetracked here, we have a couple that has recently come to us for the assistance of filing the legal documentation for divorce, and at their last meeting it was discussed how much money would be provided to wife for their 3 children (one of which is Autistic). Wife currently lives in the family home, which apparently at some point was sold to father-in-law and payments have been made to him for said mortgage. After their last appointment, I told my boss that I believed we’d be receiving a call soon from the wife indicating she and their 3 children would be evicted from their home. My boss did not believe this to be true. On Monday this week I received a call from the wife crying because her father-in-law approached her on Easter wondering if she had a place for her and the kids to go because the husband (father-in-law’s son) had not been making the mortgage payments to him. (Side bar – this issue is being dealt with, of which I’m not able to discuss any further at this time.) I was outraged, of course, I realize now due to my own personal life’s story the lack of moral fiber in this man. Of course, there are so many details I’m not able to share with you that it would probably appear as if, again, this was a male-bashing blog, which it is not.

This woman’s story reopened some extremely painful wounds within my own heart that I thought for certain had been healed by the grace and power of Allah (swt). Not to say that these deep-seated wounds had not been cleaned and healed by Allah, but rather I perhaps did not know the extent of their depth for they are surfacing again. Perhaps at this point when the pain is being dredged up it, is Allah telling us it’s time for us to go deeper in the wound and clean some more. For I do believe as so much has either been said or written that God never puts you through more than we can handle, which has always been the case for in my life, alhamdullilah. It’s just while going through those refinement periods you wonder how strong you really are to survive the curing process.

As I’ve read for so many years and most recently (in part, as I’m not completely done reading yet) a message posted by Sands of Time (Mani) regarding the Virtues of the Feminine, the core of a woman is her heart. For it is the source of our creativity, our courage, and our convictions. It is the fountainhead of our faith, our hope, and of course, our love. This “wellspring of life” (heart) within us is the very essence of our existence, the center of our being. As a woman the most important thing about us is our heart. For hypothesis sake could it be that God created us to a certain degree to reflect a part of Himself? Could it be that as a woman we bear a resemblance of God’s love through our social skills, gathering nature, nurturing ability, etc. with the reflection of our heart? Could it be that as a man, he bears a resemblance of God’s strength through is his “hunting” skills (provider), adventurous spirits, and the desire to be a knight in shining armour for the sake of protecting the woman’s heart? If these two statements are true, even in part, would it not stand to reason we should see more of this behavior exuded in today’s world?

I have many women friends around me that bear the resemblance of the woman I described in the previous paragraph that exude the image of this heart. We all desire to be in loving, nurturing, supportive relationships, yet the ‘pickings’ seem to be extremely slim on finding a partner that demonstrates the qualities previously mentioned above. Why is that?

My girlfriend and I were just talking on this matter earlier this week, and in an attempt to try to show me there are good men out there in this world that are worthy of our trust, she named five. Of course, my sarcastic nature came out and said “wow, you can name them all on one hand, how sad is that?” I said, “if we used those same measures of moral fiber standards and characteristic traits that we just described for men to count how many women we knew with those same qualities, we would run out of fingers and toes in counting them”. Yes, perhaps a little tainted because of my mood at the time; however, the fact remains that there seems to be a declining value in our male counterparts. I have to wonder, what part as women have we played in the creations of dwindling males with good moral fiber in our society?

Time and time again, I’m seeing the woman’s heart exposed, violated, and ultimately abandoned (a woman’s worse fear) which leaves her wounded and scarred for a very long time. What has changed so drastically that a man no longer desires to defend, shield or safeguard a woman’s heart? It is a fear of failure? Is that man’s worse fear---failing?

How, if possible, can the roles be changed, corrected or re-directed in order for a woman to be a woman who is her heart, and for a man to be a man by virtue of his protecting strength? This certainly pertains to both male and females, as it is not exclusively a male issue to fix. It’s a communal part of both in order to unite and support each other’s strengths rather than demoralize each into a shameful shamble for the sake of making the other feel better about them self.


cofman said...

Salam my good friend,

I like to say something related to one of the many good points; here
- - - -
(Time and time again, I’m seeing the woman’s heart exposed, violated, and ultimately abandoned (a woman’s worse fear) which leaves her wounded and scarred for a very long time. What has changed so drastically that a man no longer desires to defend, shield or safeguard a woman’s heart? It is a fear of failure? Is that man’s worse fear---failing? )
- - - -
I like what you wrote – I wonder how long it took you to write it considering the restraints you were restricted by ( work etc what to say and not say .. )

Yes, I do like it a lot, … the pace is gradual and content very clear in my opinion

I may though have some issues with what you said, if you don’t mind ( I am sure you don’t mind )

Sure, you have data and statistics to support what you said, but we are still talking about man and woman, with data or without

I could be wrong here, but women are often a bit self-centred,.. if it doesn’t work out to their wishes they will complain … I don’t know .. is it perhaps a call for attention and affection, rather than complaining per se ?

From my observation, there is a huge gap filled with misunderstanding between the 2 sexes
The woman desires something the man can’t provide, though trying very hard, or saying he is – and the man not understood at all by his woman who never stops nagging

I agree, the woman wants to be desired, loved, even pampered occasionally .. but some men feel and fear: she is simply in constant demand of this or the other – in his view; the list is endless…. So why bother?

But the man’s needs are a bit different
I seriously think an average man needs a friend more than a woman . Although, naturally he will need the female, and can’t live without the satisfaction of his sexual needs, but mentally and emotionally, the man is as insecure as a woman.

In my opinion: the ideal woman for any man is the woman who can be his best friend
I don’t know if you can see my point, but if you can give the man what he wants; ie a trusted and reliable friend, who also happens to be his pleasure provider, then I feel the woman would stand a better chance of getting what she desires … love, affection, protection, etc

I want to make a wild guess before I end my comment:
A lot of men find women unreliable – not that they can’t trust women, no … it just seems impossible to rely confidently on a woman, maybe because she is too strong in the heart, and weak in the head

Just a guess btw,

Ok, see u soon, and looking forward to your response
( and sorry if I sounded a bit rough on women .. I was talking in general terms, and general perceptions which often are untrue )

salam again

ibeebarbie said...

Salam Cofman,

Great of you to stop by, read and comment. Perhaps even a great deal of valor on your part as I know it can be awfully tricky engaging in a discussion with our counter-parts. Bravo my friend! Would this not go along with the description I mentioned about men liking adventure? Venturing into possible tumultuous waters? Again, bravo!

I cannot speak for all women, but for myself, and the ones that I know this approach you made would and has gained you respect, alhamdullilah.

I agree with you 100% on the gap of misunderstanding. It is true that women wish to feel adored, desired, and loved by their man. However, until that woman is clear on who she is and what she wants she will forevermore be dissatisfied and misdirect her disappointment on her counter-part rather than taking accountability for her own actions. I also believe this to be true for a man as well in some part.

Because of a woman’s uncertainty I can certainly see why a man would throw his hands up in the air and give up.

I think as you mentioned the significant difference in the sexes is women think more with their hearts and men more with their heads. We, men and women, are at a disadvantage, unless or until we make the consorted effort to understand the differences and make concessions accordingly. Would you not agree?

Loving the exchange of thoughts and ideas. Please keep them coming.


mani said...

Salam ibeerabie,

first, Thank you for an a amazing read and the peek into a honest heart of a Woman.

"Time and time again, I’m seeing the woman’s heart exposed, violated, and ultimately abandoned (a woman’s worse fear) which leaves her wounded and scarred for a very long time. What has changed so drastically that a man no longer desires to defend, shield or safeguard a woman’s heart? It is a fear of failure? Is that man’s worse fear---failing?"

Yes. Exactly. That's a man's worse fear.

He knows that he needs to satisfy his sexual instincts yet needs to survive in a power based society, and hopefully prosper.

The decisions taken are businesslike, in that they consider the risk or trade off between the costs and benefits of a relationship.

The measure of value is happiness, denominated in our modern society, by a figure called ‘Total’ in your bank balance.

The heart’s of women are mere bonuses in the mind states of such men, that do not even make the balance sheet.

When they are financially insecure or poor they will just buy sex and discard any heart of the woman’s like trash.

If life smiles on them a little, they become secure in some employment and prepare for the routine lifestyle of the ‘successful’.

While the desire carries through, so does the mentality, so for these men, a woman or a ‘family’ here is a ‘long term investment’.

And the laws of long term investment apply.

So if the investment is too risky they don’t commit. If they do commit and the investment becomes risky they abandon. If they find a better investment in another woman they will transfer. If the investment is worthwhile, when returns are stable at least, then men are free to do one of two things.

The first, is to cultivate more happiness, while keeping costs low. When the heart of a woman has no value, the conflict of interest will inevitably lead only to catastrophe, and a broken heart for the woman.

The second is to cultivate more ‘love’. When most of these men do not know it as a value distinct from the other, they foolishly assume they can buy it, by whatever farcical commodities or lifestyle their partner wishes.

When the woman knows love by the same value, her heart can be ‘bought’. they will probably have some form of ‘love’ but it always remains superficial. When her heart isn’t bought, well.. it’ll break, either violently or in silence and confusion.

hearts are no bought. Nor are they freebies. They are earned and cultivated. Their beautiful fruits served and protected.

And men who don’t know that real value is love, don’t know how to protect and serve the hearts of their women.

And the heart of the woman will always gravitate towards the man more likely to serve and protect it. Woman will always lookout for the man who can earn their hearts.

When a man doesn’t know how to protect the heart of his woman, the fear of failure and abandonment means this man is left frantically trying to buy it, or ignoring it, or circumventing it, or even suppressing it, all because another value takes precedent over the heart of this woman.

Men fear what they don’t know. While knowing they know only a little, the wickedest of them will learn to seduce the heart of women but fails to maintain it.

The cleverest of them can act, pose, demonstrate or show off a superficial power identity that would only appeal to the heart of another superficial woman, while disgust the honest heart of pure woman. Even if it appeals, the appeal is short lived and the heart is still to be earned.

And when women’s hearts are not earned, they wont be served and protected. The unprotected heart cannot empower her man nor her children, creating only more slaves, serving power in society rather than the love of their woman’s hearts, and leaving generations vulnerable to identity crises and further chaos.

A man violates a woman’s heart every time he fails to earn it.
A man violates a woman’s heart every time he demonstrates his loyalty to a higher purpose than their love.
A man breaks this woman’s heart when he abandons her.

The description above applies as a comfortable generalisation of men, although there are Exceptions. Regrettably though they are few, and can be counted on the fingers of your friends’ hands.

Be it a fault of society, or an inevitable outcome of the world we live in, Men and woman are still responsible for their own miserable situations when it comes to their relationships.

Socrates said, ‘The unexamined life is a life not worth having’, don’t you agree?

Anonymous said...

What you said was so profound. Unfortunately, as women,we do live in dangerous times. I do believe what Mani said, we are part of a cost/benefit equation. This is why we have to take care of our hearts and not give it a way so freely. Too much is at stake when we do this.

As you said(..until that woman is clear on who she is and what she wants she will forevermore be dissatisfied and misdirect her disappointment on her counter-part rather than taking accountability for her own actions., I agree 100%.

Sometimes, I wonder if arranged marriages are better than those made because of love. I have a friend who is mending a broken heart. Her man left her for another woman after 7 years together. I guess (as mani says), he found a better investment.
:-( Blu

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh!! I still can't believe the father-in-law is evicting his own grandchildren from their home. How terrible! :-( Blu

mani said...

it is terrible. when humans become mere valueless objects.. it is terrible.... it sucks.. those poor children need not suffer this totalitarianism.

God help them ya rab


ibeebarbie said...

Salam Mani,
Thank you for your response and insight, alhamdullilah.

I do agree with you on the investment analogy as sad as it may be. However, if we as women now make ourselves aware of this so meticulously described analogy you’ve listed on Investors and make certain implementations we should be better prepared when submitting our portfolios, inshallah. May I take heed to these words myself, cultivate them, and apply them in my own walk in life in a hopes to not make a fruitless investment.

However, every investment we’ve made in this life thus far has certainly not been one of fruitlessness but rather a stepping-stone to a higher venture. That’s of course if we learn from these investment failures; otherwise we forevermore remain stagnant to our current life’s circumstances.

Thank you for the Socrates quote---perfect!

Welcome and thanking you for stopping by and posting. May your friend whose relationship ended after 7 years be healed and cleansed from any iniquities of their relationship. May she also gain insight, strength and knowledge that will lead her to greater things, inshallah.

Sadly it’s true that the grandchildren have been asked to leave their family home; however, I do not know the exact particulars or the current status of that phone call from last week. Moreover, not to make excuses but is it any wonder the husband has treated his wife and children as such, as he’s had the teachings of his father.

May God protect all children and deliver them from the wrong doings of the adults around them, inshallah.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for welcoming me! I will soon have a blog (need to work on it more).

You stated it perfectly. If a Father in Law can do this, it really says a lot about the son.

As for my friend, I really do hope she heals. A broken heart is devastating and is physically stressful! She is a wonderful good-hearted person. I don't know why this happened to her. She has always been very true to people..never materialistic or conniving. She truly gave it her all. She supported him(emotionally and sometimes financially) through his studies, through his various jobs and through his travels when he needed to "find himself" (which should have signaled a red flag alert). All this and he didn't have the courtesy of letting her know it was over. He just lied to her about going on a business trip when in fact he went to the Phillipines to visit his "girlfriend". She was forced to throw him out of the apartment and change the lock (she found out while going through his things. He was still in the Phillipines at the time). When he came back he threatened to call the police and even take her to court. Apparently in New York (because of the amount of years together),it is considered a "common law marriage" after 6/5 years of co habitation. It didn't matter that the apartment was under her name (the lease)and it was legally her place. What she did was considered illegal. This is what the police had told who really knows. Anyway, he never really pursued it and came with his father to pick his stuff up. Very painful story. They were finally engaged to be married, too. His family (eventhough they are Indian and she isn't)were really supportive of their relationship and had wished them to marry. They went so far as to invite her on an all expense paid trip to India which she did go six months prior to this terrible event.

I think living together is a dangerous and risky venture for a woman...especially for one who wants to marry and have children within a marriage. It should never be a condition before marriage, as some people think.