<--- From this, to this ----->
WHY, OH WHY do the very traits that I abhor from my cultural upbringing still exist in me??? It feels like the harder I try to eliminate my anger, impatience, rebelliousness, and lack of discipline, the harder deeper I backslide into their realm. It's really getting ridiculous. Maybe I'm not cut out for this lifestyle. I'd leave it alone and rid my husband of my misdemeanors forever; except that we have these beautiful nuggets of life and aspiration, looking up at us with their big, lashy brown eyes full of wonder and awe... as we wince and attempt explanation and example... kids are holding my life together right now. I've heard that the more a person tries to improve themselves, the harder shaytaan plays. Well, that could be the case.
وأعوذ بالله من الشيطان الرجيم
I find myself often contemplating the phrase 'live peacefully, or leave peacefully'. I know very well that having a husband in a world where women out number men globally at least 2-1 is an asset, if not solely for the provision/companionship aspect. But sometimes, stress that is a result of problems in a marriage can lead to anger directed at the innocent children. And that leads the couple to the question; is it worth maintaining a marriage merely for the sake of 'family' if the members of the said family may be emotionally or developmentally harmed in the process? Well... it's a tough call for many families who have situations like me, where a LOT of work is needed. Improvements in wivery, motherhood... you name it... but as long as theres no physical abuse or severe verbal abuse going on, I dont see anything more worthwhile in the world. It does get overwhelming, certainly. And sometimes, it even feels that death would be easier. It sounds morbid, but I'm not kidding. This life is a test, and its end is our last breath. One hadeeth reported by Ali ibn Abi Talib says, "The Jihad of a woman is to afford pleasant company to her husband..." and there are many more that relay the same connotation; that a woman's wife and motherhood (being a teacher to her children, patient, obedient to her husband, kind to them and steadfast in prayer etc) will raise her to the maqqam of mujahida... and I know why. It's a fierce battlefield when you fight against your own desires to meet the demands/needs of your children, and you die to yourself for the sake of your husband, not just ONCE... but many times daily. It's not easy! Especially when you've been raised in a culture that pities a stay-at-home mother, and tells her that there's so much more in the social circle, or the political arena... it hurts. That, along with the fact that we've grown up disobeying our parents who glorified disobedience to their parents, who knew no better then disobeying their parents. And now I'm expected to be a 'submissive, obedient wife'.... let me just say that old habits die hard. But, if what Allah (swt) wants from me is obedience, softness, and politeness... then I'm going to expend my energy and emotional capacity to fulfill these requests. BUT it takes a while to take a person from one extreme to the next. And where I once relished my rebellious 'tude, and my outspoken, freedom-fighter state of mind... this all needs to change. I need stillness. Silence. Softness. Quietness. Submission. And that will mend my backward heart, and save my precious family. God help me.