Cleansing one’s self of the diseases that plague the heart is a continuing process. The moment you think that you have wiped away an evil aspect such as jealousy, envy or hate, that’s the moment you have to be careful for it to not come back. I do believe, our hearts are different. Hearts are born with different qualities but more importantly, how we nurture our hearts becomes the deciding factor as to what qualities it possesses. If you constantly remain on guard to not get angry, to not backbite, to not speak ill of others, to not harbour grudges, to not feel envy, the more likely you are to increase yourself in qualities such as gentleness, forbearance, calm temperament, contentment. When we see others with faults, those faults are also reflected within us. That’s true in many cases, but it’s not always true.
Sometimes it is a matter of seeing those faults in others and separating yourself from such people who possess them. Your environment, your boundaries, your company is a thing to be mindful of. There is a saying, Show me your friends and I will tell you who you are! And at times, just hearing the toxic conversations is enough to make you fall back into those diseases that plague the hearts. With this I have a question for you! What is the norm? Confront the person directly to point out their faults, mistakes, shortcomings or any behaviour you find odd? Or do you indirectly convey the message through indirect talk or talking about their actions without specifically mentioning them? I am usually aware but I tend to ignore other people’s habits as long as they don’t affect me. Perhaps there is a lesson to learn here too, who not to be like? What qualities and habits to steer clear from? How to conduct yourself in day to day dealings with others?
Writing everything isn’t evidence of my wisdom. I write, so I can perhaps gain an objective insight into myself. I am full of faults, although I am mostly calm, anger is something I have struggled with most since childhood. At some point, I learnt to manage it. But even now sometimes the frustrations, irritations, stress and whatever else bottled inside, can quickly explode at times if not released through other mediums.
I am writing this to assess the link between different diseases of the heart and whether any outside influence is responsible in lighting those evils? Responding to what comes at me is a choice where I exert influence. It mostly always comes back to me as an individual, how I respond, how I react, what is my demeanour, how is my behaviour, what is the state of my mind, what is the tone of my voice?
Picking up on this as the new year starts. 2022, here we come! The year begins with reflections upon death. So, I guess I might as well talk a little bit. I fell off the tracks mostly because of my own thoughts were overwhelming me. Because of the many events that have happened in the past, mixed with current issues, I was having suicidal thoughts. Not that I will act on them, but still they were present and getting me really down. So, I spoke about them to some close friends and after some reflection, I realised the underlying reason for it was that my self-esteem was hurt. I have always had great expectations from myself. When I fail, it’s often a struggle to pick myself up.
Fast forward to today, I mentioned earlier that I am finishing writing this article tonight. I wrote this in October 2021. Right now, I am sitting, fully awake, grateful, yet quite distressed. Distressed because Noor is nearing end of his life. The speechless boy I wrote about before. For the past week, Noor’s health deteriorating has been occupying my mind. It’s also making me reflect on life, a blessing! It’s making me reflect on death too. You see, no one knows how many more breaths he has got left to breathe. No one knows, how many breaths they themselves have left to breathe. Every soul shall taste death. It can come anytime in good health, good times or poor health and difficult times.
Noor has lived a wonderful life. The best he could have, even though he is not fully capable. Everyone around him prepares to part with him. I keep wondering if the miracle continues living. His survival for the past 30 years has been a miracle. He defied odds over and over. He clung to life. His will to live is strong. Even now, he breathes, rhythmically. He takes 3 to 4 deep breaths and holds it for 8 to 10 seconds. This pattern has further slowed, he now holds it for 20 seconds. He only has one lung functioning. The rest of his organs are slowly shutting down. Yet, his will to live is as strong. I am hoping that tomorrow, as the new sun rises. He gets better because he has taught me that life is precious. Too precious for any human’s intervention to try cut it short. However long we tarry on this earth, death is a certainty for us all.
Life is a blessing. Life ought to be lived fully. It is not a bed of roses. It is tough, the world can be cruel, circumstances can be harsh. No matter, it is still a blessing. A blessing to be grateful for. Give gratitude with each breath.
I sit here next to him waiting for him to breathe his last, yet I don’t know if I would breathe my last before him.
This makes me question the life I have lived, whether I done enough good. Whether I enjoyed it in good times, whether I remained patient in difficult times. Whether I have been grateful enough! Nothing else matters except a sound heart. Do I have one? I know Noor does, his heart was never tainted with the diseases. Even if his body suffered, his heart has remained pure, his heart is full of light. If you listen closely, you can hear him praise the Creator, his heart sings praise. His body suffers, we can only try lower his pain. All of this and much more that I can’t put in words has been occupying my mind.
It has also lit the spark inside me. He has helped me realise what a blessing life is. Life is beautiful if you are grateful for the things you have. Count your blessings.
He doesn’t want to see us cry or shed silent tears, so he breathes and his will to live remains strong.