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‘Familiar’ things & people change.

Maybe I went through this experience, because I was to meet this four-year-old Usman with Leukemia, today.

An interesting thought:

Yesterday, I realized one thing; you can get used to anything. Even hospitals. Within a year I’ve got used to my hospital, (I found out about my cancer on 28th May last year,)  now, I’ve got used to hospitals. Its doctor Farrukh, his staff Sara, Dr. Marium and others, including Jamil, Rizwana, Fauzia, Shabana, Mala and others, at Day Care are my familiar ground too.

Funnily enough, yesterday when I went to watch a movie at my favorite place; Centaurus – I was actually anxious going into the lower basement parking space. The lifts, the entire building was feeling strange and surrealistic – after a break of a year. Unlike Shifa Hospital which feels so familiar and friendly now, this place Centaurus seemed slightly strange.

It made me think….

I had met my friend Sadia Majeed at the cinema, (she was waiting there holding my ticket at the door,) we watched the movie Ghabrana Nahi Hai, then we went for dinner at the Chinese restaurant. It was great doing something which used to be so ‘normal’ in my previous life.

Though I always went with Waliya, and friends, she would do the bookings and everything. Now, Sadia was doing the needful. It was fun and strange at the same time. I realized, you can get ‘familiar’ with anything – even a hospital. Now, the cinema and Mall was seeming ‘strange’.

You can get anxious anywhere:

Then again, you can get anxiety from anything, even your favorite Centaurus. Strange. So, the more you do something, the more it becomes your own second nature, and more you leave something, the more you get used to not having it in your life. You get okay with it all.

Is it the same with just places? Or is it the same for people too?

Is it with people too?

You can get used to being with and without certain persons in your life, in the same way too. It is just important to build good memories on previous memories, and moving on. That is the important thing. It isn’t just the memory. It is you. What you choose to do with what you have at the moment.

Your choice!

Last June, on my birthday, Sadia got these three dresses made for Uzma, myself and her. We three were twinning on my birthday. I had got my chemo date changed, so we could celebrate Waliya and my birthday first!! Yes, I guess, I’ve been guilty of ‘partying’ through it all too! Why not? Life is for celebrating Allah’s blessings.
Last week I had gone with my friends to Skardu, here I am at Shangrila.

How you choose to think about it, will make all the difference. As I drove home alone afterwards, I realized, that it is up to one’s self how one chooses to feel about the same situation. I love driving. Love it with company and I love it alone too. In both cases, good music is a must. When I’m alone, I love my pets with me too. Duchess (my German Spaniel) sits so cutely beside me on the passenger seat looking ahead. I miss the old times with friends, my daughters and now I’m fine alone too.

Place your memory carefully:

So, how we choose to think about the memory is important too; love your memory too, and let it go and sit in your past. Comfortably. Not with anger or hatred or bitterness. That would mess things up a bit. Rock your boat too. So, being at peace with one’s memory is also important. Doing it with love, will make it better. It was so good while it lasted.( Choose to think of the good parts of your memory.) Then let go.

Peace. Calm. Acceptance.

I like to place a thing properly, before letting it go. Like Marie Kondo does with her things. That is what she advises. ‘Love it, then let go.’ She is right. Memories are also things. Memories of people and places.

Where do I place this last year?

For instance, I can choose to think of this last year of cancer and its treatment as a horror, or as a learning experience from Allah. He put me through it all because He chose me for it, as He knew I was capable. Also, because He has some plans for me, and this experience goes with those plans.

Today, I believe, I’ve morphed into a more sensitive, enlightened, and aware human being than I ever was. I had no idea how much more I had to learn through this cancer experience. I’ve realized how much this disease needs to be understood. It is not just the ‘stages: one, two, three and four.’ It is a lot more. How fighting it isn’t only with drugs, medications, treatments, but with your own spirit, your will, your power of thought, self-management and faith. Most of all with acceptance for all that He wills.  

I wouldn’t have learnt all of the above without this experience. Now, when a person says, ‘chemo’ I damn well know what that word means!

This analysis wouldn’t be complete without the fact that I’ve become even more daring than I was. Now, I feel, ‘If I can face cancer, I can face anything!’

People who ‘left’…

By the same token, it is vital to think carefully about the people who have gone out of our lives. Whether it was  through death, or choice (- yours’ or theirs’ – doesn’t matter). It is vital for our own well-being, to give them a due place in our past. A place of respect and dignity.

Perhaps the time we had together was all the time that was allotted to ‘us’. That’s it. It was all meant to be the way it is now. Accept these moments. In fact, welcome them.

A beautiful thought to think; as Rumi put it, that when you find yourself in a time, when everyone has left you, it is because Allah wants to be with you and in your thoughts.

Dr. Wyne Dyer also said, that to be alone, is to be with God.

 Isn’t it beautiful?

Also, the terminology ‘left’ for persons leaving, isn’t right. It is just that they have moved on to the other phase of their lives, which doesn’t include you anymore. It is okay. Respect their journey as you respect your own.

My Mum would say:

‘If you have gone through a lot, don’t think about it!’

On another note, she would say, about those who left, ‘good riddance?’ – depending on who it was ….. ! 😉

Be aware of your thoughts:

Keep your inner fires burning too!

So, it is important to be aware of one’s feelings whether it is of familiarity or anxiety. It is vital to realize why a feeling is as it is. To find out why it is so. To find the best thought to ‘deal’ with it.

If you find yourself a bit alone, realize that being alone isn’t bad at all. We artists and writers need such ‘alone’ time too. A lot of it. One thing is certain, you are with great company! 😉

Stay blessed, my dear Reader – alone or not! 😉

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2 Comments

  1. Aroosa Ahmed Khan Niazi says:

    Most inspirational and motivational blog post. Much needed for us especially youth as nowadays we (youth) dont understand the real meaning of being alone. We really need to learn that being alone doesn’t mean that we should suffer from anxiety or mental break down, we should enjoy our own company. We should learn the fact that If there is no one in our life than we can enjoy our own company and This will make us more strong. Strong enough to cope anything in our life😇
    Thanks alot Mam for such motivational words😇
    Stay Blessed❤

    1. Shireen Gheba Najib says:

      I’m so glad Aroosa that you appreciated this post. I have a German friend whom I really admire. She has spent her whole life alone. Chose not to get married, and lives by her own rules. Loves to travel alone and has an interesting life with music, no tv and lots of books. Life can be pretty interesting in any situation. Its all up to you. Stay blessed.

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