Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Family still in Egypt - a bit of a personal marriage rant

I am at a bit of a low point again. I felt better a couple days after my daughter left... She is having a pretty good time and as long as she is fine, I can be OK and start tolerating the 3.5 weeks we will be apart. She is still fine although she misses me. They are over half way through their time there and things will go back to normal soon enough - I just can't wait.


I'm at a low point though because it has been difficult with my husband. I don't like to publicly go over everything and I stay away from doing that when serious problems are happening, but these little problems like right now...

It's frustrating...

He has been good about contacting me each day... But it always feels like it's a chore for him to talk to me and like I'm prying when I ask what they did every day and when I ask for details on who they saw, what happened, etc. I know it's because he feels he has not done much and he has been there 2 out of 3.5 weeks already... People are promising to meet him and, Egyptian-style are not showing up. Time is going by fast for him and soon he'll say goodbye to his family for another 2 years maybe.

I get that it's hard, but in all our relationship, he has never managed to put his own feelings to the side to think about mine. I am missing Nora like crazy and feeling so lonely. I have no energy to go out and distract myself like last time because of the pregnancy and I am making sure I put that aside so we can have regular style conversations without tension or too much emotion between us...

Of course, my questions wanting to know everything they did are a symptom of my missing them, and my questions are also triggers to making him feel like he has not done enough during his time there... But I still wish he was able to make extra effort for me. It always seems like I'm asking or hoping for too much when it comes to these things. He's overly emotional, but not AT ALL sensitive to my needs and emotions. It's like a lose-lose for me! If he was at least not an emotional person and also wasn't sensitive to my emotions, it'd be win-lose. If he was an emotional person but was also sensitive to my emotions, it'd be a lose-win. This is just a lose-lose. lol

Anyway... Men generally suck at relationships and feelings and Egyptian men more than others (lol). Gotta just suck it up with the thought that men are weak and women are strong and NOT cause more of a burden on him by blowing up. He's taking care of my baby after all! Wouldn't want him to have even more emotional crap going on.

I believe...

Here is a starter list that I've been wanting to write out of things that I believe that are in common with Islam and things I believe that don't really match up well. Each point is related to the one in the other list (points 1 for each list are related, etc.) Comments?

BELIEFS IN COMMON WITH ISLAM


1. One God (not sure I believe in a personal God at all, but I believe in unity)

2. Qur'an being divinely inspired (as well as the Bible and Torah)

3. Agree and see benefit/merit in a lot of things in Islam
+ 5 daily prayer a very beneficial ritual
+ Hijab and the importance of modesty overall
+ The importance of charity
+ The religion demands a lot and pushes us to be better
+ Sense of community with other Muslims

4. Belief in as-sirat al mustaqueem

5. Every single good or bad "deed" counted, and we will get true justice in the afterlife.


DOES NOT WORK WITH ISLAM

1. I have a pantheistic view

2. Do not believe Qur'an is the word of God
+ Belief that a lot of other texts and religions are divinely inspired, not only in Islam, Christianity and Judaism

3. Cannot agree with a lot of things considered islamic
+ Women obeying husbands and having to be under the care of a man
+ Homosexuality being forbidden and homosexuals not having the same rights
+ Killing of a person who converts out of Islam
+ Complete segregation of men and women

4. Belief that there are many different paths leading to God... Islam is not be the right one for everyone, but that it's important and valuable to imagine that everything we do should be having a good purpose.

5. I don't believe in literal Heaven or Hell

Principles of Bahais and the 7 Principles of UU - Similarities

I was very much struck by the similarities:

•the abandonment of all forms of prejudice
•assurance to women of full equality of opportunity with men
•recognition of the unity and relativity of religious truth
•the elimination of extremes of poverty and wealth
•the realization of universal education
•the responsibility of each person to independently search for truth
•the establishment of a global commonwealth of nations
•recognition that true religion is in harmony with reason and the pursuit of scientific knowledge

and

•The inherent worth and dignity of every person;
•Justice, equity, and compassion in human relations;
•Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations;
•A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;
•The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large;
•The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all;
•Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.

From the Bahai website

The central theme of Bahá'u'lláh's message is that humanity is one single race and that the day has come for its unification in one global society. God, Bahá'u'lláh said, has set in motion historical forces that are breaking down traditional barriers of race, class, creed, and nation and that will, in time, give birth to a universal civilization. The principal challenge facing the peoples of the earth is to accept the fact of their oneness and to assist the processes of unification.

----

Although I'm not sure about Bahaullah himself (don't know much about him or the religion really), the message contained in this paragraph really does ring true to me. Unification and oneness of humanity are things that have come up recently for me as being of the utmost importance in today's society so I really can appreciate this message.

What do you think?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Helping a friend

... who might not really want or recognize the need for help.

It's my best friend. She's not very stable in life and displays signs of Borderline Personality Disorder (though none in my relationship with her). She feels a need to get very drunk regularly, has a pretty high need for sex (and it's always meaningless). Has been "hooked" on this one guy for at least 5 years despite him never reciprocating any deeper feelings than wanting to bed her. He would not go out and be seen in public with her at the time they had a "friends with benefits" thing going. That has been 100% over for 1 year and she still gets a physical reaction when his name comes up or if she just sees his car.

I don't know anything about this kind of unhealthy infatuation and I don't know what to even say about it.

I don't know anything about difficult relationships with parents, siblings or even friends and I don't know what to say when she goes through something.

I don't know anything about getting drunk and so I don't know what to say when she says she needs to go get drunk.

I simply don't know.

I mostly just make sure I'm there for her with supporting words and light advice. Like, "You know, you don't need to get drunk, there could be better ways.". I don't want to act mom-like with her and I don't think that's what she needs, but sometimes I feel she needs a more honest direct response and I don't know how to give it.

How would you deal with these types of situations?

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Putting an animal up for adoption

I have a guinea pig I want to get rid of. My cousin had it and gave it to us because she was tired of it... I took it as an experience for Nora but with the lack of passion for this annoying animal, we want to find it another home.

I'm thinking of putting it on kijiji but I'm wondering if I should put a low price on it to at least filter out weirdos that only want it cause it's free (and probably not charging anything when we find the family) or just put it for free to get more people interested and hopefully use my judgement on whether or not they should have her...

I don't want the animal, but I want it to have a good home, you know?

Blue Valentine (and the oral sex scene)

I just saw Blue Valentine yesterday. I hardly watch movies but I have watched 3 in the past week and a half since Nora and Ahmed left. First was X-men. I liked it! It was cool. Then Burlesque. I really didn't like it, it was very weak. And yesterday, Blue Valentine.


I really loved it. It was just so real and raw. They were like real people living real lives and going through real problems. Not Hollywood problems. Their love story is not a Hollywood love story, it's a real story of falling in love not very different than a lot of people we might know. Their marriage was not Hollywood bad, it was just REAL.

I recommend watching it to anyone, really. I watched it with a friend and it's funny how different our take was when the movie ended. My point of view as a wife and mother who has had real problems with her husband and tried to work it out vs. her point of view as a single woman never having been in a long term relationship.

Now onto the oral sex scene.

Seriously! What was the big deal about this scene that made it merit a NC-17 when so many other movies that are way more inappropriate for teenagers are not just rated R but even PG-13!!! Blowjobs are all over the place and they are just fine for teens to watch these days, but a female receiving oral sex is not?

I really find that it sucks that women enjoying oral sex is something that can almost not be talked about. It was the first time I'd seen a scene like this in a movie. And I know that I have pretty much never talked about women receiving oral sex with my friends but oral sex on a man is so easy to talk about. Same with female masturbation now that I think about it. Is there something wrong with females enjoying sex?! You'd think not with our "open" society but something is just wrong with the picture isn't it?

Back to ratings: I think they need to be re-evaluated! Big time! A lot of movies that are marketed towards teens should be rated R or even NC-17. There is so much sex in there (that is a lot worse and more inappropriate for young people than couple seconds of a woman enjoying oral sex). So much violence too - another major problem with ratings. Movies with a lot of violence are very accessible to young people and hardly ever require a mature age to view. It's just not good!

What is your opinion? Did you see this movie and what did you think of it overall, and the oral sex scene? How do you feel about oral sex on women being so much of a taboo compared to oral sex on a man? In your personal experience, is it more difficult for people to talk about women's pleasure than men's?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Had my ultrasound

And I'm having a BOY! Looking healthy and measuring right on time so all is well insha'Allah! :) We're very happy with this - now we'll have one girl and one boy!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

200

Wow, I'm so happy to finally reach the 200 followers milestone!!! Thank you guys for following me! :)

Saturday, June 18, 2011

This spiritual journey - what is the destination?

What do you consider the destination for you in your spiritual journey?


For me the big part of my answer is: PEACE
I reach some forms of peace almost every day, but I mean actual unending peace... I will have walked a good path in this journey called life if I can come to the end of it and be rewarded with a sense of peace that I have done well overall. I guess this sense of peace I'm talking about is how I think of heaven and how I think of a good relationship with God. It's all those things...

Please share your personal answer!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

My daughter is gone to Egypt

And I am feeling so freakin' down.

The flights went well despite the Air Canada strike and they arrived to Egypt as scheduled. I spoke to Nora and at first she sounded just fine with her grand-mother there and Ahmed's friend (who came to Canada recently) but then a second later she was saying she wanted to be at home with maman (me)... but then with telling her it was going to be fun and I would see her soon, she said a pretty normal "bye".

Just the part about her wanting to be with me put this feeling of despair inside myself that I can't get rid of. Because I know that even if she ends up wanting to come home every day, she won't be home until July 10th and there's no way to come back faster or earlier.

Ahmed called me another time after this short call and I heard her singing in the background and she sounded fine, but it's not physically setting in and physically I still feel simply ill and like there's something wrong with me. I guess I am not complete without my child with me - I know where she belongs.

Friday, June 10, 2011

I'm finding Islam again - a little bit

I think I just want to belong to a religion where I agree with most of the people who practice that religion. I know Islam is not like that with me, but I knew that when I converted too... And over time, I focused less on the reasons I loved Islam and converted to Islam and more on the things I didn't have in common with other Muslims... It's hard to keep the focus.


But I have regained some of that focus. SOME, not all. And I will keep working at that to see if everything I believed in and felt when I became Muslim still applies. It might be yes, it might be no, I haven't gotten right down to the bottom of that yet but I will with time.

I'm finding a sense of peace in rediscovering Islam though which is a good sign. All I want is to have a sane spiritual path and live my life that way.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Email to UU reverend

Here is what I asked the UU reverend last week and her reply.

ME:

Hello,

I've been (and I guess will always be) on a sort of spiritual journey trying to find and better myself little by little and came across this religion through some online acquaintances. So much speaks to me and it made me curious to explore it further. I've been thinking of attending a service for many months and never really got around to actually going. I'm considering attending again but have some insecurities I guess about entering a place I don't know. I'd love to learn more about your congregation...

I'm not sure what I'm asking. Maybe just general information for someone who might want to attend a service for the first time. I have a 4 year old daughter too who like any 4 year old has a difficult time staying still and quiet for a long time and even more if the service is in English since she mostly only knows French... Would she bother?

Thank you so much for reading my email.

Regards,
Candice

REPLY:

Hello Candice,

so good to hear from you.
Your interest in UU is welcome, and we'd love to have you
come visit on a Sunday morning. I totally understand that you would have many questions. Visiting a church for the first time takes some courage. Just know that we are a welcoming and joyful community, and you and your daughter will be warmly received.

We have a children's programme every Sunday, with creative and inspiring activities
planned that deepen the teachings of world religions, justice-making, human values and ethics. Our Children's Religious Exploration Coordinator, Lindsay-Jane, is on sabbatical till end of summer. However, members and parents are taking turns over the summer to lead the progamme with some exciting lessons and activities - most recently bread baking and nature walks.
Children are usually in the service with their parents for the beginning 15-20 minutes, which includes opening readings and rituals in both languages, singing, candles of joy and sorrow, and a story for all ages.
We then sing the children out to their program, and their teacher leaves with them.
Downstairs in the Children's Space, they have their own ritual opening which includes sharing their joys and sorrows. Your daughter would be most welcome, and would probably find herself at home, since most of the children and the Coordinator are fully bilingual.
Would you like to come for a chat over a cup of tea before you visit?
I hold office hours most every Tuesday and Thursday afternoons from 2:30 - 4:30 or 5pm.
You could call me at the office # *** *** **** and make an appointment.

Looking forward to meeting you!
Blessings,

Reverend Carole
_________


I'm really happy with her response. I really feel like it is a welcoming place! I wanted to go this Sunday (yesterday) but hadn't gotten a response so I decided to wait. Maybe next week will be the week or else when Nora and Ahmed are gone. I definitely plan on checking it out soon. :)

I'll miss my baby so much

Nora is going to Egypt again. She's leaving on June 15th until July 10th. 3.5 weeks! Waaahhh (Again like 2009, with her father only, me staying at home)

Yesterday watching her sleep I was thinking how much I missed her in that very moment. With her right there 2 feet in front of me. And it hit me how difficult it was and will be again to have her be so far for so long.

At least I will be very busy during those weeks with re-painting the apartment and re-decorating the main rooms. The owner is supposed to remove the carpet and put floors in the kitchen and living room. It will be hectic. And I'm working full time those weeks. But I will still miss her like craaaaazy!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Muslim or not?!

I have been asking myself this question a lot in the past couple weeks. Before that, I had been in a religionless state for a long time so it hadn't come up.

What has not changed is that my beliefs are not 100% compatible with traditional or othodox Islam and that many who hold a traditional view of Islam might not consider what I believe in to be enough to make me Muslim. But that didn't stop me from becoming Muslim before so it shouldn't make me stop being Muslim now. Who really cares if others consider me Muslim as long as I do? Have my beliefs really changed since I converted almost 2 years ago?

I think I need to do a sort of checklist of things I believe that are Islam and things I believe that conflict in some way. To come in another post...

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Do you believe in moral universalism?

There are different points of views within the idea of moral universalism, but basically, do you believe that what is moral for one is moral for all, or do you believe closer to the opposite that morals are relative to a person's culture or society?

I think that morality is universal but I don't think it's easy to get to the ultimate truth of it. I also think that things that are OK morally are vast - it's not all black and white (moral and immoral) either. So it leaves a lot of room for some cultures to not allow things and some to allow other things without necessarily having one of them being immoral. That's my take. What's your's?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Things I Want (spiritually)

Simply, I want to increase my spirituality. Just in a general way. I'm trying to figure out how to make that happen.

A friend of mine (has become more of an acquaintance over time) did a program focused on something to do with farming for her studies. Since completing her program, she has worked full time on a sheep farm and just recently changed jobs to working with horses. Just hearing about her work made me think of how much my work brings me down spiritually.

I make a good amount of money but I will never be satisfied in this line of work! In fact, it's the ONE DOMAIN I have avoided ever since it came into my life. I refused to make any effort in economics class in high school because of my hate for the way money runs the world and changed into a much less interesting program in college because the advanced Social Sciences program had a focus on economics. And here I am not only working for a finance company, but a high interest loan place (lure and fuck over as many poor idiots with no money-management skills into debt). I have dreams where I am simply angry at the company and at myself for working there... I can't tolerate it for too many more years!

To continue with the goal of my post... I want to become a spiritual person. I want that connection with "something". I feel unsure if that is with a personal God... Or if the God I believe in is more of a Creating Force that that worshipping him would be better done by respecting and connecting with the forces of the world (nature)... It's all kind of jumbled, but the longing to connect is so there.

A Losing Game

What to answer when a Muslim asks why I am interested in other religions? Asks what Islam doesn't have that other religions might? Asks to convince them that there is better than Islam! To prove that another religion can better worship the one true God.

First, I am not even a member of any other religion so who am I to represent another religion? Second, as a Muslim set in her beliefs (not me, her), why would she ask me this except to end with her telling me it's not convincing? Doesn't this sound like a game I will lose in if I participate?

I'm finding the questions a little bit frustrating. I'm not sure what I will answer exactly but I want to stay far away from debate! Why should I, a person with respect for Islam, argue with a Muslim about a religion I don't belong to directly (but respect a lot too - UU)?

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