The women's majlis: A small dot of light in the dark

It was similar to sitting in a dark room, chanting quietly. Chanting the same sentences over and over again, until all your senses were numb. The room let only a small amount of light to sift through the thin openings in the window. You grew weary, tired, breathless and hopeless. There was no escape from […]

It was similar to sitting in a dark room, chanting quietly. Chanting the same sentences over and over again, until all your senses were numb. The room let only a small amount of light to sift through the thin openings in the window. You grew weary, tired, breathless and hopeless. There was no escape from this dark room and the repetitive chanting. It was all haunting you, haunting every shaky breath you took and every frightened beat of your heart. Was it this? Was your life bound to be forever like this? Were you going to be locked inside your head for the rest of eternity?

You walked to the tightly locked door. You pressed your palm on it, and pushed, but it wouldn’t budge. You scratched at walls; you tried breaking the bars on the window, but to no avail. It was taking a toll on your energy, and you were about to give up, when it happened.

A small dot of light appeared in front of you, as tiny as a firefly. It swivelled around, distracting you for once from the repetitive chanting. You followed it, and it glowed harder. You reached out for it, and clasped your hand around it like a cage. Out of the blue, the small dot of light started heating up and burning your hand. The burning sensation trickled down your hand into your arm and finally reached your heart. You glowed as much as the small dot of light was fiercely glowing.

You lit the room. The darkness seeped out, a black and muddy liquid slithering on the ground. The door blasted open, and finally you were free from your prison. The prison that held you within your head for a very long time – it felt like eternity. Finally, you could breathe and smile and be happy. The place was quiet, and the chanting was dead silent.

To me, this was how it felt when I was struggling to forgive a person. I would be locked in my mind for days, even months, trying to figure out a way to escape it all. I tried to find a way to forgive, forget and find inner peace. It took patience, time and energy, but most of all faith. Faith in that person was brought to you for a reason, and maybe that reason was to teach you a lesson. Maybe that person came into your life to teach you that mistakes didn’t define the person but their actions. Maybe that person came into your life to teach you forgiveness.

Forgiveness is finding a way to let go of things, without wanting revenge or holding a grudge. To acknowledge that a person is human, and humans make mistakes. To realise that maybe the person isn’t fit to be in your life and you in theirs. It saved me from sinking into the darkest pit of hate and self-loathing. It saved me from conflict with myself every day, and gave me what I desired most: inner peace. A pact I made with myself, that no one had the power to make me bend to their will.

Forgiveness isn’t weakness; it’s strength in the face of hopelessness.

Mariam Al Qubaisi is a converged-media student at Zayed University.

If you have a good story to tell or an interesting issue to debate, contact Melinda Healy on mhealy@thenational.ae.

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Source: art & life

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