Sunday, March 18, 2012

No Such Thing as a Mistake: On Mistakes, Marriage, and Self-righteous Hypocrites

I’ve always believed there should be absolutely no lies in any relationship. Either stay silent if you don’t want the truth to be known, or then tell the truth. But …

But then … telling the truth is dangerous sometimes, depending on whom you’re telling it to. So, it’s like, the relationship might be based on having to hide lots of certain stuff from the partner because your relationship depends on it. We see this happening quite often, and I see it especially in traditionally arranged marriages where the couple doesn’t believe in compatibility or whatever, and the wife often hides things from her husband, especially if it involves her doing or leaving the house without his consent or knowledge – or talking to someone he doesn’t like. And this makes me wonder, if the relationship is prone to die over something – anything! – is it really worth it then?

What about “mistakes” made in the past? Actually, lemme set something straight: I don’t believe in mistakes. I see everything as an experience, a bad one or a good one or somewhere in between. Mistakes are simply “bad experiences” that we don’t realize were bad until much later, or maybe right away sometimes. We *chose* to do things we are not fond of having done now, but so what? If there are “mistakes,” what are the other things we did that we actually are fond of or indifferent to? What are those called? So! I don’t believe in mistakes.

I bring up the “mistakes” issue because I know too many people (men! Pashtun men! Muslim men! No, it’s not them alone, though) who have made sooo many “mistakes” in their own past but expect their wives to be perfect Muslim women with a perfectly clean past who has never, ever, ever done anything that may be considered even remotely bad by anyone else in the Muslim world. No, wait, they don’t see them as mistakes; for them (for the men/boys), it’s a way of life that’s permissible to them but forbidden to Muslim/Pashtun women because everyone knows they do this but we pardon them anyway. These "mistakes" (for women) may including holding the hand of the opposite gender outside of marriage, smoking, drinking, clubbing, and all other things that socially/culturally/religiously stain the Muslim/Pashtun woman’s otherwise perfect reputation that promises her a huge flock of “decent,” perfect little men. Anyway, so I was saying, if one partner’s gonna be judged on a mistake he/she has made in the past, and the other partner will not accept that person fully just BECAUSE of it, is this partner really worth being with then? Is he/she really worth loving with all your heart – if you claim there’s love? Because I can understand in an arranged or forced marriage why there must be some lies and some white lies and some deception and all, but if there’s love before the marriage, should there be any? When this person wasn’t in your past, and your past is none of his/her business, why should he/she judge you so unjustly for it? Do you have to THINK about your actions and your feelings only because just “in case” in the future you meet someone who won’t respect you for your past actions/feelings? (When I say this person wasn't in your past so he has no right to expect you to have made no "mistakes," I'm implying that I strongly believe that once you are married, you and your partner become one, and so everything you do will have consequences for you as a couple, not as one separate individual. So I think it becomes much more important to be wary and considerate of  your partner's feelings, ideas, expectations in the same way that your partner becomes more way and considerate of your feelings, ideas, and expectations.)

If the person claims to love you in every way with all his/her heart and mind – before he/she knows a secret from your past WHY should the love fade away just because of some mistakes you made in the past? Or, like I said earlier, what if you don’t perceive them as mistakes at all? As I said, mistakes don’t exist. Think about it – Why should they be considered mistakes? What if whatever you did was purely intentional, you did it with your own free will, you did it because you wanted to, you did it because you liked it, you did it because it meant something to you, and so it was intentional and you did it because you BELIEVED in it and didn’t think it was wrong in anyway (and maybe it was not wrong in any way at all)?

I also don’t believe in regrets. I can’t think of anything in my life that I regret. The “bad”experiences I’ve had with life, they make me smile. They give me a reason to keep living, to keep striving to be a better person. I wouldn't repeat them as the person I am today, no, but if I had the exact same circumstances that I had at the time those bad experiences of mine took place, I would certainly do them. Keyword: circumstances.

What I now wonder is, Do there exist people who 1) also don’t believe in “mistakes,” and 2) who’ll “forgive” you for every “mistake” you’ve ever made? Here, I put “forgive” and “mistakes” in quotes, but I don’t think they should be quoted this time: let’s suppose you’ve done some things in your life that you do see as mistakes and you admit it as a mistake and regret it and know that you’d never have done it were you perhaps in your right sense and know with full certainty that you went against your own principles temporarily. I would argue that these are still not “mistakes,” but … I understand that, while I don’t believe in mistakes, most people do, and most of those most people want to be forgiven for them. THIS part, I don’t like at all. What? Who has a right to forgive you or not forgive you? Screw any arshole who thinks you’ve committed a mistake and don’t deserve to be forgiven for! Screw him he’ll hold your past against you! Screw him who’s too blind to see you as a human in the process of growing and learning and being, who can and does distinguish between wrongs and rights and knows what she wants. In a case where you do strongly believe you made a mistake, I would wonder: do there really exist people who will love you so much for the person you are and the person you would like to be rather than the person you were in the past, especially for a temporary period? Do there exist people who will judge you for your personal beliefs, your dreams, your personality, you intelligence (or the lack of these) than for what you may have done or said or felt in your past? And then you wonder also, What if these people don’t exist? And where ARE they if they do exist? Right?

Stop wondering. Look inside yourself, evaluate your beliefs and principles, ask yourself how you define certain terms that mean a lot to you or that are taking away something from you, hindering you from achieving a certain something (or certain some things) that you are aiming for. And do not beg ANYONE to forgive you. If they weren’t in your past, why do they have to even know about it? If you choose to tell them, they should be grateful that you shared something that personal with them, but otherwise, what law is there that demands that you share every single thing from your past with someone before you decide to be with them? (Note: I can't imagine being with someone I can't be comfortable enough with to tell him of ALL my "bad" experiences, though. He's going to know all from A to Z. If I feel like I can't share them with him, then obviously, he doesn't deserve to be my partner.)

Then again, if you really want them to know but can’t tell them because you fear their response or fear that they might not accept you for who you are or will abandon you, SCREW THEM. You don’t be with them! LEAVE them. You deserve someone much better, not a self-righteous hypocrite who thinks he’s better than you. This reminds me of Angel (oh the irony!) in the book Tess of the D’urbervilles by Thomas Hardy. If you’ve read the book, you know what I mean. Poor Tess! She’s happy that Angel’s made a “mistake” the same as hers and so she can comfortably tell him about hers, and he can’t hold it against her because he’s “guilty” of the same thing – but, noooo, he leaves her on their wedding night as soon as she opens up to him.

k, girls, I hope you won’t start being so “perfect” (whatever this means to you) only to attract a self-righteous hypocrite Pukhtun/Muslim male as your potential husbands. If you’re gonna be a good Muslim/Pashtun girl, do it because you believe that’s the best way to be, not because you don’t want to have to explain yourself to your husband one day, or to be abandoned by him the day he finds out something “bad” about you or whatever. Be the best person you can be for your own self, not for anyone else; be the best you can be because you want to have principles, beliefs that you are proud to maintain and stick to no matter what. If they're for anyone else, for another person (other than your parents, I might say carefully), you have a lot of thinking to do.

But then again - who'm I to tell you *why* you should have the kinds of beliefs you have, right? Great, back to Square One now.

1 comment:

  1. I love, love, LOVED this post. I just agree with you so much.


Dare to opine :)

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