Checkmate

When my sister launches an opening line that goes  “Can we skype?” – the alarm signals in my brain goes wailing and I immediately put my defenses mode on.  Exaggeratedly – true. We don’t normally skype about celebratory topics like “Hey sis I got a new job!” (See. She still doesn’t know that I really got a new Job. Yey!) or “Hey sis I met the Duke of Edinburgh today!” (She really did meet the Duke and shared a few puns with him) or “Your niece received the Margaret Quinn-Fish Cup for being at the top of her class!” (This is really BIG for us because her only daughter has just recovered from and was completely healed of leukemia.) or “I just got engaged!” (I don’t remember calling her for this.)

For some reason we don’t video chat for our success stories. Maybe because festivities and triumphs and bottle of champagne events are so easy to share with others but heartaches and trials and defeat you know you can only be honest and be bold and be fragile with people you have faith with. People who can better understand and relate to you. Your circle. Your gang. Your people. You make time with these things. You call them and you prepare to spill the beans.

So dad and my brother were having issues. Family Feud. Disrespect. Gossips. Pride. Immaturity.  Coercion. Control. Misgiving. Selfishness. To sum up, no one wants to back down.

I’m here in Dubai and my sister is in London. If we were back home, we would probably sit down with these two gentlemen and settle the issue before it could go big and destroy them both.

We love them both sincerely and mother is no longer there to knock their heads together and smack their male egos flat on the floor. What do we do now? What’s the best move?

Here’s what I learned from my sister about conflicts, disagreements and arguments (including all sorts of negative emotions towards ourselves and other people):

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“Someone is always playing us. He makes fool of us all. He always comes up with excuses and reasons and lies and controversies to make us all believe that we need to counter attack and backfire against each other. He drives us to our limits. He fuels our anger and fears and doubts and greed.

He diverts our deepest darkest emotions to the people around us, sadly – mostly often to the people we love. He sets up a trap that encourages our ill thoughts and it alters our moods, our perception, our behavior, even our desires. Secretly. In the most discreet way you can ever imagine. It changes you unknowingly.

On a nutshell, he wants us to play his game. And we always end up doing so. 

In the presence of an argument, struggle, defiance, disagreement or any clash, we must always be AWARE OF WHO THE ENEMY REALLY IS. It’s not our colleague, our parents, our kids, our friends, our spouse, our in-laws, our boss, the traffic enforcer, the annoying couple next door, whoever stole from our wallet on Christmas day (That’s so not cool.), the rodents at home infesting our house, whatever the source of all our negative emotions… they are all just a trap. Everyday we feel all these negative emotions towards a person or a situation, we must always be on our toes armed with PRAYER, COMPOSURE & CONTROL because there’s always a bait to flare up, lose ourselves and give in to adversity.

Sadly, we end up hurting the people we most care about because we play the game.

There is a gamer out there and he is enjoying himself playing all of us. I don’t know how you want to address him. It’s not important. I’m a Christian. Sam is Hindu. My friends are Muslims. We don’t have to religiously identify him with a name based on the books we read as a kid. But there sure is something out there trying to twist God’s amazing stories for us.

And we must all learn to perceive things the way they really are so we can better deal with them.

Don’t sweat the small stuff as they say.  Because most often than not, the gamer magnifies the difficult situation, making it look like it’s big deal.

It creates a monster in front of us, overshadowing the people that really cared about us.

It makes the issues, the problems, the sickness, the damage, the conflict appear to be heavyweight, destructive and worst, it looks growing and spreading like wild fire from where we are standing. It’s unstoppable and it requires us to ACT ON IMPULSE. And so we do.

And that’s how relationships are ruined. And that’s how we end up ruining ourselves in the process.

I don’t want that to happen to them. So this is what we need to do…”

I told Sam about this conversation with my sister last night after having another heated argument in the kitchen. Just a few minutes ago, we were having so much fun enjoying our dinner and all of a sudden our voices were raising up the roof bouncing on the kitchen tiles  again like tiny sleeping firecrackers awakened by a single strike.

Whoever scratched the freaking matchbox must’ve been out there just waiting for a perfect timing.

“Do you even remember exactly what we are fighting about? Because as far as I know we agreed on the same thing? So how did we end up hating each other again?” I asked. He nodded. We mutually understand.

We’re humans. Fragile and Weak. We can easily be swayed and converted and diverted and consumed. We respond so easily to criticisms and jealousy and hurtful words and difficult circumstances and loneliness. But I believe God has given us a magnificent power. We are made to create beautiful things. We are not made to destroy. We are designed to love not to hurt.

We have Free Will. A gift to make the right choices. A gift to choose the Good. And this power is something like no other.♡

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This isn’t our game to play. Give it to God.

Photos courtesy of: Pinterest

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