The ‘P’ in ‘Parenting’ is for Perseverance

My daughter is not what you’d call a “good eater”. In fact, the year she turned two, I don’t think she ate much at all. The. Whole. Year. My parents would berate me about it every time we went over for dinner. And over the phone in between visits. Although my daughter was a chubby little infant with splendidly round cheeks, chunky thighs and pot belly due to the copious amounts of broccoli, brown rice, corn, pasta, soups, etc etc she was happy for me to shovel down her throat, by the time she was 2.5, she had become all bones, and rib cages, with long gangly legs. Splendidly round cheeks (to our delight), remained.

So what happened? I got this question a lot. By said grandparents. And friends. And strangers.

My answer often sounded like this:

“Ummm, she turned TWO.”

And to the question, “how long has this been going on?”

“Uh, about a year.”

The fact is, her less than impressive eating habits were causing me much anxiety about her health (although she rarely fell sick now that I think about it), my perceived view that she had sallow face and sunken eyes as a result of a lack of nutrition, and of course, my parenting, or lack thereof.

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When she hit 3, her ‘attitude’ was steeled by her innate stubbornness of character combined with the courage to lash out with epic meltdowns every meal time. Meltdowns that consisted of kicking, screaming, and ultimately writhing on the floor like an eel topped off by a puddly mess of tears and wild hair.

Not pretty.

And not exactly what a mother could deal with. Especially one who recently had another baby (why oh why!!!) who refused to accept that she had exited the womb and now had to exist separately from the being who owned the womb and therefore stubbornly insisted on being held by said being. All. The. Time.

Now, my eldest is bordering on age 4 and things have started to change. She eats her food. She eats EVERYTHING on the plate. Not without consternation of course. But at least she doesn’t merely LOOK at it and turn away. She eats the green lentil soup loaded with veggies. She eats the pizza. With the topping. She has become more courageous in trying what’s on her plate as opposed to down right rejecting it.

And it has given me an opportunity to reflect on why. On what we (my husband and I) actually did right for this transformation to occur. Because I have come to accept that maybe, just maybe, we did SOMETHING right.

So here goes:

We continued to offer her the vegetables. We didn’t stop giving her veggies just because we “knew” that she didn’t like it. I once read about how the French teach their children table manners, and one of the ideals that struck me was that they kept offering a child the same food over and over, because apparently, a child has to try something at least SEVEN times before they can decide whether they like it or not.

Giving your child the ‘easier’ but deep-fried, processed food because “at least they are eating something” might work for you in the short term, but it will set them up for bad eating habits, weight gain and behavioural issues.

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I know the desperation a mother feels when their stubborn child refuses to eat the organic, steamed vegetables arranged as a spaceship on the child’s plate. Especially a mother who has not slept properly because of a little baby who is teething, with stacks of laundry, stumbling on food particles and toys that send shockwaves up the body, who has to make it to work and drop a child off at childcare.

I know. I have been there. I have felt the acute tiredness and restlessness and utter helplessness that a mother feels in those moments. To then have your child not eat the nutritious food that you spent hours preparing is basically the last straw. And you want to throw your hands up and say, “that’s it. I’m over it. HAVE THE DAMN CHIPS.”

But a lesson that I have faced over and over again in the past four years of my parenting career is perseverance. If there were ever a test of your character, of your selflessness, it is trying to raise a child. Because over and over again you have to make the choice between what is best for them, or what is easier for you now.

In those moments of sheer exhaustion and that sense that you are overcome by the mountain of your responsibilities, such that you actually lose part of your sanity, know that if you make the conscious decision to persevere and make the right choice, your child will be a better person, and so will you.

We have to fully understand that we have a responsibility over our children to protect them, nurture them, and raise them in the best possible manner. And what this means is that sometimes, we have to be the ‘bogeyman’. We have to be that figure of authority in our children’s lives that delivers truth to them. The truth of the cost of making bad food decisions. Because when they are teenagers, or adults, after a lifetime of making bad food choices, they will wonder why their parents did not teach them that this was wrong.

Of course we must discipline and raise our children with kindness, gentleness and love. But at the same time, we must be stern when we have to be.

We must be authoritative.

Not authoritarian.

So many times over a battle at meal time did I hear relatives say to me, “just let her have the cake!”, “just let her eat what she wants!”, or “She’s just a child!”

And in those moments I felt the guilt, I felt that questioning voice of whether I was being too stern on my daughter. Questioning whether it would be easier to just let her do as she pleased, to eat what she wanted.

But you know what? I didn’t give in. Because as a parent, my ultimate concern is not what is easier for us now, but what will make a better person in the future.

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The other day my husband took the girls grocery shopping.

When he got back my husband related this incident to me…

We were at the grocery store. The new one that I haven’t been to yet. I happened to wander into the confectionary aisle lined with chocolate and lollies. J (my eldest daughter) didn’t say a word until we had made it towards the middle of the aisle. She turned to me and said, “Baba, why are you in this aisle? Don’t you know that lollies and chocolate are bad for you?”

When he told me, I cried. Literally.

Perseverance paid off.

And believe me when I tell you dear fellow parent, that you are capable of persevering through those excruciatingly difficult moments when you are faced with a choice. A choice between allowing your child who has not even been in the world for five years and therefore knows nothing about it, to do as they please, or making the right choice for them because you are the adult, you know better, you want what is best for them, because YOU are the Parent.

What are some ways that you have navigated the dietary demands of your children?

The double-edged sword of modest fashion

In a world that rewards beauty and style over everything else, we Muslims have become caught up in this culture just as much as the “West”. We criticize the exploitation of women by the fashion industry, and yet we are just as desperate to be accepted by that same industry, in our bid to be recognized as stylish even with our modest wardrobe guidelines.

Just take a look at the proliferation of ‘Muslim style bloggers’. ‘Hijabistas’ are on the rise, with every young girl who owns a smartphone, has an Instagram account and buys clothing from mainstream clothing outlets posts photos on public accounts of their ‘OOTDs’. Inspired by the heavyweights of the industry who have hundreds and thousands, even millions of followers on social media, these girls have been given new role models to emulate, be ‘inspired’ by, and ultimately, to envy.

With designer wardrobes, wearing labels such as Chanel, Prada, Christian Louboutin, and even high-street lables such as Zara, H & M, Forever 21, these style bloggers are fuelling a booming modest fashion industry. And big labels are taking note, by coming out with their own ‘modest’ lines. Dolce and Gabbana recently created an Abaya line, inspired by and aimed at, Arab women. DKNY released a ‘Ramadan’ collection last year. This trend is only expected to grow with modest fashion being estimated to be worth $327 billion dollars (Source: www.arabianbusiness.com)

Although it may seem to be a blessing to finally have our ‘modest fashion’ criteria being catered for and normalized, it comes with a flipside. And no, I’m not going into the identity debate, or the hijab debate, or the profit intentions so transparent in these companies. I’m talking about the cost of this consumerism.

Spending in the UAE and Saudi Arabia have actually topped the world list in consumption of cosmetics. They have become the biggest consumers of haute couture, what with the need to wear a different outfit to the 15-20 weddings a year that they are invited to.

And what is the cost? The hundreds and thousands of mothers, sisters, brothers and fathers in sweatshops working to churn out millions of items of disposable, seasonal, trendy clothing that will literally be worn once, then discarded. Their working conditions so unbearable, being forced to stand for hours on end doing one menial task, for wages that keep them below the poverty line. Or worse, risk their lives in dangerous conditions, seen in the Rana Plaza collapse in Bangladesh.

We must begin to shift our consumer habits. We must buy ethically, intelligently and consciously. We need to buy less, more expensive, but quality clothing that is ethically and sustainably made. We must place the impacts and consequences of our spending habits on the environment and fellow brothers and sisters first- before style, fashion, selfies and OOTD’s.

The next time you find yourself in Zara, Sportsgirl, or some random cheap clothing store, stop and think about whose hands may have made that embellished jacket, under which conditions, and whether your need to look stylish is more important than them.

It’s not going to get any easier

I’ve been a mother of two little girls under the age of 4 for around nine months now. I always knew I wanted children close in age so, hopefully, they would be good friends as they grew older. I myself have a sister two years younger than me and she is basically my best friend. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Of course, the reality of having two children under the age of 4 was not something that I could have ever truly understood. No amount of reading books, blog posts, forums or even asking other mothers with multiple children close in age could have prepared me.

If I thought I was exhausted raising one child, I was dead wrong.

If I thought disciplining her was tough, I had no idea of the struggles that were coming.

Every single struggle I had with one child is only amplified ten times over when I have a screaming baby in one arm and a bored toddler in another.

When my little one was born, and we brought her home, I felt confident having done the whole newborn thing before. We settled into sleep easier, not because she was a better sleeper, but because I knew that having a 45 minute, one hour or two hour stretch of sleep before she woke for a feed was normal. So basically my expectations were significantly less than with my first.

I revelled in beautiful baby toes, and wrinkly skin, and rolls of chub, delicious naps in the sunlit afternoon while my husband and mum, who had both taken the week off work, took care of the house, the cooking, and my 2. 5 year old.

Well, that ‘baby moon’ was blissful while it lasted. By the end of the first week, mum and the hubby both had to go back to work and I faced the daunting task of being at home by myself with these two babies.

A distinct memory I have of that first day is when, for God knows what reason, my eldest threw a tantrum and she was hanging off my legs, while my one week old who desperately needed to sleep was screaming in my arms. I was in a narrow corridor of my house with two screaming children hanging off me. Did I laugh out of sheer disbelief or did I cry along with them, accepting this as my fate henceforth?

I don’t actually remember. Or I subconsciously wiped my memory of how I dealt with it.

Or maybe the nine months since have been a brutal “one step forward, TEN steps back” dance that has permanently addled my memory. I like to call it “momnesia”. It’s my excuse for having slips in memory lately.

The struggle these past few months has actually been unlike anything I have experienced as a mother thus far. My little one, although starting off as a ‘model’ newborn (i.e. eating, sleeping well), a few weeks in we hit some serious struggles with feeding and sleeping. She became incredibly difficult to settle, and would, days in a row, scream for two hours or so, for reasons I still can’t fathom.

By the end of her screaming fits I would sit with her lying on the bed next to me because my arms could no longer carry her, numb to her crying. Numb to the world around me. Numb to the three year old girl who was becoming so intelligent, beautiful, inquisitive, patient…and bored because her mother wasn’t there to play with her. I kept telling myself that ‘this too shall pass’. I sought medical advice. I sought grandmother advice. My husband was supportive. Nothing helped.

What I remember holding onto though was this idea that ‘things HAVE to get better.’ That there will be an easier phase. That time will magically solve all problems.

I think I understand now though that this just isn’t going to happen. I speak to older mothers with older children who tell me to “just appreciate babies because it gets so tough later”. I really want to tell them that at least they get to sleep, or have time to themselves, but what I realise is that it is just NEVER going to get easier.

That might sound pessimistic. But actually it’s not. This epiphany helped me to simply accept my reality for what it was, and to not keep desperately hoping for some distant time in the future that just HAD to be better, but I had no guarantee of.

It made me simply appreciate and to be content with my present, with all of its flaws, and struggles, and challenges, and highs, and lows, and tears, and laughter, and hours of bubbles, of colouring, of reading books, of changing nappy after nappy, of the miracle of nursing a baby and sustaining her life just with my body, of having two pairs of eyes following everything I do and taking it in, and learning from it but most of all, of the incredible love that emanates and fills every single day that I spend with these two little humans.

So no, this mothering job might not necessarily get any easier, but I know without a doubt that it will get better as we grow together, and learn together, and face every phase that life brings and that this wonderful, crazy, achingly difficult role I have as a mother will be the most fulfilling I’ll ever have.

The Big Fat Muslim Wedding

A custom made wedding dress that costs over $5000. A variety of cars ranging from vintage, sports, luxury, a Hummer, oh and throw in a motorcycle or two. Flowers covering the reception hall. A candy buffet groaning under the weight of cupcakes, strawberry towers, cakes and custom monogrammed biscuits. Wedding reception entertainment including, but not limited to: a magician, whirling dervishes, a cultural dance group, elaborate meal presentations that require the guests in the room to stand up and SAME DAY edits played on large screens in the reception hall showing the bride and groom in various loving embraces…

No, I’m not describing an extravagant celebrity wedding.

I’m talking about the Big Fat Muslim Wedding that is currently trending.

Being a blogger in the seemingly frivolous wedding industry, I make it my job to keep up-to-date with current trends in bridal fashion, hipster weddings in museums and of course, Muslim weddings. Most of them don’t feel like a genuine celebration of two people committing their love and friendship to one another. They generally feel disorganized, chaotic, and to be honest, awkward. Awkward because they usually show a compromise in values- such as the extravagance in dress, décor and the presence of mixed dancing, music and so on.

I think the problem lies in intentions. The majority of the time the intention is blatantly to “impress the community” or to pull off a better wedding than a relative or family friend. As a result, many a bride and her parents/in-laws get caught up in the planning of a wedding, resulting in tears and disagreements. Such irreconcilable differences between the two families have resulted in many broken off engagements. And in an environment where it is getting harder and harder for young people to get married due to the rising costs of living, or the high amount of the mahr demanded by families of the bride (or the bride herself), amongst a plethora of other issues, pushing to have an extravagant wedding is just (forgive me for the pun) the icing on the cake.

Most importantly we come from a religion that espouses moderation in all things. The lessons from our Prophet (pbuh) often center on humility. How is it then that when it comes to the (apparently) Most Important Day of Our Lives, all such considerations are thrown out the window and exchanged for pomp and exhibitionism?

The most beautiful walima I’ve been to was an intimate affair, with the couple’s nearest and dearest, in a space that was important to them. The evening was spent in valued company, where guests could speak to the person next to them without shouting, the food made you come back for seconds, speeches heartfelt and most importantly, the bride and groom’s sheer joy palpable from their faces, reminding everyone that when Allah swt places love in the hearts of two people, it truly is a cause for (modest) celebration.

Featured image source.

My husband, my best friend

“If everybody just cared about and supported others then everyone would be happy. Nobody would go without because we’d all be looking out for each other. At the moment, most people just look out for themselves and look at us… we’re all lonely, desperate, sad…Take marriage for example…If each (husband and wife) were looking out for each other’s needs and requirements there’d be no reason left for selfishness of self preservation as each persons rights are being cared for and protected by the other .” Quoted from Imam Afroz Ali

My husband is my best friend.

Even after 5 and a half years of marriage, I still can’t wait for him to get home. And no it’s not just because the kids have pushed me to breaking point and I need him to come home and take them from me…

When he does stroll through the door and I see that broad smile and sheer joy on his face when our (almost) three year old goes running to greet him, it lifts the heaviness and anxiety of the day from my heart just enough to stretch my face into a smile, too.

When he comes home, he always, without fail, envelopes me in a hug, and that hug says it all.

You’ve had a tough day with two demanding children under the age of three.

I’m sorry I couldn’t be around to help.

I’m here now.

It’s not all about the kids I promise.

It’s the fact that he can make me laugh hysterically even when I don’t feel remotely in the mood for jokes. Jokes that probably would not be as funny to someone else. But that’s ok. We get it. And when we’re at some sort of function, utterly bored out of our brains, he will mutter jokes and hilarious observations under his breath to me and have me giggling away…

It’s when I’ve been home all day with the kids and the whole house has been turned upside down and I couldn’t seem to make any progress with the cleaning despite being at it all day because I have an almost three year old who leaves a trail of toys everywhere she goes, and I wake up the next morning and it’s all been taken care of. It actually makes me cry. For real.

It’s being surrounded by people, catching each other’s eyes and knowing exactly what the other is thinking.

After I tell him about an article I read about the additives, chemicals that I can’t pronounce, artificial flavourings, GM ingredients, harsh extraction methods, misleading packaging in EVERYTHING that we eat, or the horrible stories of murder, rape, war, hate and hate and hate and my heart feels so heavy with the state of this world that I feel like crawling into a hole and waiting it all out… He reminds me of the good and beauty that still exists in this world or that ultimately, the justice and love and mercy of Allah (swt) is inevitable.

When I’m at my lowest point of utter desperation and exhaustion, only he has the right words to uplift me. To reassure me. To push me to try harder, to expect more from myself.

Throughout our marriage we’ve faced challenges together and between each other. We’ve gone through the inevitable troughs of boredom, miscommunication, conflicting ideals, two children (which means two difficult pregnancies, labour and post natal depression), financial difficulties, and a complete overhaul of the direction we were taking in our lives. But I know that these challenges have made us only understand each other better so that the love we have for each other is truer, more nuanced and certainly, deeper.

He’s the one who cares for me. He’s the one who looks out for me. I know he’s always thinking about me, and our daughters…

I don’t feel like I’m going without.

I’m happy from the very crevices of my soul.

Because I have my best friend.

My husband.

What I’ve learnt (so far) about Motherhood

  1. Giving birth is utterly heart breaking… Yes birth is all kinds of crazy/incredible yet simultaneously it can be totally heart breaking. When I came home from the hospital, I’d sometimes find myself in tears for (seemingly) no reason. I simply couldn’t cope with the enormity of what my body had just been through and the fact that she was now out in the world, and therefore vulnerable and exposed to it was pretty damn heartbreaking.
  2. You need your space… Having a good support system is crucial to recovery. But what is also crucial is having some time away from everyone who just wants to ‘help’. While their intentions are sincere, as a first time mother what you need is some space to nurture your connection with your baby. It doesn’t help to have people hovering around constantly and (more than likely), judging. First time mothers need an atmosphere that is reassuring and supportive, with the right balance of advice/care but also knowing when to step back and letting the new mother do her thing.
  3. Trust your instincts...In a world of Dr. Google and online forums, it’s really hard not to jump on the net for everything and diagnose your child with a life-threatening disease. Raising a baby has a lot to do with trusting your instincts. You need to understand that EVERY baby is different and what may work for one mother and baby, may not work for you.
  4. Life goes on… It’s very easy to get caught up in baby and soon everything you do is overtaken by this tiny being. All your energy, time and brain power suddenly get directed into keeping this baby alive… All the things that you wanted to do before baby somehow take a back seat. To ensure baby is healthy and happy, you need to be healthy and happy. And for that to happen, you need time out to focus on your physical and spiritual health. Rely on the people around you. You need to find time to focus on yourself, to engage in activities outside of caring for the baby. You, and your children, will thank you for it later.
  5. Knowing Allah… From pregnancy, to the birth, and witnessing my daughter grow, I felt like I was privy to Allah’s sheer mercy, compassion and beauty. I caught a glimpse of what patience means. At the same time, I understood that there was an ocean of things about this life, and therefore about Allah (swt) that I didn’t know. My daughter never ceases to surprise me, and stir emotions I didn’t know existed, and to show me how to appreciate the beauty and simple things in this world that she is captivated by. In a time of such disturbance to the human soul and spirit, being given the opportunity to bring life into this world gave me the chance to reconnect, reflect and ultimately, to be in awe of the Creator of all things.

Five ways to overhaul your spending

Let’s be honest. The majority of consumers know the realities of where and how their clothing is produced. What’s missing is action. The problem is the 1001 excuses about how difficult and expensive it is to change the way one spends.

But that’s just what they are: excuses.

The problem lies with the fact that people do not see changing the way they consume as part of a holistic ideal. They assume that one simply needs to buy from “fair trade”, “organic” certified sources and that’s it.

This is just one element of overhauling one’s spending.

Actually, that’s why this post is titled “how to overhaul one’s spending” and not “how to overhaul one’s wardrobe.”

There’s a big difference between the two. What needs to be recognised is that how much we consume needs to change in line with what we consume. We would inevitably fail at buying ethically if we continued the rate of our consumption.

So, here are five ways that we can overhaul our spending (and our wardrobes):

1. Donate

The first thing I think needs to be done is to go through your wardrobe and donate anything that you haven’t worn in the past six months. Let’s be honest. There are A LOT of those in our cupboards. Collecting dust. Taking up space. Donate them to your favourite charity. Someone else in need is much more worthy of your neglected jacket than you are. This needs to be a brutal process- my advice is to not over-think it. If you haven’t worn it in months, and it’s not a winter/summer staple, it needs to go.

2. Shop your own wardrobe

Once you’ve cleared your closet of the clothes you don’t wear/need, look at what’s left and realise the potential of how many different outfits you can get out of them. It is surprising how creative one is forced to be with just a few clothes.

3. Buy less

No you do not need a maxi skirt/dress in every colour under the sun. How often are you going to wear the “on-trend” highlighter colour maxi anyway? Probably once. Don’t give in to the trends. Be confident and honest about who you are and what you like. What is your style? Be loyal to that, not what fashion houses and celebrities want you to wear.

the-sartorialist

Image via the sartorialist

4. Buy quality items

Sure they may be more expensive but they are going to last you a lot longer than a cheap impulse buy item. This is exactly what the major fashion houses don’t want you to do. They want you to keep buying more of their crappy quality clothing which is designed to stretch, fade and shrink over the next few months. Don’t give in! Start a revolution in terms of how you buy. Don’t underestimate consumer power. If we change the way we spend, companies will be forced to cater. Believe it.

5. Do your research

Look up which stores are in line with your country’s ethical clothing standards. Every country has a list/directory. In Australia, it’s the Ethical Clothing Australia organisation who not only outline how one can be accredited, but also has a list of accredited companies and manufacturers. Some of the companies include Thurley, Carla Zampatti and Cue (all of whom I love). There are also online companies who strive to provide ethical, sustainable options. My favourites are Raven and Lily, Inayah, and Gorman.

All about the bees (and love)

I have always loved flowers. Arranging flowers, gifting bouquets and of course, receiving flowers. Until recently, making money from arranging flowers had always been an acceptable source of income for me. Now that my interest in the wedding industry is taking a professional turn, this seemed even more likely and acceptable.

That is until I stumbled across this video. To say that I was horrified is an understatement. I was disgusted. Disgusted in the industry that didn’t have the courage or the intelligence it seems to “do the right thing”. Disgusted by ourselves and our excessive consumption and contentment to simply remain ignorant about where/how our food was being produced and the impact of it.

Ever since I had my daughter, I started to change the way I shopped, particularly in terms of groceries. I went to my local farmer’s markets and bought organic, sustainable produce. I spent hours scouring the aisles of my local grocer picking the organic and ethical/fair-trade products. I no longer buy fruits and veggies from Coles or Woolworths (my local big-chain grocers) unless they are labelled as organic.

Not only are we hurting our (and our children’s) health by eating sprayed, genetically modified fruits and vegetables that have either been grown in plastic bags (seriously) or picked when green and gassed to produce colour (like in tomatoes), but the impact on the environment and the bees is phenomenal. Any one who denies this is simply ignorant or stupid. No bull.

So when a friend posted this article on her Facebook page, I felt like the stupid one. Why hadn’t I considered the floral industry and the use of pesticides? Of course this would only contribute to the decline of bees.

Why care though? Well the answer is kind of simple; bees sustain all growth/life on Earth. Without them, everything dies. Have you all seen ‘Bee Movie’? Well it’s spot on, albeit presented in a cutesy way aimed at kids.

Personally though, I think that as citizens and members of this planet, every single one of us have a responsibility to protect, maintain and sustain the environment. This duty is wholly ingrained in my religion (Islam) as well. Being in this wedding industry however, has only further reinforced this sense of duty. Why is it that our weddings have literally thousands of flowers on show? The reason why growers use pesticides is to meet the demand for perfect, bug-free flowers. Do you really need to have that floral arch, centrepieces with towering globes of roses? That floral chandelier? The bride and groom table dripping with peonies, lillies, and more roses? All for ONE wedding?

I’m sorry, but to me it seems innately egotistical and hubristic to demand that your “one special day” has to be flooded with flowers, which ironically, kill the one species it needs to sustain it.

There are alternatives. Search for florists that use organic flowers (just do a google search). Break that need to have flowers on every single table of your reception. Get creative. I know a blogger (Young House Love) who used lemons in glass vases as centrepieces. Another bride used wildflowers from an obliging field.

This blog is not just about having humility in the way you are dressed on your wedding day. No. This blog is about celebrating your special day with utmost humility. By remembering what it’s really about- two people who have formed a connection based on attraction, a feeling of deep love and respect and have decided to take that momentous step to share their lives together. To always support, befriend and guide one another. Oh, it’s also about gaining new family members.

It’s not a show of some fairy tale romance that must be proven to the world with as much pomp and exhibitionism by having every indulgence possible.

Each and every one of us have the responsibility to be scrupulous in everything that we do. We need to question our intentions, our choices, our actions and the impact of such choices and actions. Your wedding day should not be an exemption simply because we have been brainwashed to think that it is the ‘one day’ that is ‘all about you’.

If that’s not the most selfish thing I’ve ever heard, I don’t know what is. And yet we accept this without even thinking about it, and use it to justify every extravagance (such as the $3000 plus wedding dress you’ll only wear once, the lavish reception dripping in flowers etc). In the end, is it really about you, or is it about showing your ‘perfect’ love to everyone else?

In the film ‘The Secret life of Walter Mitty’, one line struck me as profound:

“Beautiful things don’t ask for attention.”

There is humility even in love. It is not something to be cheaply displayed for the world to see, it does not seek attention.

It revels in the purer realm of quiet intimacy, where knowledge of the other’s love is recognised, acknowledged, protected, and there, celebrated.