A while gauging where to go—
Follow the North Star.
Today’s conversation with one best friend was a bit nostalgic. She talked about how she went to spiritual class (very common in my country to do so for religion or non-religion based teachings) until finally she quit at 45. Her reason was disappointment to teachers. She asked about me and I said quit at 30’s and my disappointment was to myself.
A stubborn student, I wouldn’t listen to what teachers told me to believe or to do. I would ask questions then believed only when choosing to believe; even with good explanation, I wouldn’t believe if not interested to believe.
One example of the fool was when a particular teacher gave “daily task” to recite “Bismillahirrahmanirrahiem”, I didn’t do it even he only asked me to recite it 10x a day, while the other two were 100x a day. “No, Teacher. Why do I have to do it? I already read it as part of Alfatihah recitation in my daily prayer, that’s more than 10x a day,” said I. It was when praying was five times a day for me, oftentimes 7 times!
Bismillahirrahmanirrahiem is a sacred word uttered by Muslim or most traditional non-Muslim Javanese when starting an activity. It means “In the name of Allah The Gracious The Merciful”, some interpret it as “On behalf of Allah The Gracious The Merciful”. By reading it the reader is expected to only do good thing with good intension with love. The teacher also said that reading it we were doing self alignment: align the self with the true self, to be true to ourselves, to easily make decision and to cut short confusion and to always be blessed, to blend action with good intension.
Amazingly all teachers understood the fool and just gave a lot of smiles and books to read which annoyed her more and more. I became frustrated seeing the two good friends gained fast track understanding of life. I decided to quit then did whatever was fun fun fun ignoring the essence of being human being.
Only years later I found that self alignment is very important and I was sorry for realising it late. I finally got it why those two good friends were so peaceful while I was still struggling with almost everything. It was also the year when we found that that dear teacher passed away of old age.
Now? Learning to care more about inner journey and well being. Whatever happens to me is a consequence of my decision. If the decision is aligned with my true self, it leads to success. If the decision is false and against my true self, it leads to lesson learnt. Lesson learnt leads to better decision. Better decision leads to success. Success to me is not merely material gain, it can be simply being able to smile in tough time. This simple lesson is a result of years of battle for a stupid person like me.
My best friend asked me how now to deal with self alignment esp when in confusion.
Me: I recite Bismillahirrahmanirrahiem cumulatively 300x before night sleep.
BF: Why? Did that teacher come virtually and ask you to?
Me: No. I found that this word is my best to strengthen self-alignment between good intention and action.
BF: Why 300x? He said 10x.
Me: He discounted the price. I’m 30x more valuable than his appraisal.
BF: Arrogant fool!
Me: I’m just a fool.
BF: There are two of us.
Lesson learnt: Always find a way to see my fool not others’. Always find a way to laugh at my own self not at others’.