My worst nightmare was knocking on my door bright and early on a cold, rainy Saturday morning. Today I had to look after my 4 year old cousin. YES you’ve read that right, I had to take care of another human besides myself. You are probably thinking looking after a 4 year old is easy “ peasy lemon squeezy.” NOPE not this one, she is little diva who demands everything to go according to her plan and is very unpredictable at times. She is at that age where she asks a lot of questions and wants to know everything and if she is not satisfied with the answer you provided her with she will continue to ask more questions until she is satisfied. Nothing wrong with that, as it is a learning process for children at that age, but her tantrums and mood swings are impulsive.
I had a few errands to run so I took her with me. We first made a stop at the library were I told her she can get any book she wanted, she picked out the thesaurus, so I told her to pick something else because a thesaurus is not a book “why would it be in the library if it isn’t a book” she argued “look it has words on it, so it is a book” she said pointing at the thesaurus. Okay! You can ONLY get it, if you carry it. She puts the book back knowing very well the book was too heavy for her to carry.
Few minutes later she picked out another book this time the book she picked was not suitable for her age, “BUT….but I want this one” she argued and throw a tantrum, “ I walked away hoping she’d put the book back and follow and surprisingly she did.
Our next stop was the supermarket. Dare I say I was dreading this? She stood at the toys aisle asking me for everything she wanted. First she asked for a coloring book, but the pages in the book were torn and I couldn’t find another one. Then she asked for play-doh, which she already has. Her next request was LEGO, which she has plenty of at home, and has broken of plenty, too.
Finally she asked for a doll. The doll she asked for was very creepy looking and had missing body parts. I explained to her that she had too many toys at home and didn’t need anymore and plus this doll was damaged it had a broken arm and was on its last leg. Of course she didn’t listen and started crying hysterically, so I gave in and brought her the creepy looking doll.
Spending the day with my cousin made me realise a lot things, but one thing in particular, it made me realise how our Nafs (self, psyche ego) is like a toddler. It constantly pushes us towards giving into our desires no matter how wrong or, inappropriate, they maybe.
Taking control of our Nafs (self, psyche ego) at times is very difficult, it is similar to getting a toddler to listen or stop crying or do anything of that matter. They do not want to listen to our reason, or understand what is good or bad for them; they don’t really care about what you have to say unless it is what they want.
Honestly speaking, I give into my cousin more often than not, and I give in to my Nafs (self, psyche ego) way too often. It was easy for me to give in a buy her the doll, but instead I should have walked away leaving her to cry and throw a tantrum like how I did at the library, she would have eventually stop and put the doll back. In circumstances like this it is best to be patient and persistent. This is easier said than done, but as I alternative I could have offered her chocolates or sweets, likewise we can offer our Nafs (self, psyche ego) an alternative and keep persistence to it until it gives in and accepts what you want. There will be moments where you will find yourself mentally going back and forth towards your desire. Be patient and persistent, keep strong and keep going back at times like this. If you still give in to your Nafs (self, psyche ego), then take comfort in knowing that the guilt that you felt, when going back and forth, shows your heart is still alive and you have faith. To give into our Nafs (self, psyche ego) only makes us human. It is the repenting and making an effort that makes us better person.