When life suddenly takes a course that wasn’t foreseen, how do we react? When the unthinkable happens, do we crumble and fall or do we rise like a phoenix from the ashes and face the challenges that life presents with a renewed spirit?
Upon reflection, I feel that in recent years, challenges seem to have become ever more present in my life; challenges that seemed to have increased in intensity. The feeling of intense heart ache, pain and loss enveloped my being in a way I had never envisaged. To be bombarded with a plethora of emotions, yet wear a ‘mask of normality’ to face the external world is a facade that many of us are familiar with.
Sometimes, I feel like saying – I am but a weak mortal, please, no more – but then, is that me attaching negative labels, to excuse the need to wallow in my sorrow? ‘But I’m human!’ I hear myself say, wanting to release tears with the thought these may relieve the burden in my heart. Yet, when I close my eyes and connect with my Lord, I see a smiling face; I feel I am being held. I still have the need to allow my tears to flow, yet these tears have within them appreciation for the love I feel from my Lord.
Needing to wallow, to face the negative emotions is very much needed to enable healing to take place. This results in acceptance – the hardest phase, leading to release. This process, I have realised is not linear – it can zigzag with days when feeling low is inevitable. During this period, I received a lot of positive communication through messages, social media and books – it was very uplifting. However, It was during one of these ‘low’ days, that I was presented with a verse from the Qur’an, ‘with every hardship, comes ease,’ which I considered communication from my Lord. I pondered upon this verse and realised how much ‘ease’ I had been presented with during my difficulties: family and friends who made the challenges more manageable; health and employment, prayer and contemplation all contributed to the ‘ease’ I felt.
It’s all matter of perspective that alters our perception of a situation. What we focus on is what becomes. We can choose to succumb to the ‘difficulties’ of a situation or begin to clamber out of the darkness, upwards, through gratitude and reflection. It is with these tools, that we become strengthened, resilient and renewed. View the situation as a lesson – learn, be grateful and move on. What did that teach me? What do I need to alter? What is the best way forward?
It is when we are placed in situations of adversity that the heart and mind is able to grow and evolve – to put into practice all that we have learnt. I feel Earth is like boot camp. We have been placed here to learn lessons, to improve and evolve to our former being – the being that that the Lord created. The being to whom the angels bowed; the being to whom was bestowed the knowledge of the names of everything (Qur’an 2:34 2:31) It is this level of evolution that we should aim to attain.
Learn, reflect and allow yourself to evolve into the best version of you.