I just graduated from UCLA. Adjusting to a life without school is tough. I was a transfer student and now I’m an alumni. Looking at the opened doors to my future I sometimes find them large and oppressive with many paths to choose from. Sometimes I think if I don’t choose a path quick enough, those doors might just fall and crush me. But if I choose too quickly, I could jeopardize my future. So here I stand, frozen in the doorway, praying that the changes I make are for the better.
Change is one of the hardest things to cope with. Some of us get so settled into our schedules that we tend to dig in our heels at the sign of anything different. No matter what kind of person we are, we all like to stay where we feel most comfortable, and we can all agree that change doesn’t always come so easily. But the best way to greet hardship is knowing that we have the power to overcome it.
People tend to categorize change into two forms, good change and bad change. We should remember that we can learn from both, whether they seem good or bad at the time. In fact, sometimes the “good change” might not turn out exactly how we wanted. Maybe after getting a job that you had really wanted now doesn’t quite live up to your expectations. The “bad change” is often a blessing in disguise. I know a young man who was kicked out of his home. The next night a huge storm knocked down a tree that crashed through the house, landing right on top of the bed he would have been sleeping in.
The stress that we feel or doubts we have during these times are normal and happen to the best of us. But we have to remember that a lot of our stress can be attributed to our attachment to this life. We were sent here for a purpose, and we’re allowed to seek enjoyment on this Earth, but that is not our goal. It’s only for an appointed time that we’ll be here. What we do in this life is just a blip on the radar screen. It shouldn’t get in the way of our true goal, which is submitting to Allah and enjoying the fruits of our labour in the Hereafter.
We need to remember not to view these bumps in the road as a negative thing. We don’t need to run for the hills when we see change coming. We have to stand up strong and face it, because we remember that Allah gives no soul more than what it can bear.
Just think about it.
Think about all you’ve been through. Think about all you’re going through. Think about what’s in front of you. Allah wouldn’t have given it to you unless you already had the ability to overcome it.
Isn’t that encouraging? To know that we can already overcome all of our obstacles, even before we’ve met them? Maybe we don’t know exactly how yet, but it wouldn’t be much of a test if we knew all the answers. We need to remember to have patience, and sometimes the most important person to have patience with is ourselves.
We go through struggles, and sometimes they’re big. Loved ones pass away. Friends leave. Marriages end. The children you’ve raised for 18 years move out of the house and it’s hard. And it hurts.
But it’s not forever, and we’re not alone. Even those who have no one have Allah. We need to give ourselves some time to heal and consider the amount of growth and potential we have during these times to become a stronger human being and believer.
So when you feel you are stuck in a rut and can’t find a way out, don’t panic. Remember that each of us has the power to find Allah’s guiding light with good deeds. Allah, the Protector and the Responsive, says in Hadith Qudsi:
….and My slave keeps on coming closer to Me through performing Nawafil (voluntary deeds) until I love him, so I become his sense of hearing with which he hears, and his sense of sight with which he sees, and his hand with which he grips, and his leg with which he walks; and if he asks Me, I will give him, and if he asks My Protection, I will protect him…” [Bukhari].