Instead of thinking about all the negative things in my life I was going through, I looked at my past and how I made it through the tough situations I had been in previously.
I came to realize that I had accomplished a great deal!
Keep Moving Forward
This helped me to raise my self-esteem, and gave me encouragement to not give up, because if I had made it through those situations, I would make it through the current situations.
I remained aware and accepting of God‘s control and His mercy, and knew He would help me through it all in the end. I didn’t know how or when things would change for the better, but I kept moving forward anyway.
I continued to work hard to improve my situation, and worked to find solutions to ease my struggles in caring for my father. Eventually, the hard work paid off, and I found solutions to all my problems, but it wasn’t easy. I had to work hard for it.
Then Disaster Struck!
I became very ill, and almost died. I was bed ridden for almost a month, and as a result of my illness, I had lost a huge chunk of my memory, and unfortunately, the memory that I lost was mostly from my university studies. It was all gone from my brain. I was devastated. I had attended university for 9.5 years pursuing multiple degrees, and it was all gone! I would have had to start over from scratch, and that wasn’t an option at that time.
I had to remain positive and think outside the box to get out of this situation. Instead of allowing myself become overly depressed by this situation, I began looking for alternative solutions that were attainable. I knew with my organizational skills and my dedication to never give up, that I would somehow end up on top. Eventually things began to turn around for me. I was proud of what I had accomplished despite the calamities that had fallen upon me.
During this time, I began to do some soul searching, because something still felt incomplete in my life.
I began slowly changing my partying lifestyle, and changing my personal habits. I knew that if I wanted to feel better on the inside that I had to make these personal changes within myself. No one could do it for me. It was fully dependent on me to do it, and I was the only one to blame if I didn’t. I turned to God and asked Him to guide me and make me stronger.
After pondering over my belief in God, I wanted to know where I stood, and if I was just someone who believed in a higher power, or if I actually belonged to a specific religion. I was already told that my beliefs were that of a Muslim, but I just didn’t know enough about Islam to know if that was true or not.
I had already been introduced to Islam, but I only had very limited knowledge about it. I had bought some books in the past, but never read them, so I began to read about it. I already felt it was in my heart, but I had never pursued it.
At this point, I felt I was at a standstill. I was becoming overly busy with work, and then I had I.D. theft happen against me and my business. I was losing my business due to a fraudster! I was falling apart emotionally, financially, and spiritually. I was at the end of my rope. Although I felt torn to pieces, I knew that I had to do something to come out of it, because it wouldn’t go away on its own.
I knew I didn’t want to go back down that path, so I sought help, and I have no shame in that. In this process, I found a Muslim sister that was a revert to Islam, and she counseled me briefly, and I said my shahadah in the process! I knew that only God would pull me through it all. Although I was near complete destruction, I knew He would help me through it because He had saved me many times in the past. It was time for me to give myself to God.
Full Trust in Allah
After accepting Islam, I dedicated more of my time to learning about Islam, and strengthening my soul. I won’t lie, it took me about two years to reach contentment with all that I had suffered, but I managed to get over it. I lost a lot, but at the same time, I gained a lot. I had Allah, and that was sufficient.
When I put my full trust in Allah, and began to fully submit to His will, it became easier to accept whatever hardships I would encounter in the future. I discovered that everything is just a state of mind, and if you can change your state of mind, amazing things will happen.
As long as I was moving forward, I wasn’t stuck in the past. I refused to let my past dictate my future. Only I could make my future better – no one else! I took charge of my life and lifted myself back up, like I had always done.
Even to this day, I face many struggles that most people are unaware of, because I keep a smile on my face, and keep moving forward. I pray constantly for Allah to find a way for me, and keep my faith in Him, and do my best at everything I do.
This recipe for happiness has made life much easier to deal with and to not fall into deep depression and remain stuck there. I still get depressed at times, but it is usually short lived. I try not to focus on my suffering, and instead remain hopeful that things will change and do my best.
Inshallah, I will make it through these tough times too. I know I will, because I’m a survivor, and I can do anything if I put my mind to it.
I have my ups and downs, and occasionally find myself complaining about things, but although I have those complaints, I don’t let those issues control my life. Overall, I am happy, despite the suffering I go through, and the struggles I face, because I know Allah is with me. This is the ultimate key to mastering the art of happiness.
So, if you are faced with difficulties, keep smiling, and keep moving forward, and keep your trust in Allah that He will pull you through the sludge life puts in your path on the road to happiness.
Constantly remind yourself that you hold the key to happiness, so don’t put that key in someone else’s pocket! Remain positive, submit to Allah, and keep moving forward, and life will become easier, and you will master the art of happiness, even when you are in unpleasant situations.
Always say “Alhamdulilah” because Allah is the Master of Planners and He will see you through it all in the end.
(From Discovering Islam’s archive)