For a majority of this week I have been worrying about my future. Where am I going in life? As time ticks down to 30, the next 2 years are crucial. Already in July, the past 6 months of 2018 have been a roller coaster and I can’t help but feel defeated. Dreams have gone unfulfilled and opportunities seem few and far between. It’s easy to go down the road of worry and stress. And that’s exactly what I did until I came across a message a friend sent me in 2013 and it reminded me of Tawakkul.
[su_note note_color=”#F5F5F5″]A psychologist walked around a room while teaching stress management to an audience. As she raised a glass of water, everyone expected they’d be asked the “half empty or half full” question.
Instead, with a smile on her face, she inquired: “How heavy is this glass of water?” Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz.
She replied, “The absolute weight doesn’t matter. It depends on how long I hold it:
- If I hold it for a minute, it’s not a problem.
- If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my arm.
- If I hold it for a day, my arm will feel numb and paralysed.
In each case, the weight of the glass doesn’t change, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.”
She continued, “The stresses and worries in life are like that glass of water. Think about them for a while and nothing happens. Think about them a bit longer and they begin to hurt. And if you think about them all day long, you will feel paralyzed – incapable of doing anything.”
It’s important to remember to let go of your stresses. As early in the evening as you can, put all your burdens down. Don’t carry them through the evening and into the night. Remember to put the glass down![/su_note]
Awesome, sounds great and it works, even for a few hours. Unwind by playing some video games, watch a movie or spend some time at the gym. But what if depression seems to have glued the glass to your hand? I mean it’s easier said than done. It’s one thing to be told you need to put the glass down, it’s another to be told how to put it down.
Tawakkul – rely on Allah while taking positive steps
[su_quote cite=”Quran 3:173″ url=”https://quran.com/3/173″]Allah (Alone) is Sufficient for us, and He is the best Disposer of affairs (for us).[/su_quote]
As a muslim, Trusting in Allah is an important part of faith. Commonly known as Tawakkul, it means that we should rely on Allah to support us while still taking positive steps to reach our goals. Being taught how to put the glass down feels like another thing to worry about. The first step I can think of is mindfulness, which I’ve discussed here. But the above quote gives closure. Take a deep breath, let go, open your heart to your creator. Discuss what you’re going through and where you want to go. It always helps to talk to someone about your feelings. Worrying about a future that might never happen can be seen as a form of procrastination. By putting off to tomorrow what could be done today, you add unnecessary stress to your life.
While being hindered with difficulties and hardships on our path, it is encouraged to accompany Tawakkul with Sabr (you can read more about Sabr here) and make use of every opportunity that comes your way. Finally, I’ll leave you with a quote from Haruki Murakami
[su_quote cite=”Haruki Murakami”]Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.[/su_quote]