Let’s keep it real; life can be difficult. There are times when you reach a plateau that you’ll feel cannot be surpassed. Maybe you’ve felt as though you’ve fallen and the fall cracked you like Humpty Dumpty (does anyone still remember that poor guy?) This is how life is, moments of enjoyment followed by moments of sadness, then moments where everything seems to be coming down on you and moments when you seem to be standing on top of everything looking down like the boss that you are.
I’ve been told countless times that being a believer requires one to have patience during the rough times. The words that I hold tightly to, “When God loves a person he tests them,” constantly ring in my ear. But to be honest, sometimes I don’t want to be tested. Sometimes I don’t want to be like the precious metal that the goldsmith has to melt and hammer away at until it’s ready for wear. Sometimes I just want to be amazing without any work. I know it’s unrealistic to wish for that but that is how I feel, and it’s how many of us feel.
But this is reality, we have tests and sometimes, like myself, you end up questioning how you’ll get through it all. So what do you do then?
- Let it out. I’m not ashamed to say that as a grown man I have a favorite corner of my place for crying it out for a bit. I’ve done the punching the pillow thing, going to the gym and lifting it out, but honestly a good 5 minute tear session does more than anything else, (please don’t confine yourself to 5 minutes, if the tears keep rolling then by all means continue.)
- Talk to someone. For me this might be easier than for you. I have a wife who is my greatest advocate. She knows when I’m down and at the drop of a dime is attempting to cheer me up. Most importantly she also knows when I need to go through this list before I hear anything from her and so she doesn’t swarm me with affection and motivation until I’ve already practiced step #1. Sometimes you just need to breathe, let out the emotions and then your brain will allow the motivation and empowerment to seep in, prior to that, everything you hear just sounds like a chair being dragged on tile floor.
- Ask yourself, “What do you want to do?” Eventually the kind words of motivation, the empowerment and the sadness will wear off. This may be hours later or even days, but eventually you need to sit with yourself and determine what your plan is. No one else can decide for you. Are you going to continue? Is it causing you too much grief? Why are you doing it? Is this a religious obligation? Is it a hobby? Is this a life changing event? You have to factor everything in and make sure you’re making a well informed decision and a decision that is for you and your wellbeing. Sometimes I will sit for hours and mind map my life and the various routes I have available to me. At the end of the day it is in the hands of God, but you know how it is, you have to tie your camel as well.
- Pray. Some would argue that this should go first and if we lived in a perfect world (which we don’t) it would come first. As Islam tells me, when the moment of difficulty begins, that is when you exercise your patience. But let me make something clear, crying is not being impatient, talking to someone about your difficulty is not impatience, asking yourself what you want to do with your life is not impatience. You’ve been patient all along; you probably never realized it. It isn’t that you haven’t been patient, but that you need to realize who is giving you much of that patience. When you are broken you turn to the One who mends broken hearts, but the reality is that we forget, and we were created to be forgetful. So this is your reminder to turn to Him. Turn to Him, because whatever pain you were feeling, He is the only One that will truly be able to rid you of that pain. Turn to Him because all the advice and motivation you received won’t translate into anything without His aid. Turn to Him because your plans are nothing in comparison to His plans. Turn to Him because He loves you more than a mother loves her child.
When you want to give up, you have people and most importantly you have the Creator there to help you get through it all.
And this is a reminder, for those who believe.