Coping With Life: How to Live in Peace, Tranquility, and Security Life is a ride full of unexpected twists and turns. We can never expect things to go a certain way and we cannot demand definitive outcomes in our future since we don't know what lies there. But one thing we can be certain of is that life will never be perfect; it holds for us happy times, difficult times, sad times, and the unknown times.
The challenge is how I handle myself and live a positive life regardless of all the pressure and changes. A wise woman once said, falling down is a part of life, getting back up is living. If I don't try to gain the maximum of my life and leave a mark behind, what good has my life been?
We cannot control life; we cannot control the changes in weather, health, time, our emotions, places, and condition. If we are not prepared for such changes then when they occur, will cause us to plunge in a state of despair, anxiety, emotional disability and breakdown.
Today, we as human beings, forget reality.
We forget the Truth.
We forget this basic understanding of life that we are unable to control life and are not able to avoid the negatives that it brings our way. With all their advancement, humans today are in a state of denial and heedlessness; we can also call it a state of blindness and a lie.
In order to grasp this thought fully, let's proceed step by step.
First, I am a human being. I am a creation among many creations in this universe, and I am not a Creator. Regardless of where you are from and what believes you hold, we cannot deny one simple fact that we are humans, and thus limited. We are vulnerable in our very existence; we are born small and helpless, then we attain youth, middle age, and eventually become old and in need of help again. We are also certain that regardless of when and where and how, sooner or later we will die.
So, do we understand why we are here?
What is the purpose of our lives?
What does death mean?
Is death really the end or is it the beginning of something else?
Do you have the answers to these questions?
Regardless of our understanding of our vulnerability, our understanding of volatile future, and our certainty of death, when we actually face death, we panic, become miserable, and despair.
Why is that?
Because we realize that we have no control over these changes and that causes us to feel weak, unstable, and worried.
Most of us humans take success in life as our right and a result of our abilities. At that time in life when we get what we want, we feel secured, peaceful and successful; which causes us to be comfortable, relaxed, and eventually arrogant.
This situation can last for some time until a condition happens that shakes us from this state; let it be a natural disaster, disease, financial problem, major lifestyle difference or loss of loved ones. Because of our detachment from reality for so long and our inability to view life as it really is, we fall victim of intense agony, misery, worry, fear and sometime despair.
It's all because I forget my state of vulnerability as a human and I don't realize that none of these changes are under my control and there is nothing I can do about them.
Let's ask ourselves a question: What happens if I believe I can control my destiny and I can plan the future the way I like?
If we believe that then anytime, we have an accident, natural, political, or financial disaster or any major change in life, we fail and are unable to cope with the new reality of our lives. Whereas, in truth, this constant change is the actual reality of life and it is normal. Weather change, aging, death are all very normal occurrences of life. Even the natural disasters and wars are normal occurrences and we know they will happen.
The problem arises when we believe that we are above these changes and somehow they will not affect us. When we are in this state of mind, we forget the truth and are in a state of illusion and deception. And this is the condition of the masses today. We are drugged by the high speed life and its many fading attractions to the point we forget who we are, who is controlling our lives and our future, where we are headed, what is the purpose of our lives, what really is death, and if there is any life after death.
These are very simple questions which majorities of us never even give a thought. In this state of oblivion the norm become abnormal and the abnormal become the norm.
For example, when we are young all our focus is on studies, physical fitness, securing a well paid job, getting a beautiful spouse, children, comfortable lifestyle and its many luxuries. During all this we fail to ask ourselves the very basis yet essential questions discussed above and prepare ourselves for the inevitable. If I have managed to secure all the 'success' in life, a single stroke of fate, any accident, natural disaster, or illness can snatch it away from me in a spur of the moment. At such times, when we are faced with the reality of life, all of our achievements become meaningless and in some cases, a cause of increased emotional agony.
So what is the purpose of major crisis?
Who is responsible for allowing them to happen?
What are the messages and lessons to be learned from that?
We, humans, are supposed to be the most elevated creation on earth. We have the intellect, the ability to understand and comprehend, the power to communicate our emotions, thoughts and feelings, and the bond between each other in humanity. Once something happens, we have to ask ourselves, who allowed it to happen? Since no action can happen without a doer.
Even if we say force or natural force, where is it coming from? Who directed it? Who controls it?
Why now? Why here? Why me?
Regardless of our many researches, we cannot find the answer; because, instead of questioning the owner, the orchestrator, the one who caused this calamity to happen, we ask each other and all we can come up with is theory, not the truth.
By this display of immense force, the doer is manifesting His immense power. He wants to tell us who holds the ultimate control and power over all things. He is telling us to wake up from our slumber and recognize our vulnerability and the glory of the Creator of all events.
Apply this to all facets of life. Any time events don't go as planned, if we surrender to the higher power controlling the events, it will be easier for us to cope with the situation with dignity and honor.
All the accidents, diseases, natural disasters, every crisis, if you really look at it has only one message for us as humans:
You are not in control. I am in control.
By this way, the first point is to wake up and think about what happened. Where is it coming from? Who allowed it to happen? And what is the message?
One can either surrender and accept with dignity that change and turmoil in life that one has no control over or resist and fight it.
Arrogance causes us to fight with the larger events in our lives that we have no control over. We accuse the One who caused it of corrupting and destroying our plans. But honestly speaking, who among us can say that we are immune to any suffering and that we can avoid any negative based on our intellect and money?
Nature leaves us helpless and broken and exposes our true vulnerability. Regardless of protective walls, sensors, accelerometers, alarms and other technological advancements, we cannot protect ourselves let alone prevent it from happening. Sometimes, it's these gadgets that make us arrogant and we feel infallible. It's almost like the divine power is challenging our intellect and questioning our reliance on man-made equipment. The more advanced our technology becomes, the more disastrous the natural events get that render all our state-of-the-art preparations almost obsolete.
The purpose is to develop humbleness and humility within ourselves and recognize that nothing happens by itself; someone has to generate it down to the specifics of date and time.
When we receive a letter or a message, someone wrote it and addressed it to us. We don't question the origin of the letter regardless of its content. Consider the natural phenomena unfolding around us as a letter from the Higher Deity, the originator of the heavens and the earth.
Instead of worrying about and exhausting ourselves over how to prepare for an inevitable calamity, if we prepare our hearts and souls to accept the Owner of everything, not only will He make it easy for us to handle; He can change the course of events for us.
Any natural phenomenon that we look at from orbits, galaxies, earth, biology, physics, chemistry, agriculture, everything in nature living in perfect harmonious system—we can come to one certainty given that we are humble and open minded: there is one creator!
We have forgotten the most basic and essential concept of our humanity: we are a creation completely submitted to the Creator whether willing or unwilling.
Creator and His purpose of creating me:
Any humble person should question why the Creator has created me and what does He want from me.
With this simple question we can start a journey of healthy inquiry that can lead us to the light, comprehension and understanding of the unknown.
I invite you to humble yourself, and remember that as human beings we are very limited. With all the resources and abilities we tend to forget our limitations, and once in a while we get hit with reality, a situation which makes us paralyze, puts us in the corner and makes us question our very existence; and this is what it is all about.
Think; Contemplate; Seek knowledge:
Think about your vulnerability, contemplate over the purpose of your existence, and seek knowledge of the Creator. The One who is in control of everything; to the point I am not in control of my own body. If any miniscule disruption to my bodily system like minor insomnia can cause me to lose control of my surroundings, then how can I control the larger events of life.
Any disaster is simply a wake-up call from the Creator. He wants me to recognize Him, believe in Him, worship Him, show gratitude to Him, and believe with no doubt that I need Him in my life.
Hidden among the suffering is the greatest blessing for me; the chance and ability to receive peace, tranquility, and happiness that no gadget can provide for me. life is real with all its suffering and pain and so is death. The comfortable world that we have created for ourselves is illusionary and fake. Now it is the time to decide what we prefer; real or fake. Because it is our preference that will lead us to perform actions and it is our actions that will decide our ultimate abode.
To be continued.
By Da'ee Ahmed Moait
"And when My servants ask you, [O Muhammad], concerning Me - indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me. So let them respond to Me [by obedience] and believe in Me that they may be [rightly] guided." (Surah Baqarah, Verse 186, The Glorious Qur'aan)