Unsettled January 14, 2013

Perhaps it is because of recent events, personal strife or the gloomy winter season- this overbearing sense of loneliness, uneasiness, and fear of the future going around. Everyone feels these emotions at one time or another. What’s a person to do when this unsettling feeling starts taking over and getting in the way of taking care of yourself and your family? How can you see past the clouds and look to to a bright and springy future?

Humans have a tendency to fear the unknown. When current events, personal turmoil, and challenging decisions leave you wondering what turn the roller coaster will make next, it is easy to get weary fast and lose focus. Here are some practical steps to help you get back on track and feel more at ease:

1. FOCUS. Identify what is truly important.

2. Pinpoint the cause of your unsettled state. Are you fearful for your family’s future? Fearful for your health and well-being? Fearful that that one wrong decision may be detrimental?

3. Look at the big picture. In the grand scheme of things, 50 years down the line, how will I look at this? Chances are your current predicament is either trivial, life- altering, or drawing you away from what’s really important.

4. Look to Allah for a solution. With Him lie all the answers to our questions- whether trivial or life-shattering.

5. Draw yourself closer to Allah and do not doubt Him. He is ever full of mercy, informing us to “call upon Me and I will answer you.” [Quran 40:60]

6. Busy yourself. Ever notice how you feel overwhelmed with a looming task, then as you take it head on, it seems to pass with more ease than you had anticipated. Your mind should never be idle. When it is not busy with a complex task, it busies itself with thoughts about the future or with trivial matters, which again can derail you from the path to Allah.

7. Surround yourself with people who remind you of Allah. “Verily in the remembrance of Allah do the hearts find rest.” [Quran 13:28]. They will help you see there is a light at the end of every tunnel.

8. Accept your shortcomings and don’t brood over past decisions. Rather, learn from mistakes and move on.

9. Finally, keep your intentions pure. Keep your final destination, Jannah, on your mind at all times. Remember it in all your relationships, be it with your husband, children, parents, friends and neighbors.

On a final note, happy people are not those without problems- those are myths along the lines of purple unicorns. Happy people have learned to savor the good and extract lessons from the bad; they have learned to be thankful for what they have and not yearn for what they cannot have. Ya Allah, give us the strength to have happiness from within.

Rahaf Lahham

Rahaf recently finished her B.A. in Mathematics and is currently teaching part-time at a local Islamic school.  She loves reading, writing, cooking, and exploring the world with her little 1 year old. Rahaf resides in Troy, MI.

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