Unlocking Your Greatness

You have a very unique key to unlock immense amounts of productivity and peace in your life. I’m going to tell you how to unlock it.

I’ve been writing since I was young as a means to make sense of my own thoughts and emotions. For me, thinking and reflecting was only useful if I actively wrote about it and let it out of my mind. Speaking my mind often came out jumbled and confusing – even to myself. I realized that writing was my release. It was my power. Whenever I write, I feel a sense of ease and understanding in my mind. It’s soothing. The quality and content in terms of what it means to and for other people is irrelevant to me compared to what the act of writing does for me as an individual.

Many people reading this may not be able to relate to that. That’s because writing isn’t their power. I think everyone has something that they do that soothes their hearts and minds. Writing, reading, poetry, exercising, traveling, cooking, etc.. I think it’s important to channel whatever unique power is yours in order to mentally and emotionally open your hearts and minds. Everything improves for me when I write – my outlook, my productivity, and especially my relationships amongst other things.

Making time for activities that feed your soul is the single most important thing you can do in order to catalyze your life. It may seem odd in the grand scheme of the routine that society has you filling. In other words, if your release is writing poetry but you work as a doctor, then writing poetry doesn’t necessarily improve any abilities related to what you do primarily in your life. That’s why many people shy away from such activities. Yet, if you’re a doctor accruing the inevitable stresses that come with your field, then partaking in an activity that helps you feed your heart and mind enhances you psychologically. You perform better, not because the time spent writing poetry helped you attain knowledge, but because the time spent writing poetry helped you attain peace.

If, while reading this, you are having trouble actualizing an activity that feeds your soul, keep thinking. Don’t stop. And more importantly, don’t give in to societies natural tendency to file you into a routine that excludes that activity. It’s important to find and commit to doing activities that grow you in the deepest ways personal to you. Life doesn’t stop presenting you with difficulties and complications. What you have power over however, is how strong your heart and mind are to navigate through everything.

Take a moment and find the activity or activities that feed your soul and make a plan to do that at least for a small time every week. You’ll grow your life in a way you didn’t even realize.

It’s your power. It’s your key. Unlock greatness in your life.

 

Ending Prolonged Pain

I tore my meniscus in my knee once. I was young so I actually didn’t make much of the pain and foolishly ignored it. For years after my injury, I continued to play sports and would go through my everyday motions with a bad knee. The pain would flare up randomly but I dealt with it as best as I could. See, I didn’t treat my knee properly with surgery as I should have and even though the pain was initially bearable, I didn’t realize the long term damage I was doing. Every sport I attempted became more and more difficult because the pain in my knee would hinder me both physically and mentally. My agility and quickness diminished, my abilities suffered, and my confidence in any sport I was playing sank. Eventually, even my ability to complete everyday tasks was affected.

After 6 years of this, I finally decided to have surgery. The aftermath of the surgery was very painful in spite of having painkillers. The inability to even walk was frustrating and the feeling of absolute weakness was difficult. There were mornings I would wake up crying in pain. But — after roughly three months of rehab, my pain was gone. I no longer had to use a knee brace when playing any sport and I didn’t have any pain whatsoever. I was shocked at how well my knee had healed. It felt as though I had never hurt my knee.

We all have suffered a torn meniscus in some fashion in our lives – i.e. unresolved issues that we mask in various ways. Society today makes masking so easy – social media, Netflix, computers, TV – you name it. Our society is instant so whenever you want to be distracted, you are literally seconds away. Yet masking unresolved emotions only prolongs the pain. Not only that, the pain becomes frustrating. Pain becomes part of your daily routine. You begin to anticipate times of the day where you will feel pain in your heart the same way that I would anticipate making a certain movement would hurt my knee. For some, the pain surfaces before they go to sleep — perhaps a certain place triggers a negative sentiment — for some they wake up very heavy hearted.

I remember playing basketball some days after I tore my meniscus and mentally preparing myself for the pain that would ensue. It took the joy and fun out of a sport I enjoyed so much. Prolonging my pain by avoiding surgery changed how I did most things in my life. I would get in and out of a car differently, I would walk up and down the stairs differently, I would even sleep differently. The pain took so much stability from my life.

Unresolved emotions will change and take away many things from you. The longer unresolved emotions linger, the more from your life it will take away. It’s important to deal with everything you feel in the deepest way — to have an “internal surgery”. It may bring a slew of negative emotions – tears, anger, insecurity, etc. But that’s okay. That’s important and perfectly reasonable. Many people deal with their emotions by having a shoulder to lean on whether its friends, family, or someone objective. Many people prefer to deal with it on their own. Many people seek God’s assistance which is the best and most productive way of all. No matter what route or combination of routes you take, know that opening your heart to feel everything is worth it. Crying in the morning from the pain of surgery was well worth the quality of life I enjoy now with my knee.

Regardless, facing certain emotions is painful and not very easy. The aftermath of my surgery was hard but there was no question that it was the best thing to do. Taking care of yourself and anything unresolved in your heart, mind, and soul will significantly improve your life. Don’t be afraid of the tears. The sadness is important. Understanding originates from sadness. And understanding brings peace. I guess the important question you have to ask yourself is how important is your quality of life compared to how painful your figurative surgery will be.

You will win

And the pain that once controlled you will become a distant memory.

 

 

 

How to Minimize the Inevitable Pain

I think everyone has that one problem in their life at any given moment which makes them think, “if that issue went away, I would be okay.” For some it’s a family issue that isn’t resolved,  for some it’s financial distress, for some it’s school or their career, and for some it’s certain insecurities they may have with themselves. Everyone has something they wish would go away. The reality is that if that one problem went away, another one would replace it. As morbid as that may sound, there’s a certain wisdom deeply engrained in everything that we face.

There is also a misconception that people elevated in faith face less problems which is created by the notion that people of faith don’t seem to delineate any semblance of facing problems. They are often smiling, hopeful, loving, and look optimistically at life which brings most to believe that they must face less problems than the rest of us. People may also think their problems are a reflection of God’s anger and punishment in this life. But if that were the case, what of the stories of our Prophets? Joseph was tried at a very young age and throughout his life. Moses was faced with issue after issue in his life. Muhammed (SAW) buried most of his children and was tried in ways we can’t even imagine.

God doesn’t ignore what we ask for, but if you ask God for a car – He may not give it to you right then and there. If you ask Him to alleviate you from a family issue, He may not resolve it for you immediately. Dua works like this:

  1. Yes
  2. Not Yet
  3. I’ll give you something better

But there is one thing that we ask of God that He doesn’t delay. It’s the very thing that brings peace to the hearts of the most tried people. It’s the very thing that doesn’t necessarily solve our problems but brings light to their wisdom and grants us something more valuable than anything in this world – peace of mind.

And that is Guidance from our Lord.

Divine Guidance is a prayer that will be immediately answered upon by our Lord. That is promised to us. And Divine Guidance is what brings peace of mind BY bringing meaning to our lives. To understand outweighs the attainment of desires. I have met people who have faced tragedies far worse than anything I have faced, yet they perceive life with such love and optimism. I was always so perplexed at their ability to live like this. But their connection with their Lord and the Divine Guidance they seek comforts their heart with understanding.

It’s not black and white. It’s not a direct connection. Elevated Faith does not automatically equal peace of mind. Elevated faith simply opens your heart and mind to more doors of understanding and perspective. Every stage of life will bring a unique set of problems. You will make a unique sequence of unexplainable mistakes and whether its your own mistakes or the pain others have caused you, you will feel hurt on varying levels. These are inevitable realities to your life.

The more we find and build on our connection with our Lord, the less pain these realities will cause you. The pain is replaced with perspective. And perspective entails understanding. And understanding provides peace.

And peace is ideal in an uncomfortable reality.

 

 

Self-Fulfilling Prophecies

I’ve thought about blogging for a long time. I’ve had a first brush years ago — Khana For Sochna. But this year and this day I wanted to go further. I wanted to explore the deeper elements of my mind and soul which I can only access via writing.

2017 brought many wisdoms to my life. The greatest wisdom was realizing how powerful our personal thoughts are in creating our reality. I lived through many self-fulfilling prophecies in 2017. In other words, I lived through many of my fears coming true. I was confused because I thought that having those fears would equip me mentally to avoid them. Yet the opposite happened – my fear created those very realities I was afraid of. And it snowballed. The fears coming true led to more negativity – and that negativity created more fears that created worse realities. I dealt with this by distracting myself in whatever way possible. I was glued to my phone, to social media, to Netflix. I began losing strong anchors of my own personality and instead constantly found myself engrained in superficial realities via TV shows or status updates to avoid my negative mindset.

I was reminded of a powerful verse in the Quran,

ayah 7 sura 14

Translating to, “If you are grateful, I will surely increase you.” [14:7]

A deeper understanding of this verse grammatically entails that the gratitude mentioned doesn’t only mean gratitude to God All-Mighty. It’s gratitude towards anyone and anything including God. I always understood gratitude as an objective act of worship. After I reflected on this verse and my self-fulfilling prophecies, I realized this verse was talking about something much greater. Gratitude wasn’t an action, but a way of life. A way to see the good in something or someone rather than the inevitable bad.

Like the water that drowns, water also gives life.

Negativity and fear will play an important part in your life. On one hand, they can consume you and your mind, or they can propel you in a way positivity can’t. Only in deep darkness can one truly be grateful for light. As 2018 opens, I plan to practice gratitude in large doses. I encourage you all to do the same. Not because the unresolved problems we may have in our lives aren’t important, but because gratitude brings God into the equation. Notice in the verse above that God says “I will surely increase you.” Increase us in what?

Anything. Everything. The nuance of this verse is that God doesn’t limit what we will be increased in if we practice gratitude. Gratitude then naturally brings about more positive emotions – love, hope, joy, kindness, etc.

The smallest thoughts have the most powerful impact long term. Let your small thoughts be good ones.

I’ll end with a powerful Cherokee Legend,

“An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life:
“A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.
”It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil–he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.”
He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you–and inside every other person, too.”
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: “Which wolf will win?”
The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”