[Guest post submitted to OnIslam.net]
If your connections on Earth are disconnecting you from those in the heavens, then your sense of connection is flawed.
Pain occurs to tell you that something is wrong. If not for pain, you wouldn’t know until your body is consumed by the disease. Pain killers can bump off the symptoms, but they won’t treat the cause. Why would the heart be any different in its operational logic?
If it hurts then know that there is a need for action. The action is not to achieve the place, person or possession you miss or wish for, but to remove the tumour of that desire and replace it with the filling of Eternal Love.
Trying to achieve anything else will only create more tangled connections instead of the direct wiring that is actually required.
It’s like having potato chips to satisfy your hunger. It can be acceptable, legal and halal, but what happens when you do that every time you feel hunger? It will satiate while you go about oblivious to how your body is eroding from within.
You can fill yourself up with one thing after another in search for happiness and to kill that pain, but if you’re not giving your soul what it really needs, that search is going to be endless. The gadgets, the vacations, the parties and the friends are mere band-aids on a bleeding heart.
You can put them on until your heart becomes a patchwork of band-aids; but never healed.
It is reasonable to want something, but when the want becomes a crippling obsession of the heart or one that distracts you from your purpose – that’s when it needs fixing.
Fix your connection with God and He will fix things for you. If God is not changing your situation, then maybe He wants to change something else; like your heart?
Sometimes He gives something very precious and then takes it away, causing you pain. Sometimes you feel pain for not ever receiving. When you look at it with such plain eyes, you come to abominable conclusions about Him, rather than about yourself.
Rather, look at it with insight. As many a personal development guru would say, look inside first. See what you can change. Be proactive instead of being a whiner.
إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ لَا يُغَيِّرُ مَا بِقَوۡمٍ حَتَّىٰ يُغَيِّرُواْ مَا بِأَنفُسِہِمۡۗ
…Indeed, Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves… (Qur’an, 13:11)
While every verse holds deep meaning for those who ponder, let’s take this verse at face value for now and try to understand something from it.
Imagine giving your child a present that he grows to love. He loves it so much that he spends all his time and energy on it. He rushes his homework so he can get back to playing. He gobbles his food or refuses to eat at all so that he can continue playing. When he’s at school, he’s not paying attention to lessons because he’s thinking about going back home to his present. He ignores even you as he’s busy playing. As a parent you begin to realise that he’s not giving the present its due place but instead allowing it to divert him from his obligations and purpose. You see it is harming him.
So let’s say you decide to confiscate it. How is he going to react? Isn’t he going to be upset with you? His limited insight is going to make him think you don’t love him or that you’re cruel. He’s going to criticise you for taking away his possession, without realising that you gave it to him in the first place. He doesn’t see the bigger picture; he doesn’t see the love in your action.
Isn’t this how people sometimes react to God? With our limited insight we make petty judgements of The One who loves us the most.
وَعَسَىٰٓ أَن تُحِبُّواْ شَيۡـًٔ۬ا وَهُوَ شَرٌّ۬ لَّكُمۡۗ وَٱللَّهُ يَعۡلَمُ وَأَنتُمۡ لَا تَعۡلَمُونَ
…But perhaps you hate a thing and it is good for you; and perhaps you love a thing and it is bad for you. And Allah Knows, while you know not. (Qur’an, 2:216)
If you declare a human being to be your life and soul instead of showing that devotion to the One above, why would you be surprised when he or she is taken away from you? If you channel all your energy into moving to that greener pasture or building that perfect home instead of preparing your abode of the Hereafter, why would you be surprised when it never materialises or when it materialises but turns out to be disappointing?
These are simply examples of ways to analyse your pain and not an outright declaration of where things are going wrong. You know your condition better than another person and your conscience will give you hints.
Blessings and presents are to be enjoyed; but when they begin to consume you it is in your best interests to reassess your connections.
Make an honest assessment of the matters that are causing you heartache. What or whom do you long for? Where do you yearn to be? What object do you crave? What or who can’t you live without?
Do you spot the disease? If not, take time to ponder over this concept of pain and what you fill your heart with. Once the concept clicks, the filling changes and the pain is replaced by peace.
It may seem senseless, heretic, or extreme at first. People prefer to stay with problems they understand than look for solutions they’re uncomfortable with. Yet the soul would have no rainbow, had the eyes no tears.
We are presented with lessons but we’re not ready to learn them. So is it any surprise that the lessons need to repeat in your life?
Our griefs how swift; our remedies how slow.
The more you suffer and look for solutions to your unhappiness, the more you will hopefully realise that the solution comes with understanding and internalising this concept.
The solution is within you; your True Love is always near.
Believe it; you can achieve it.