the complete loss or absence of hope.
إِنَّهُ لاَ يَيْأَسُ مِن رَّوْحِ اللّهِ إِلاَّ الْقَوْمُ الْكَافِرُونَ
Certainly no one despairs of Allah’s Relief, except the people who disbelieve‘
[Surah Yusuf, ayah 87]
I learned the hard way it’s really useless to start something, whether it is a new program, a new dream, or meeting a deadline, and allow yourself to have negative thoughts as you work towards it. (ie. mentally preparing yourself that it’s not gonna work out). I realized there’s literally no point to doing this because:
A: deep down, regardless what I say, I know I want it
B: I’ll be miserable through the entire process
C: how I chose to feel does not change the outcome.
Looking back on all the times I thought I was “mentally preparing myself” for failure, and literally out of all the times I did that, it did not benefit me even once. It didn’t make the process easier, it didn’t help me make smarter decisions, and the gag is, when I did fail, it didn’t even making coping with the failure easier. All it did was tire me out, make me hate myself and my life, and sometimes make me wish I wasn’t alive (so sad)
I’m now realizing the smart decision is to adopt Optimism, or hope. Optimism saves a lot of mental energy, facilitates gratitude, and gives you the courage to go after the things you really want. With more mental energy, means more chances of creating better strategies.
And with this gratitude comes more blessings (and that’s a fact from the quran- لَـئِنۡ شَكَرۡتُمۡ لَاَزِيۡدَنَّـكُمۡ, If you are grateful I will increase it for you )
Forgiveness is a fresh start
One of the things I love most about Islam is how easy it is to start fresh. The way the deen is set up, in my opinion, makes it easy for new beginnings. An example is in this hadith:
‘It has been reported that Abu bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him said): “There is no one who commits a sin, then purifies himself and stands in Salah and offers two raka’at and seeks forgiveness, except that Allah will forgive him.”‘
That’s all we have to do. Pray two rakah, and make sincere intentions of tawbah. And then we start fresh. I also love this hadith:
“Allah the Almighty has said: ‘O Son of Adam, as long as you invoke Me and ask of Me, I shall forgive you for what you have done, and I shall not mind. O Son of Adam, were your sins to reach the clouds of the sky and you then asked forgiveness from Me, I would forgive you. O Son of Adam, were you to come to Me with sins nearly as great as the Earth, and were you then to face Me, ascribing no partner to Me, I would bring you forgiveness nearly as great as it [too].’ ”
And this last one also:
Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:
By Him in whose hand is my soul, if you did not sin, Allah would replace you with people who would sin. And they would seek forgiveness from Allah, and He would forgive them.
All of this reminds me: the past is the past, Allah is Most Forgiving. He knows I’m only human. If I felt like I made a wrong turn at some point, I can go back and fix it now.
This also pushes me to turn to Allah, regardless of the situation. If I want Allah’s help in any of my affairs, I can turn to Him. It’s not like Allah is going to say, “sorry you weren’t with Me yesterday” and shut the door. That is some petty tendencies that is above our Lord All-Mighty. (but not me, so do not try me).
This, to me, is why waking up is a blessing. Every wrong, can turn into a right, I have the blessing to be given that chance.
What I receive is what is best for me
Islam is a blessing. Wallahi it is. Not only are we encouraged to rewire our minds in a positive way, but we are also told that whatever happens, even if it feels like the worst thing in the world, is always good for us. I saw this quote that went along the lines of, “If you were free to go back in time and choose your own fate, and keep going back as many times as you wanted, you would end up choosing the one Allah had chosen for you” I love that a lot. Allah knows all the outcomes for every possible scenario. He knows what we want, what we need, and when it is the best time for it to enter our lives. As we try our best, it’s so important to relax and just let the fruits of our labour arrive when it’s suppose to.
All in all,
In a world that is constantly going to tell us no, A life where shaydaan that is always in our ear, let’s not be be another enemy to ourselves. When I’m alone, I’m really my own best friend and cheerleader lol. I think we all have to be that for ourselves, otherwise there will be no place to run to when times get tough (you can never truly escape your mind). And in order to be a safe space for ourselves we need kindness, forgiveness, and of course have hope.
Optimism, to me, is a refuge. Having those moments where I’m allowing myself to think the world is mine, the things I want will come, and life is going to work out, I realize, will bring peace to my day. It makes me happy to face the things that once scared me.