Struggling to surrender

Thanks for answering my previous question.

You say,
How about thinking instead, “What wonderful things God has in store for me, if He has not written for me marriage?”, “Have I been missing the forest for the trees?”

I have tried, over the years, to see a life beyond love and companionship, to be open to an alternative existence.

My friend and blog member Aapa recently mentioned a saying, “Life is a flower. You can’t force it to bloom.” That hit me so hard. Because throughout my 30s, I was waiting for my life to bloom, even though I desperately tried to convince myself it was already blooming. Year after year, i tried to create a life for myself, one where friendship, activities, travel, faith, books, sports, prayer and parents replaced love, babies, companionship and intimacy.

It didn’t work.

Sometimes the goals we work so hard for never materialize. As I mentioned previously, the cause could be that we went about it wrong, or that we did not take opportunities when they came. Those we can fix and try again. But the cause could also be that we were not meant to have it. That one we have to accept as Muslims, because we trust that God only deprives us of what is not good for us.

It’s been almost a year since I lost the man I loved and with whom my destiny was not meant to unfold. It was on the eve of Ramadan last year, and throughout Ramadan 2010 and the following September I convinced myself I did the right thing in breaking ties, and that God would bring me something better — even if “better” means peace with not being married.

Acceptance is an attitude. It doesn’t come naturally to some people. Dr. Jeffrey Lang wrote a book on the subject. He called it “Struggling To Surrender!” Indeed, it’s not easy. But it is the substance of our religion. Perhaps because you have not quite fostered it in yourself that God has been giving you this hard exercise.

I told you that I am somewhat disheartened by prayer. But I think more than anything, the cold hard reality that my life did not bloom is hitting me in the face.

Your life did bloom, but you just don’t want to see it that way. That’s the problem.

My best friend abandoned me. She has not called me once in the last 10 months to ask how I am. Although I remain active in sports, I really don’t have a lot of friends. I may do one social activity a month. I find that my life consists of work, prayer, eating meals, and visiting my elderly parents. I do engage in some hobbies, like art etc, but again, i come home and I am alone. Although I work in an office, I don’t work in a team. I am a nice, friendly person.

It is painful. It is painful, as I sit here and type this, alone in my home, with absolultely no one to call or talk to or love or be loved by.

Why did your best friend abandon you? That may be indicative of something that you unconsciously do that keeps you lonely. Examine your own personality and conduct as if a therapist is asking you questions. Some people, as you probably know, demolish their goals unconsciously out of fear of failure or even fear of success.

Now, the life I was trying to avoid all these years has come true! What I tried throughout my 30s to avoid happening – happened! I am truly alone in the world.

What you keep thinking about tends to happen. That’s because the brain and the psyche are geared to achieve what you obsess about! Dr. Wayne Dyer has a very nice program called “The Power of Intention” where he elaborates much more on this point.

Change your thoughts and your life will change. I know it’s easier said than done, but if you want to escape the life you dislike, you must.

When I was with the man I loved, my life felt like it was in bloom, because all of a sudden I felt loved, I had a companion, I could plan for the future, etc. Now, in addition to the grief, the emotional vacancy is that much more potent. The things that kept me busy before…those things are not present anymore. I can’t find a replacement. How can one find a replacement for love?

You’re assuming that no other love will come your way. That’s despair from the mercy of God. Don’t think that way. Jacob’s life was empty when he lost his son Joseph. He wept so hard he became blind. Yet, he never despaired of the mercy of God (see 12:87). His faith was rewarded when he was reunited with Joseph in Egypt. Think like him, peace be upon him.

So how can I possibly, possibly embrace what you are saying and agree that there is so much better in store for me now, that I have been unable to see the forest but for the trees?

You do that out of faith. That is what makes it possible. It is a state of the heart.

Where am I? Where did all my prayers and desires and conformity to “the rules” get me????

It got you plenty of entries in the credit column of your Kitaab (register of deeds), which will delight you on the Final Day, when most people will be in panic. That is, unless you wipe them out with loss of faith, God forbid.

One Response to “Struggling to surrender”

  1. ZED says:

    Wa alaikum assalam i remember my sruggling days 1990 -93 . I f things happen easliy then you will not understand the worthiness of what you obtain. Do not loose hope their is charm in struggle its allah ‘s will to know his followeer by giving a bit of hard time so it means you are in his list. Hold on firmly nothing happens a second earlier or later the creator has created a job for you too.

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