There are many certainties in life. Every morning, millions of people wake up to glorious sunrises. The Earth twirls in a silent and ethereal way within the glittering galaxies it in encased in. And somehow that bite of dark chocolate does wonders to uplift your mood.
Equally, life sometimes surprises us with its mysterious turn of events. You might meet your soul mate in a public library while devouring your velvety coffee. Patients find themselves miraculously cured after battling illnesses for so long. Others might find themselves thrown in the middle of the ocean struggling to stay afloat. Last Friday, I was thrown from a steep cliff into the unknown.
I was in the mall running some errands when I felt a sudden sharp pain striking my neck and back. So I thought I did a stupid move and expected that ache to go away by itself. It didn’t. The pain was magnified to excruciating levels and it reached a point where I was almost paralyzed and could not move my neck or head in any direction. I felt like an innocent prisoner locked in a dungeon for no apparent reason. After being hospitalized and meeting with several doctors, it turned out I had dislocated a disc in my spine and would require months of treatment.
At the moment when I was conveyed the disturbing news, I knew I had a choice to make: I could choose to make a melodramatic mess of myself or turn this into a positive learning opportunity. When I left the hospital after midnight, I looked up questioningly at the celestial skies. Why did this happen to me? Was I being punished? Why did I have to suffer yet another setback in my life? I was in my weakest moments, thrown in a tempestuous nausea from the medications and aching and worse, I was in despair. I could almost envision my precious health robbed away from me and leaving me crippled and limited with my choices.
This is when my books came to my comfort once again. A few weeks ago, I started reading about the lives of great leaders and achievers, including the Prophet Mohammed (Peace be upon him) and I started projecting his life in my imagination. He was an orphan who lost his beloved wife and all his children, save one, during his lifetime. Though he had a strong reputation for his impeccable manners and integrity, he was demeaned as a madman. All he wanted was to spread goodness in the world, and lots of it. Instead, he was faced with armies of enemies striving to kill him. Yet he was protected and elevated to the highest status in our eyes. The prophet Joseph was betrayed by his brothers and sold into slavery. He got imprisoned and was the last to leave, but when he did, he became the grand vizier while his two companions got either killed or made as a servant.
Thomas Edison and Ludwig Van Beethoven had hearing impairments. Napoleon Bonaparte, Julius Caesar, Alexander the Great, Aristotle, Socrates, Theodore Roosevelt, and Vincent van Gogh all had epilepsy. Winston Churchill had speech impediments. Hans Christian Andersen, Walt Disney, Richard Branson, and Leonardo da Vinci had dyslexia. But nothing stopped these people from achieving astounding amounts of success. If you have a great spirit, you can soar to the stars.
Adversities teach us to be resilient and to tap into our untapped power reserves. They enable our souls to become lucid with realization about what truly matters and to count our countless blessings. We can weed out unfaithful people. Most importantly, we feel closer to God in these most helpless moments. It is a marvelous relief to know that despite the world turning its back on you, there’s still Someone who will never forsake you.
So, when life gives you lemons? Make luscious lemon cakes and lots of it. You gotta keep livin’. And don’t forget to count your blessings each day. You may never realize how precious they are until you lose them.
“The biggest thing in today’s sorrow is the memory of yesterday’s joy.” – Kahlil Gibran
You can choose to look at life any way you like
Feel the beauty of prayer in your most desperate moments…
Have fun! Life’s too short to live it sourly
Don’t feel bad for what you don’t have. Instead, feel gratitude for everything you have been blessed so far