I love this picture of my husband when he was a kid. He was only 4 years young and he just got discharged from the hospital as he broke him arm and scratched his chin (he had stitches) when he fell three levels down while trying to slide down the rails of the stairs (oh my god, such a naughty kid!). But with a bag of chips in his hand, and a “like-a-boss” swagger, he had the biggest grin on his face! He had the cast on for two months and I asked him if he ever cried or regretted anything and he said, “I was a kid. I didn’t have feelings then!”
I laughed and kind of agreed how carefree we were when we were kids and when we “did not have feelings” – everything was so much simpler then! We forgive in a second and we forget we ever had an argument by lunch. We made friends with everyone as long as they do not pull our hair. We share things, we whisper secrets and we laugh more than we cry. It was quite simply, awesome!
And then we grew up, and suddenly we have all these feelings. There is that annoying one, called envy. And the one that is always lurking around, insecurity. Then there’s the whole family that constitute of Father Ungratefulness, Mother Anxious, Daughter Bitterness and Son Anger. We always throw the blame on our “circumstances” and our “responsibilities” when we find ourselves having these negative reactions. But we forget that we have the capability to balance all these emotions with positivity, to have fearlessness, courage and a huge dose of emphaty when the going gets tough (and trust me, it will get tough).
Do not get me wrong. I do realise the importance of having a plethora of feelings instead of just being constantly happy and jovial (that just gives me a picture of someone who is extra hyper, like an Energiser bunny – wow it must be tiring to always be that perky) because that is what makes us whole. I do not encourage feigning happiness if we are not feeling good because of certain reasons but what I do advocate and believe in is that no matter what happens in life, to always fall back on Allah and trust in His Love and Plans for us because that will always re-assure and comfort us. So even if we do feel vulnerable and small, we do not feel hopeless. Instead, we will be in the company of the beautiful teacher that is humility. And even if we have lost something or someone was taken away from us, we are not chained by remorse, instead we will feel grateful for what we presently have and we learn to depend on Allah, and we surrender.
I believe feelings are good – even the not-so happy, but equally necessary feelings – like vulnerability, humility, the courage to resist to be “perfect” and to accept yourself for who you are. To just be. But be mindful and aware of which feelings you give strength to, and which emotions you allow to reign.
I have this photo of my husband right smack in front of me in my studio because this photo taught me that every one of us can be a trooper and to smile after a big fall (it also proves that having a bag of chips also helps the healing process, or ice-cream!). But I also have it up there as a reminder that unfortunate circumstances are going to happen in life – we just have to balance it out with equal doses of positivity, courage and reliance on Allah. If we do that, In Sha Allah, we will go through this journey in this world, just fine.