I read a book on how to be happy and that got me thinking that why are we so unhappy? I came up with many answers to this question but the one big reason which we often ignore is the past memories which we have stored inside our hearts and we keep nurturing the hurts and agonies we went through… these burdens keep us down and provides the shaitan so much of this hurtful stuff from which he shows us random glimpses at the most unexpected of times; so that even while in the present we have nothing to make us sad… yet we start following that one glimpse from the past and see the whole movie with the eyes of imagination… and we go through the same sorrow hundreds of times even though it happened only once… if it happened at all..!!!
Yes that is what clicked me today that what we remember of the past is not what really happened but the version which we have edited for ourselves. And this is not just true for the past but even in our current situations we imagine more and see less… and that is why we remain more stressed than we need to be!!
For years I imagined the childhood I spent without my parents in my khala’s house like the most unfair thing that could have happened to a child. Surely there must have been a natural sense of deprivation that a child would go through… but weren’t there so many good things too? Why have I not remembered those fun filled afternoons playing hide and seek with my cousins? Why have I not valued the generosity of my khala? Why have I not realized the patience and sacrifice of my parents who left me there to have a good schooling instead of living in the village with them?
This is only just one example to make you think what sorrows have you nurtured in your heart? Are they real? How much of that is true and how much is plain and simple… imagination?
And this makes me think that our imagination can work wonders for us if we use it in the right direction but if we let the shaitan play with it then he uses it as a tool of deception… like deceiving a huge majority of people into watching movies and dramas… or reading fiction like an addiction…
They know it is all a pack of lies… the characters are not real… the situations are all made up… and yet people feel happy or sad… according to what’s happening in it even though they know it’s not happening at all.
So if our emotions are so much controlled by these open lies, then how much vulnerable we are to the lies which we have made up in our minds about what happened to us in the past… or whatever is happening to us right now… we can see everything in a positive light if we want to. In reality things cannot be as bad as we have imagined them to be. Because Allah is forever kind and merciful. He does put us in afflictions and trials but they are always less than His favours and Blessings.
If we can remember this and start looking at our past and present experiences with honesty and truth… then in sha Allah it will open our hearts to see more and imagine less… and thus be tranquil and peaceful and grateful to Allah… the most merciful… the eternally compassionate.