paradise in your heart

Yesterday I wrote about how being grateful can teach us to be patient but the question is how can we be grateful when things don’t go our way? The answer is to challenge your perception… list down the things in your life which you think as bad and try to see them in a better form. The problem is that we look at something from one angle that makes it appear so horrid and painful that we get stuck with that one perspective… often carrying its load the whole of our life… making ourselves miserable by telling the same story to ourselves and those around us again and again…

Today I was talking to someone and this lady was complaining that her husband was criticizing her for making a dish which she had prepared with so much difficulty… she was expecting him to be pleased but he had remarked that what was the need to make such a complicated thing? So I said of course he cares for you so much and was being bothered that why had you put yourself into trouble… so shouldn’t you be happy that he loves to have ease for you? She laughed bitterly and said: Oh as if I don’t know him… And I was left speechless to realize that we don’t even want to let go of our negative perceptions… not even for a second!!!

But then I focused on my own state of heart and found so many negative opinions about things and people and I was horrified why I had never challenged them before? And then I remembered that long time ago I had thought of making this gratitude journal about the people in my life and one by one write about the positive aspects of their personalities… so that I can focus on the good things and develop a positive image about each and every one of them. After all they are also blessings from Allah and like all blessings they sometimes come in a painful covering!! Our job is not to criticize the cover but to see the inner goodness… and if we cannot see it then we should blame our own lack of vision instead of blaming them for lack of goodness…

The thing is that when we establish something as bad then we cannot be grateful for it and it will be very difficult to be patient… so how will we love Allah and how will we love our fellow beings when our hearts are so full of bitterness? We might be worshipping Allah without gratitude and without patience but what kind of worship will it be? Same as serving people with a bitter heart…can there be any good in such a life?

So the first and foremost thing to remember is that patience and gratitude are not just the keys to paradise in the hereafter but they are also the keys to creating a paradise in your heart. And what a beautiful and tranquil that heart must be which can see the goodness in every situation and thus spreads its fragrance everywhere…

May Allah give us such a heart too… Ameen


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