AssalamuAlaikum once again.
Sometimes, you hold the reins of your life firmly in your hands. Your routines are set, your aims are well-established; coolly and calmly you go on gliding round your life.
Sometimes, your life suddenly takes a turn of its own. A strong wind comes and flips you into a different direction altogether. For a few moments you remain stunned and amazed. Then you catch your breath, stand upright and take up this God-given lead with God-given confidence.
My life has taken on a similar turn recently. Its a story of three months that have passed in a whirlwind fashion. In three words, I am married.
My husband is a Physician Assistant from Canada, who works in Canton, Michigan, USA. He’s the only PA in the Premier Medicine Urgent Care walk-in clinic service that’s run mostly by Muslim doctors. The marriage took place on the 5th and 6th this month (nikah and wedding). The decision had been made in the mid of December.
Marriage was not the only thing that happenned. Soon after the marriage was decided, my mother fell extremely ill. She is a patient of Rheumatoid Arthritis for the last 20 years and has been on a minimum dosage of cortisol (exactly: hydrocortisone) for nearly 15 years. The side effects of this essential body hormone / extremely potent synthetic drug, however, finally overpowered her and she was hospitalized with acute disturbances in her body. Efforts to get her off the drug brought about more dangerous complications resulting in a second hospitalization. She suffered a minor cardiac arrest, her body went into a shock, levels of necessary minerals fell dangerously low, huge portions of her body suffered from heavy internal bleeding leading to displacement of the heart and to a 16 inch hematoma that’s now slowly dissolving.
All this lasted through January and February. She returned home on the 1st of March, the same day that my then to-be in-laws also arrived from overseas.
And so life goes on with the Good and the Bad going hand-in-hand.
I often think of life as a multi-threaded carpet, being constantly woven by the hand of God. We look back at the so-far finished portion and pass our lame comments. We look into the future through the lens of this pattern and think of our futile predictions as near certainties. We are the fools who try to understand the rest of the world and life with the limited premise of our horizon. We ignore the Creativity of God because our belief in His Will is not firm.
I remember I fell in a deep awe when I heard for the first time of Hiesenberg‘s uncertainty principle. What this law in physics boils down to is, that the position of one of the smallest particles that we are made of cannot be firmly located. In layman terms, an electron assumes its position when it is being observed. And when its not being observed noone can predict its location. Rather, its in a state of ‘suspension’, its literally not there; however, as soon as it is observed it (magically!) assumes a specific position in time and place! Wow! And we think we know life…
Many people feel disturbed by this literally deep-rooted uncertainty of life. They feel threatened by incomplete, vague or contradictory information. As a result, they avoid complicated problems, go for superficial or rigid one-way solutions, believe in oversimplified interpretations, and distort available information to fit their beliefs. On the other hand, ‘tolerance of ambiguity’ is a hallmark of creativity, mental health, emotional intelligence, and resilience.
A simpler name for this psychological concept is ‘patience’.
Lack of patience can make you look back at that half-woven carpet in an anxious manner. You will be apprehensive at any new color being added to your life, you will be alarmed when new patterns start appearing. Future will look dimmed, negative assumptions will win the day.
Patience on the other hand keeps your feet firmly on ground. You look up into the sky and enjoy what’s coming. Even if what comes is of concern, like my mother’s illness, at least you can take things in stride. You can take things as a challenge, make discoveries, add to your learning. You can remain successful when you adapt and respond to the new colors of life and show up a good face to your God.
So it’s up to you really, whether this evolving carpet is ugly or beautiful. There’ll always be good threads and bad threads in our life to test our limits and tease out our abilities. Our job is to swim through it all with head held high and enjoy the never-ending beauty of the tumultous ocean of life…
Thanks and JazakAllah to the patience of my readers. May Allah bless all of us in both the worlds.