“For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin–real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life.”
I came across this quote and found that it echoed some of my own thoughts I’ve had the past few months. As I was contemplating the reasons why many of us are in a state of perpetual unhappiness or dissatisfaction, I began to think about how our expectations of this life are at the root of much of our misery.
The quote says it perfectly: people are always waiting for the right moment to be happy, to fully feel alive, to live life to its fullest.
We are waiting for something else to happen so we can then say “ah, now this is the life I have been waiting for.” But what is the cost of thinking like this? The cost are a range of emotions such as anxiety, worry, frustration, disappointment, resentment, and sadness. To focus on what “could be” allows us to delete all of the beautiful and amazing things that already exist.
Live in the now!You’ve heard this statement before, and as always, the greatest wisdom is the simplest. I have heard many women say “I can’t wait until I reach 40, because they say you won’t care as much about all the little things in life, but you will be able to focus more on what is important.” Elders often say, when asked what they would change looking back at life, “I would have spent more time with my kids just playing, more time watching sunsets, forgave more easily, and more time absorbing all the moments of my life that were there, instead of chasing after the bigger and better.”
Why wait? Happiness is not something that is going to come. It is always present, and begs to be discovered everyday in your life. Happiness is hidden in the little things. The puffy white clouds in the sky, a friend who you can relax with, the taste of a sweet apple, a moment of clarity, sinking into your favorite chair, a funny email, discovering matching socks folded together, and the giggle of children. No grand vacation, huge house, luxury sedan, or size 4 waist will help you notice the moments that make up a life of true living.
To top it all off, the most essential ingredient to happiness is to live a life that fulfills your Divine purpose: to worship Allah, subhanahu wa ta’ala.
Ibn AlQayyim said
“Truly in the heart there is a sadness that can not be removed except with the happiness of knowing Allah and being true to Him. And in it there is an emptiness that can not be filled except with love for Him and by turning to him and always remembering Him. And if a person were given all of the world and what is in it, it would not fill this emptiness.”
Get Happiness Now:
1) Ask yourself “What is one step I can take to get closer to Allah today?
2) Then Ask Yourself “What are 5 things I am grateful for in my life today?”
3) Imagine: If you were to take a vacation with those you love – what feeling are you seeking after the most? Now: Give yourself permission to make those feelings happen today instead. For example, I might say “I want to take a weekend trip with my kids to I can just focus on them without distractions and we can have quality time together.” Instead, I will focus on making “vacation” hour today, and see where it leads us….. 🙂
The old saying stands true “When life give you lemons, make lemonade!”
My personal quote these days.. “When life gives you a mountain of laundry, let the kids climb! Hey, at least I am encouraging their creative side. Little stuffed animals could make “caves” in the mountain….and sleep there….and you know, sometimes for days… shh. Don’t disturb the sleeping lion….