We all know too well that when we are not feeling at our finest, in terms of physical health, everything else pales into insignificance. All the intangible aspects of our being, our pride, our social status, our academic learning etc., suddenly seem so inconsequential when faced with physical challenges that inhibit our very existence.
To a lesser or greater extent, we have all been in that situation. Be it a common cold or a major surgery, there have been times when all we could think about was getting better and living a normal life once again. As painful as these episodes are, they are necessary to remind us of our puffed-up pride and the fragility of life itself.
I’ve often wondered how these kinds of scary experiences do not give some people an opportunity to reassess their perspective on life. Sometimes people go through very difficult journeys related to health and yet learn nothing from it. In my own situation, I see that Allah is keeping me rooted in humility lest I should forget that I am in control of nothing and become arrogant.
The adage, “health is wealth” is one which universally agreed upon. Ask a rich person if all the money in the world could avail them when the diagnosis of a terminal illness has been given and I’m sure they will answer “No”. Yet, human nature dictates that we are forgetful and conceited which is why I believe many make the most irrational decisions at the height of their power.
When a person, man or woman, decides to upset a perfectly normal family life and break away, I wonder what more it is that they want from life? Excitement? Money? More adventure? Of course, there are plenty of cases where divorce is actually a healthy option. The two parties will be at peace on their own and be able to follow their individual versions of happiness. However, there are many occasions where divorce is a totally illogical and irrational response to a situation which was probably only existent in the imagination of one of the spouses. Furthermore, the instigator is probably someone who chooses not to confront his/her own shortcomings and instead, projects their own failures onto their spouse.
That’s how I saw my life. I never imagined divorce would be on the cards. There were no warning signs. If anything, I thought we were doing just fine. Like everyone else, there were disagreements and struggles but none that suggested my marriage was in trouble. My theory was, and still is, that when a man (or woman) is at their peak in life, when they feel invincible either because of their status at work or money in their pocket, it can destroy their perspective on things. The ego becomes inflated and the desire for bigger or better is an aeroplane taxiing on a runway and waiting to take off.
Having power of this kind means that there is no need to try repair anything that is seemingly damaged. It is far easier to replace it. Unfortunately, I have seen too many examples of this behaviour. Poor people will work hard to repair something they own as they know these things are not dispensable. The rich don’t have the same time or patience.
This leads me to conclude that being tested in health, or money, or anything else for that matter, though taxing on our physical and mental wellbeing, should be taken as an opportunity to reflect on our very purpose on this Earth. Life was never meant to be easy but I do feel some people choose to make it unnecessarily difficult. The insatiable appetite pushes them to believe that what they have now can be improved upon; that change is invariably a good thing – an improvement upon the latter. Of course, that is a lie. What we constantly need to change is that which is within us, the intangible being which is connected to the soul. Outward worldly change is not always destined to bring us greatness or happiness. Moreso, if it has been attained at the cost of dismissing the hurt caused to those nearest to us, then the price paid for it was undoubtedly too great. Sooner or later, it will come crashing down.
I don’t believe in reciprocating hurt with hurt. I have long resolved that the best thing I could do is direct that energy on myself. I have invested in me and my sons and hope to continue to do so, inshaAllah. Allah will take care of everything else.