Take responsibility for your life!

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I seek refuge with Allah SWT from satan the accursed.

In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful.

Say with conviction “I am the problem!”

Our Glorious Lord has taught us through the Quran that we are all responsible for our lives.  This means that whenever there is conflict between you and someone else, you must take responsibility for how you deal with the situation.  Unfortunately, many people start playing the victims in every situation, damning the other to hell, completely convinced of their moral superiority.

The next problem occurs when you have a moment of clarity and you see that you both were wrong, but your sensible thoughts are interrupted by satan, who says disguised as you, “It’s too late now. I don’t want to look pathetic and weak by admitting my fault after going through so much crap!”  Then you suffer crushing defeat by accepting satan’s proposition via your thoughts simply because they came to you and you were too lazy to consciously separate yourself from your thoughts.  Here is something you might want to write down on a post it note and stick it around your house and workplace: I am not my thoughts! I am the thinker of my thoughts.

Looking back at my own life, I can see that every time I had a difficult experience being around or working with someone, I often blamed the other person for being rude, selfish, obnoxious, and worst of all “unIslamic” and “sinful.”  But as much as I hate to admit it, with Allah’s blessing and guidance I now know and acknowledge that my experience of a past conflict should not simply be what the other person did or said to me, it all needs to be in relation to and in the context of what I did and said to that person.  Whether consciously or unconsciously, I instigated that person’s response, therefore, I helped to make that experience what it is, and so if I have to blame someone for the bitterness of that experience, I squarely place the blame on myself.  Strangely, doing so brings a certain sense of peace and tranquility to the mind and body.  It’s almost like you put yourself in these heavy chains without realizing that you have the keys to undo them whenever you want to.  We believe satan’s lies when he tells us that if we admit to anything then we face humiliation, belittling, and hardships.  Few of us actually challenge that notion and see for ourselves what really happens when we take responsibility for our experiences.

Hence, what you need to do is stop looking at yourself as a victim of circumstance.  You must become the master of circumstance by using every experience as a tool of self-improvement and growth.  You may not have control over the other person’s initial words and actions, but you do have control over what you say and do in response, which then in turn triggers the other person’s response, thereby shaping your experience. At times, you have to shift your perspective in order to shift the other person’s perspective.  There is a wise saying: If you change, everything changes for you.  

I hope you can stop blaming others for the hardships in your life.  Once you make it a habit to take responsibility for your own life, by the will of Allah SWT you will feel motivated and driven to make real and meaningful changes in your thought processes, words, and actions for a happier and more God-conscious you.

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