Guest Blogger: My dear cousin Yasmeen
“Have you ever gone to a place and felt enveloped by peace and serenity — perhaps a mosque, church, synagogue, temple, mountain top or even someone’s home? Or have you ever met someone whose mere presence makes you feel calmer? Essentially we are creatures of light and energy who absorb and reflect the light and energy around us.
My happiest times in life so far have been before I left home for college. Our home was filled with the Noor (light) of the Quran and prayers of my parents but most of all – open and sincere hearts that put God first. No wonder our home was filled with peace and love. No wonder I never stressed about anything, and no wonder I was secure that everything would always be well. The peaceful energy in my home environment sustained a solid internal peace within me which reflected in success of my worldly pursuits.
I left home for college and suddenly the energy around me (my new “home energy”) shifted dramatically. I absorbed the energy of my new home and started getting attached to things which created internal stress. We all have attachments and they start early — toys, people (family/ friends/teacher/ spouse, etc.), pets, grades, order, money, status, houses, cars, degrees, job titles, accolades, a certain reputation, pretty clothes, jewelry, being perceived a certain way, being right, being in control, being the center of attention, being perfect, etc. These attachments deceive us in making us think that obtaining that thing will make us happy, but these attachments never quite take us to sustained happiness and so we form more attachments in the pursuit of that moving target.
There are many paths but only one destination. If you’re at the bottom of a mountain, you can take many routes to reach the top. You can take the paths created by previous travelers or forge your own. There are endless possibilities to getting to the top of the mountain. The most effective path for me to climb my mountain and reach my destination of happiness is letting go of my attachments. My internal GPS shows me that it is from true submission to God. La illaha illallah (“There is no God but God”) meaning “There is nothing worthy of my worship than God”. Putting God first, instead of making our attachments into our God. Our attachments or the things that consume our waking moments and subconscious inadvertently become our God. La illaha illallah (“There is nothing worthy of my worship than God”).
If we truly depended on God, we would not worry about a particular situation; we’d just put our best foot forward and keep moving. We never worry about there being enough air for us to breathe so why worry about there not being enough money or love or whatever else that we constantly seek. Let us focus on centering ourselves and letting go of some of these attachments.
My dua for today is: “Ya Allah (Oh God), Ya Rahman (Oh Most Compasionate), Ya Raheem (Oh Most Merciful). Please empty my heart of all of my attachments so that I can fill it with only You, the source of peace and all that is good. Let my waking and sleeping moments only focus on You, my Guardian, the Maker of Order. Ameen.”
Day 18, Dua 18: Letting go