Six Lessons of Life // Eman Khalid
1. Growing up, I did not have the most perfect or lavish lifestyle. We were five siblings. Our parents brought us to a well-developed country in hopes of providing us a better life. Being immigrants, we faced discrimination and racism. But, both of my parents worked hard to give us a better and happier life than they had. My father worked eight hours a day so that my siblings and I could have a proper education and a college degree. Something he never had but wished he did. My mother would always encourage us to study and work hard so that we could make ours and people’s lives better. She was a housewife, but was the hardest working woman I have ever met in my entire life. Our parents are not heroes, they are just like us. Sometimes they say things they do not mean and do things they regret later. My family and I never lived in the biggest of houses. Together, we laughed, we cried, we celebrated and we mourned. There were days when we wanted to kill each other and there were days we could not stop loving each other. We were never perfect, but we never left each other’s sides during struggles and hardships. There will come a day when all of us would go our separate ways. But I would like to remember my family and my home as a little heaven which in my heart would always stay.
Always love the members of your family, because they will always stand with you and not against you during the most difficult times of your life. Family does not always have to be by blood. You can love someone and call them your family without any blood relation. Relations are bonds of hearts that can never be broken not even in this world or the hereafter.
2. We spend so much of our times dwelling on the past and the future. About what could have been and what could happen. We think about all of those times our hearts got broken and the people who betrayed by leaving us in an abyss of darkness. We fear that the same things might happen again if we open up our hearts to new love and new people. Let me tell you something and I want you to listen to me very carefully, do not take life too seriously. Take it as it comes. Let it flow. The right person will come at the right time. The right opportunity will come at the right time. Stop spending so much of your time dwelling on the past and focus on what you have. You might not have everything that you want but you do have everything that you need. You have a heart that has been shattered millions of times yet it finds the courage to fix itself and start beating all over again. You possess a soul that is pure, and purity is rare. The people who left did not deserve to stay. Their leaving does not lessen your worth and value. Learn to forgive without asking them for an apology. That is the only way you will truly ever be happy.
3. Be grateful for all the small things in life: The way your mother plays with your hair as you lay your head on her lap listening to her humming sweet lullabies from her old favorite songs; The way the ocean waves touch your feet as you sit at the shore admiring the skyline that reminds you of the cotton candy your best friend and you would buy at the country fare when you were kids; The way your heart fills with warmth as your lover kisses you in the rain all the while whispering that you look beautiful, even though you are wearing that old sleeping suit and have not washed your hair in days; The way your father’s face beams with pride when you tell him you have secured the top position in all of your class; The way your body changes with time, adding a few more pounds, loosening the skin on your thighs and chest, adding stretch marks, wrinkles and spots, indicating that you have grown through this hell called time and you have endured. You have endured whatever hardship and obstacle you faced and these my dear, are what make you beautiful.
4. Human beings are strange creatures. We wish for a thing and when we get that, we want something else. Our hearts cannot stop desiring and it goes on till we breathe our last breath. We think that these wishes, dreams and desires being fullfilled will fill that void that we hold in our hearts. But the truth is, only love can: Love the work that you do and do it with passion and commitement. Not all of the wishes that we wish can come true. Sometimes you do not get admission in the university you wanted to. Sometimes you do not get to study the major you have always wanted to study. Sometimes you do not get to marry that one person whom you considered your whole world. But that does not mean life stops. I know it is hard, watching your dreams being shattered right in front of your eyes and not being able to do anything about it. But if you keep knocking on one door and it does not open, learn to move on. In love, career and friendship. If God closes one door, He opens four more doors. You might not possess the wisdom now to see the lesson behind your unfulfilled prayers, but you might have in months, years or even decades from now. But one day, I promise that you will.
5. Pain is a part of life. A life gauranteed without heartbreak and sorrow is a lie. There will always be times when you would wish that the earth would swallow you whole-you would wish that you were never born; There will be times when the pain will be too much for you to bear. You will feel like you are drowning in a deep ocean of regrets and life’s circumstances keep pushing you down and you are screaming but no one can hear you; There will be times when you would be sitting in your room with all of this ache engulfing your heart and all of these dark thoughts running in your mind, just staring at the walls above you wanting to cry but no tears would come out because they all have been dried; There will be times when life would be so hard that you would go to sleep praying you never wake up again to see the light of day because you would be tired from the world and its people. Constant taunts, insults, expectations and stereotypes tearing you down but dear, these things that are tearing you down were only supposed to build you up. Life is never perfect we must learn to compromise. There will be good days and there will be bad. Let the bad days remind you of the good times you used to have. How would you feel on the seventh sky in the arms of your beloved-your heart full of life. Remember that just like the good times have passed away, the bad times will too. Do not let sorrow drown you and do not let joy make you proud. Take life as it comes and you will learn living that life too with time: You will accept you as you are, flawed yet perfect.
6. You matter. God took His time making you. A very wise writer once said “The same God who created the mountains, the oceans and the earth, looked at you and thought that the world needed one of you too.” The same God who created the heavens, the sky and all of its stars, the universe and all of its planets, created you too. He gave you a heart that could feel all of the feelings and wish all kinds of wishes. He gave you a mind that can dream all kinds of dreams and create all sorts of creativities. He gave you hands, legs and a body to take care of your own self so why, oh why do you depend on someone else to take care of you. No one in this world exists that can love you as much as you. Why, oh why do you worry so much of who is to come whereas indeed He created you in pairs and indeed it is His promise twice that verily with every hardship there is ease, with every hardsip there is ease. And He is with you wherever you are so why do you consider yourself lonely when this world is nothing but a test because verily each one of us will be tested with fear, hunger, pain and loss. He hears the cries of the oppressed and sometimes as we may think we are worthless, sometimes we may think that He hates us because we do not have all of the worldly benefits that others do, maybe the hereafter is far better than we could ever imagine. And we shall abide forever in the gardens of paradise where rivers flow and it is much beautiful than anything we had ever seen even in our imaginations or dreams. The wrongdoers will be held accountable for all the things they do. Indeed, He hears all and sees all. So why, oh why do you think that He is unfair? Why, oh why do you feel lost? Indeed, this world is paradise for the disbelievers and hell for the believers.
Now ask yourself this question, why do you think your life is worthless when He was the one who created you? The same creator who created the heavens and the earth, the sky and all of its stars, the sea and all of its fishes, the universe and all of its planets, the earth and all of its people.
Why, oh why do you consider yourself so worthless? Indeed, He tests those whom He loves. If you are constantly being tested, shouldn’t you be happy that He loves you?
Because in fact with every hardship there is ease, there is always ease and this is his promise.