We all go through mishaps, but the question is, how do we move on?
Sometimes in life we are put in situations that make us realize just how strong we are. I personally don’t know where inner strength comes from. I wonder if it’s a bulb that switches on as a coping mechanism in times of trouble. Or some sort of inner fire that consumes whenever life throws stones at us. Is it hope disguised as an inner super power waiting to explode?
Whatever it is and wherever it comes from, we all have it in us. Some of us might mature faster in fostering such courage to face the world, but ultimately it exists, dormant and waiting. We have all, without a doubt, been through hard times where a show of stability is our only choice. We become stronger because of these hardships, because as far as life goes, no one becomes stronger by winning.
Personally, I have been through a lot of difficult times. One of the most difficult times I faced was when my eldest brother fell terribly ill and no local doctor knew what was wrong with him. My parents had to travel and take him abroad to a specialty hospital. At the same time I was scheduled to start a new chapter in my life; I was going to leave my home, my friends, my family and study abroad for a year. What was I to do? I felt guilty for not being there with my parents and it killed me not to be there with my brother. I needed to know he was ok. But I also wanted to follow my dreams and continue my degree. It was a constant struggle, and I was a wreck.
Sometime in the middle of August of 2012 on a warm summer evening, I left for Ireland. It was just my uncle and I; he stayed with me for a few days and then headed back home. I was in a new country, a new city, a new apartment, a new university, and for the first time ever, I felt alone.
It was extremely hard for me, but with time and a furiously determined spirit, I was able to cope and take care of myself. My parents already had one sick child; I didn’t want to be another one. So I guess at that time and situation, my parents inspired and pushed me to become resilient. I wanted to make them proud, and that feeling made me the strongest I have ever been.
What I’m trying to say is that you are stronger than you may think you are. Sometimes Allah puts us through different situations in life to test our patience. So wherever your strength comes from, be it from faith, hope in a better tomorrow, people, or yourself, hang on to that and never let anything break you.
“If an egg is broken by an outside force, life ends. If an egg is broken by an inside force, then life begins. Great things happen from the inside.” – Unknown
Shamma holds a Masters Degree in Human Rights and a BA in International Affairs. She currently works as an instructor at Zayed University. Having volunteered with people with disability for more than 10 years, she devotes her career and free time to work closely with vulnerable groups to create a visible impact in society. Having interests in philosophy, human psyche, sociology, and literature her column “12 Lessons” will focus on issues that we face as a part of the trial and error process that is life.
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