By Hakim Abdul-Ali
Life is a predictable, unpredictable educator, especially, if you look at things in a very reflective way knowing that “life is what it is.” I’m always learning from the lessons of living another day with a positive outlook, and I’m so very thankful to the Most High Alone for that.
Behind every instance in the living experience there are signs in and behind every thing that comes our way. Like I alluded to you previously, life’s signs are the very best teacher in all instances.
Take last Saturday for instance when I met a long time, no-see brother of color, who I hadn’t seen for a long time. After acknowledging each other with hugs and smiles, he greeted me with spontaneity and genuine brotherhood.
He and I are of different religious traditions, but we still respect each other highly, sharing our pleasures to the Creator Alone for allowing us to touch base with each other one more time. It was a joyous occasion because this “hue-man,” being of a certain advanced age, has been through quite a bit in his almost fifty plus years of living.
Upon listening to him describe what has been going on in his life since we last saw each other, I was struck by his exuberant expression of “I’m living the dream and all thanks to God” when I had inquired about how he was doing. This was, of course, refreshing for me to hear at that moment because I remember him from the very last time we spoke, which was about seven-years-ago, and he was a very broken spirit.
At that time he was homeless, recently divorced, in debt and seriously unemployed, and seemingly feeling sorry for himself, sensing that his lot in life was mired in abject hopelessness and bitterness with everything and everyone. He recanted as much to me as he asked me to remember what mental and physical states of being he was in when we last saw each other.
As I listened intently to this “new” version of the “old” guy I used to know, I couldn’t help but see that he’d apparently gone through a complete metamorphosis of sort in many ways. Do. you know I had to frankly ask what happened to him to change his prior dismal outlooks about his living experience-in-general.
Before answering, he said that been trying to reach out to me to tell me that it was some things that I’d said to him years back that resonated with him in his heart, mind and soul, and he started to rebuild and repair his life for the better because of the words I left with him. Quite honestly, I didn’t know what he was talking about, but upon listening with a pure desire to hear what he talking about, I learned something from that rap I gave to him back then, and I believe that you now may benefit from too. Listen carefully.
My long lost buddy said that when we last saw each other some time ago, he was in the literal dumpsters of negativism. He said he was feeling sorry for himself about having lost his wife, being unemployed and even having fallen prey to serious drug abuse, a factor I didn’t know anything about because he hid it so well from me and everyone else close to him.
Being in suspense at what he was going to say next kept me closely in tuned to his following words and expressions. He said, “Do you remember Brother Imam when you told me about an Arabic expression,’qanit,’ which meant a “woe is me” state of being that was frowned on by the Creator Alone for His creations who are not are patient in the face of life’s trials?”
To that response I said emphatically, “Yes!,” because I recognized some of the things that I had said to him, even though I didn’t have a fresh recall of our entire past conversation. My buddy went on to tell me that when I said that the Creator (Alone) detests that sort of mental and spiritual disposition on the part of His (Alone) created “hue-mans,” and after leaving me back then, he thought about what I’d also said about the power of being patient and embracing the “TTSP” spiritual understanding of how, when and why things occur in our lives to test us to the very maximum degrees of faith.
This now employed, drug free and rejuvenated “hue-man,” presently with a zestful spiritual emergence emanating from his soul, said that when I’d spiritually broken down to him that “TTSP” meant that “This Too Shall Pass,” it stuck with him in such a way that he literally stopped feeling sorry for himself with that dreaded “woe is me” type of demeanor that we see so often today on the faces of and in the minds of many negligent and dismayed folk today.
“Life is what it is,” and seeing my buddy let me know that the living experience is forever challenging for all of us in every global village, hamlet or metropolis, no matter where we call home or nightly lay our heads. I believe that if we really understood that nothing really happens in life except that it was (and is) for divine reasons to enlighten us so that we must gain and reclaim supreme faith in the Creator Alone, in and under all circumstances, then, and only then, will “TTSP” become a meaningful spiritual forerunner for the enlightened, faithful and prayerful “hue-man” beings of creation.
My buddy let me know, in no uncertain times, that the process in his coming from then to now in his own life didn’t come easy, a point he made me aware of that I’d reminded him of in our earlier discussion. He said felt energized by stop feeling sorry for himself and got busy in reclaiming his mindset and life.
As my long lost buddy continued to reemphasize to me about his life’s journeys and what I candidly said to him several years ago, I must admit I thought about detailing what he was saying in a resurrected, uptempo article for today. And, the reason that you’re reading this is that he personally suggested that I write a current “As I See It” article about “TTSP” as a reminder to some folk, who, maybe, are very miserable, hopeless, depressed and uncertain about their present stages in life.
Well, to that request, which I’m doing now, you should know that this article is for me too, and I’d like to think it would include you, especially, if you don’t know and realize that “worry of any kind is faith that has not said its prayers diligently to the Creator Alone.” Do you get it, and do you also know that the living experience is a constant flow of being tested by the proverbial ups and downs of life’s episodic experiences?
Just like my buddy, me, you and all of others from and in our galaxies of acquaintances, we all are faced with the myriad of trials in our lives to diurnally test us to see where our hearts, minds, souls and beliefs are at in times of joys and pains. No one is excluded from these continual tests, and that includes you, me and my buddy.
Oprah Winfrey, speaking at a recent college commencement in Colorado, told the graduates to expect failure in life but know everything will be OK. Sounds a lot like the “TTSP” message I told my buddy years ago.
We all should know that all of life’s trials soon pass away with time, so never forget that we can overcome any trying situation(s) that occurs in our lives with patience, if we believe in and have faith in the Most High Alone. Life’s tests are only placed in our paths to make us spirituality stronger and mentally sharper for our future ordeals, be they so-called pleasurable or unpleasant.
My buddy certainly knows and testifies to that. He practiced patience and reestablished his faith in the Creator. Keep the faith. Remember “TTSP.” For today and always, that’s, “As I See It.”