Pain: A path to transcend

By Afshan Mirza. Dated: 10/28/2020 12:09:01 PM

“The wound is the place where the light enters you,” Rumi says!
I saw a woman once whose deep eyes were searching for something beyond. It appeared like she had been preparing for an unusual arduous exam for a long time but life failed her time and again. I couldn't make sense of her longings and sufferings. Her limping walk was speaking of her plight. Shades of misery in her wrinkled and swollen eyes. What if she learned a greater lesson on this path, I assumed. And what if she never learned anything? Out of curiosity, I approached and asked her, Your eyes and body reflect your misery so I want to know if you are miserable inside too, or is there any other story? She gave an affectionate gesture uttering Mirza Galib’s shair…
Hand while speaking these lines, I could see the shine and spark in her oceanic eyes past this-worldly contentment and that’s when I realized,
Moments of crisis strengthen us, provided we know how to reflect upon with utmost honesty and transparency.
There comes a time in everyone’s life when high tides of emotions submerge us deep into the ocean. Breathing and survival become the only enterprise. This is the stage of absolute loneliness when despite having people around one feels dissociated and disconnected. The world seems to be against as if it's a shark’s mouth waiting to prey upon us. One feels knocked down by life terribly. The numbness in the heart and the chaos in the thoughts take one to a place exquisitely articulated by Ghalib;
“ham vahan hain jahan se ham ko bhi
kuchh hamari khabar nahin aati”
We adhere to the emotion so intensely that we forget to realize that sufferings and obstacles itself indicate the strength of one’s heart and soul. The more difficult the challenge is, the stronger we become. God says in surah Baqarah(2:286), “layukallifu allahu nafsan illa wusahaa” which implies ‘God doesn’t burden a soul beyond that it can bear’. What else can be more soothing to ears than the compassionate words of God? If you feel that you have been burdened with difficulties beyond your capacity then you have to revaluate your strengths. If you were not powerful enough to bear, you wouldn’t have been given such challenges. Allah(SWT) further says in the Quran, “fa inna ma’al usri yusra” which means “so, verily, with every difficulty, there is relief”. That means, with every hardship you become a force to reckon with. Your heart expands to such an extent that you become an ocean where all the rivers emerge together dissolving its shallow individuality into a much deeper and wider range.
Indeed, it’s not an easy job, in fact, listening to messages of pain is one of the toughest things in the world and probably that’s the reason most of us try to escape. However, it has never been an ultimate solution, it might give temporary solace but who wants temporarily?
Until and unless we confront the wounds and scars with utmost sincerity, we won’t grow remaining attached to the old patterns that get repeated unto new pain punch us again. That’s why paying attention to our deepest feelings in the moment of crisis is a vital action that helps us to emerge as a stronger and more resilient character.
It makes us reassess the relationships around us. Is it worth it? Is this the kind of relationship whether with parents, siblings, friends, or beloved is actually helping me to become the person we want to be, or is it otherwise? And in those hours of deep and intense contemplation, the voice of conscience speaks. A soft murmur within the noise that awakens our soul which in turn guides our mind. That’s the voice one should pursue even when the whole world turns against you.
The ways of the soul are the ways of nature and the laws of nature are above the laws of the world.
All these insights will be revealed in those moments of helplessness where you see yourself as a victim of circumstances outside your control. In the quiet moments of solitude when the books might be lying in front silently observing and calling you to reach out to them; when you find your phone lying aside and you don’t feel like using it.
It is in those very moments, you will realize what matters and what never did. You will get a realization that this world is not a place to be worshipped but to transcend. You will get to know what deserves your attention and what never did. You will identify the limited thinking patterns that hindered you from creating a world of your own where you feel free and independent, immune to what people think and say. And eventually, everything will get settled into one simple fact, what you feel about yourself? What does conscience whisper to you? Does it make you feel guilty or does it appreciate you? Nothing else matters. No other opinion is of such relevance as your own. But the question is how to listen to one’s own voice when it is cluttered with socialisation, indoctrination, constructions, and narratives. To identify one’s voice within all noise is the greatest challenge. And that’s where the pain comes into the picture to assist us. It declutters everything by turning our world upside down. It disillusions us from the old ways of seeing and inspires us to look for new ways and patterns. It is this pain that forces us toward solitude so that we can process our emotions in the light of rationality. And it is this solitude that mysteriously speaks revealing our own truth to us. Therefore, pain is meant to be felt to transcend the narrow perception of ours and the world around to embark on the journey of enlightenment.
What else we need but to be a patient disciple of such a brilliant teacher?



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