I sat across her and smiled. Tired eyes hiding a thousand stories. Stormy seas passively contained within. We carry these heavy things. But somewhere along the way we learn to keep them from flooding.
Gradually, we peeled our masks and smoothed the creases of our worries, much like laying out rolled up clothes from our luggage. We laid them out flat, and somehow, removing them from the pile and seeing these heavy things in light made us feel slightly lighter, and rightfully so. We have become so accustomed to the weight of our worries that we forget our backs have been bent. That still waters might conceal a frightening depth of darkness. But who said we had to face nights devoid of light alone in this journey? We are all struggling, albeit in different ways. We never know what lies beneathe the waves.
That girl who seemed to be leading a seemingly perfect life might be grieving over the death of a loved one. An acquaintance you just met might be battling with a terminal disease. Your close friend might barely have enough to spend on herself after her monthly savings are being spent on house bills. The colleague next to you might be weighted down by his parent’s sudden divorce.
Every single one of us house anchors in our seas. Only occasionally do we let these anchors float to surface, for the people whom we trust and love to see that we carry these things deep within. We are not alone. Every day we are silently battling, a thousand feet below our seas.
But as a Muslim, this comforting line must always be etched in our minds:
لَا يُكَلِّفُ اللَّهُ نَفْسًا إِلَّا وُسْعَهَا
“Allah does not burden a soul beyond that it can bear.”
To say, “I cannot handle this” with regards to our worries, whatever they might be, is to indirectly say that “I don’t trust Allah”. He knows you can handle the hardships in your life, that’s why He handed it to you. Why are you doubting your ability that He has given you? He has made you able. He has equipped you. He simply wants to see if you can pass these tests. It’s a matter of choice; do you fight, or take flight? If you choose the latter, if you decide to turn your back on Him and curse the test you’re given, you’re defeated. If you choose to battle, if you decide to take the test as an opportunity to gain rewards and be closer to Him than ever, then you’ve won. These tests we were given, were meticulously designed and curated according to our capabilities. Like a car maker who knows the full functionality and built of his cars, so does Allah. He knows exactly our capacity to handle the problems He’s sent in our lives. The tests I go through might be something others cannot handle. And the tests faced by others, might not be something I can handle. Our battlefields are different, daunting, but extremely possible. Through these battles we go through, inevitably, we get hit, we get up, we become patient, we become grateful, we learn.
If it gets too heavy to carry and you feel like drowning is the only option, remember that you have a choice to float. Let Him lift you up through your darkness and keep swimming despite the onerous anchors that are drowning you. Know that you are never alone in your struggles. When you come across soulmates whom you trust to bring you towards His path, keep them. Allah has sent them to you to accompany you in this life. Don’t be afraid to show your scars and let them gradually break your walls, if only for a while. But remind yourself that no one else will have the complete capacity to grant you ease in your hardships, except Allah. He is your ultimate confidante. You will eventually realize, it’s enough that He knows. He is listening to you. Because with Him lies all your answers. With Him lies the cure to your worries. All you ever need to do is ask.
Remember to never underestimate the ability of your soul. Your soul is strong; no one else can make you believe that except yourself. Your soul is born to go through battlefields and storms no one knows about. Your soul is built for bullets. He doesn’t burden you with these hardships – He burdened you with capabilities to overcome your hardships . Those tough in iman, firm in deen, unwavering in storms, and strong in every circumstance, win battles constantly with this one weapon: du’a and complete trust in Allah.
Allah never ever burdens one’s soul beyond what it’s capable of handling. If you are currently facing a difficulty, here’s a piece of good news – you will overcome them. Only because Allah has already given your soul the capability to. Your soul is tougher than your problems put together. You just have to internalize this.