Sometimes in life, we hold things too closely.
Maybe it's someone in our life that we hold on to a little too tightly afraid of what might happen if we didn't grab onto them. Would they still like us? Would we still be important? What if they realized they don't need us? (scary!)
Maybe it's how we think things SHOULD be and who should be doing what.
Maybe it's our art (whatever that might be for you). We're so afraid of what people might think of it and what they might say that we hold onto it too tight that it's almost impossible to put it out there and to share it with the world and let it do its thing and meet its purpose.
Maybe it's a thought that keeps playing in our head as if there's a reply button that keeps getting pressed.
Maybe it's an outcome and a desire that we can't let go of.
Maybe it's a wish that we got too attached too.
Maybe it's an expectation from our spouse or our boss that's making it hard to be happy or content.
Here's the thing we hold on to it coz it is important.
We hold on to it coz we need it (or at least that's what we believe).
We hold on to it coz it matters.
And I say this coz I don't want you to beat yourself up about it. It's normal and it's a process. We Have to go through this to find our balance.
But what happens when we get stuck? When we hold on a little too tightly?
What happens when it stops us from growing and it keeps us unhappy?
If we dug a little deeper we will find that a part of us needs it.
We need it to prove to us that we can.
We need it to prove to us that we are good enough.
We need it to prove to us that WE matter.
And as life goes and how God created this world anytime we hold something too closely, God will test us with it.
He tests us with it to learn how to let go and hold on to Him instead.
We hold onto it coz it matters.
If the main goal of this world and this life is to learn how to keep our hands open, and hearts connected to The Maker then anytime our hands start to cling onto 'this world', that thought, that person, that need, then we WILL be tested with it.
One of my favorite quotes on this subject is by Yasmeen Mogahid; where she said: "When you love something so much, protect what you love, and the bond between you, by making the love about Allah."
I truly and utterly love this.
Whenever my heart clung to something without God being in between us to filter my heart out, I got tested with it.
Knowing what to expect from life and what life is about makes going through it a lot easier. Because once we understand there's no internal struggle anymore. We're no longer trying to turn life into something different than what it is.
As Robert Frost says in his book The Road Less Traveled: “Life is difficult. This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it. Once we truly know that life is difficult-once we truly understand and accept it-then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters."
"When you love something so much, protect what you love, and the bond between you, by making the love about Allah." - Yasmeen Mogahid
So, here's two things you can expect from life:
Sometimes in life:
1- God will test us when we forget Him and cling onto things a little too tightly, leading our hearts away from Him. He does this so we can look for Him again.
2- God also might still test us with things we've tried to make about Him. The things we've tried to do well with and connect to Him. Even when we did everything right.
He does this to see if we truly meant it.
He does this to clean our hearts a little more.
It's also a way to see how much we're willing to trust Him with. Will we trust him with the things we love? Will we choose Him?
When we're tested with this kind of test and we choose to show Him that we're willing to trust Him with the thing we love (even if we struggle in the beginning with letting it let go) the act of surrendering to Him ends up opening up the widest doors of healing, contentment, and life.
To be tested with the things we love and the things we tried so hard to make about Allah and to do good with it are some of the hardest test to go through. They are unwanted and they hurt. But they also are the most rewording tests internally and externally. They carry so much life hidden in disguise but only if we choose to trust Him.
So, the next time you find yourself clinging onto something here's an exercise, you can try:
Open your hands.
When we cling to something our fist clutch up, notice how your muscles tense up. My shoulders get so tense that they hurt. Use your body as a guide. They speak. When we try to control things our body reacts with tension.
When you find your self in this state, I encourage you to hold your clenched fist out in front of you... and open your hands.. physically do it. Open your figures one finger at a time. And as your opening them, tell God how much you love this thing and that you still choose Him... Tell Him you choose to trust Him with it. Tell him you choose to trust Him with the thing you love, with you, and your life.
Let Him know what you want, then open your fists.
Things will be okay and you got this.
PS- for an audio option of this article visit my podcast at this link here.