Have you ever found yourself frustrated or upset because something you planned didn’t work out how you imagined it?
I have found that it isn’t the plan changing that is causing us grief, it is the way we are seeing it.
Allah has told us in the Qu’ran, “They were planning, and Allah was planning, and Allah is the best planner.” [Quran 8:30]
He is talking about those who were scheming in this verse, but it still is a good reminder for us that we are not the ones in control!
You see, there was a time when I needed everything to go as I planned it, or it seemed like everything was out of control. The funny thing is, it always is out of my control, it’s just that I couldn’t see that at the time. It was my own way of thinking about it that had me so stuck.
The way it actually works is … none of us has control of the outcome. It is always in Allah’s hands. All power and might is with Allah! We have the choice to fight that or accept it. If we fight it, then we feel frustration, sorry, disappointment and grief and can often miss the opportunity to enjoy the moment. We sabotage our own experience.
On the other hand, if we accept that the outcome will be however it will be, go with the flow, we have the opportunity to enjoy that moment, no matter what it looks like.
Our experience is in fact coming through the way we think about it!
Let’s take an example to understand this deeper …
You planned to catch the train to an important event and just as you arrived at the station the train was pulling out and you missed it. In the end you have to call for an uber to get there on time because the next train will arrive too late.
Scenario one, you are upset because you don’t really have the money to be catching an uber and the entire trip in the car you are stressing about how you can pay the bills. By the time you arrive at the event you are feeling depressed and don’t really want to be there anymore and because you are wearing a sad face, no one really socialises with you at the event. You go home feeling like the whole thing was a waste of time.
Scenario two, you are not excited about the idea of spending money on an uber but you recall that Allah is the Provider so everything will be fine. You show up at the event on time and in good spirits and have an amazing time. The next day you find out that the train you would have caught broke down and so everything had worked out for the best that you missed the train.
The situation was the same in both cases, but the experience of it was completely different, simply by the way you thought about it!