Concerns, Worries, Yemen

22 May

I caught up with a lovely friend this week over tea and cake. I asked the lady if the Mille-feuille was nice, she said it was her favourite cake of them so of course I was obliged to get it. It wasn’t great but every time she came over I had to eat it. It was so sweet my teeth hurt and I had to eat it. My indecisiveness will one day kill me. One day I will ask someone, because I am this indecisive, whether I should buy the nice new luxury car or the faulty car with oil running out the back and one tyre missing, even though they are the same price. He will say “oh I’d go for faulty car if I were you” and then I will be obliged to go for the faulty car and this is how my indecisiveness may literally kill me.

This is one of minor worries. I have bigger worries too, of course, like anyone, there are lots of personal things that I am concerned about and thus spoke to my friend about (I am NOT good company). But everyone time I’d end a thought, I’d return to the thought of Yemenis and of my family who are going through much much much worse. I felt, still do, this immense guilt, this feeling I was being incredibly self-indulgent in my own concerns, when they had whole other scales of worry, whole other realms of dark possibilities. And of course, their worries are my worries. It is an endless pit in my stomach and heart dropping state that I return to. But really, it cannot be the same, I feel embarrassed even at the implication that it is similar.

My friend articulated so wisely just how lucky we were that these were our worries. And I had always thought that this should mean I should ignore them. Focus on the important. No doubt to put them into perspective is important, but to dismiss our own concerns and personal troubles too far is not, I think, the way to go either. Our personal troubles is one of our ways of returning to God, of building our relationship and of seeking His help. I don’t want to lose that, I want to build on that.

Let’s conclude: I know that I should count my blessings and be grateful. Now I know what it means to count my worries and feel sheer gratefulness for them too. Not only because they are small, but because they exist. They are part of the human experience-we need them and yet I know I can only say this because they are small. It feels like a whole new understanding has opened up for me that complements, and is not in opposition to, everything else that is going on. So Alhamdilah, Jummah Mubaraka and may our duas be accepted in these last few hours of Friday. May Allah alleviate your worries and concerns, whether small or big.

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