Hajj: Helping us to see the glass half-full
"Surely with hardship comes ease." - Qur'an (94:6)
Last week we reflected upon the Hajj being a multi-sensory experience and a stepping stone towards developing the skill of 3D gratitude. This week we turn to the pilgrimage again as students looking towards a teacher. The subject this time is hardship, specifically dealing with adversity.
The origin story of the Hajj, featuring Prophets Ibrahim and Ismail and Lady Hajra is steeped in ordeals and breath-taking challenges. It's no surprise that so many of the rituals hark back to these three individuals. Their behaviour in tough times provides plenty of practical wisdom and inspiration.
The modern Hajj experience, although far removed from that of earlier eras with its mod cons and air conditioning is nonetheless still a physically and mentally challenging one. There's a real sense of uncertainty and unpredictability. Perhaps the physical struggle was anticipated but navigating the personality types you journeyed with caught you by surprise?
Yet people reliably emerge, men with their heads shaved, feeling reborn. An ordeal for some is a purification for others.
There appear to be 2 keys to seeing the glass half-full as opposed to half-empty:
1) Look for the beauty in everything.
"What is gratitude? Imagining the rose from the thorn." - Attar
2) An event is neither good nor bad but our perception makes it so.
"Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom." - Victor FranklTry it out. Close your eyes. Recall a recent difficult moment. A conversation that could have gone better; a leak in the roof; an unsuccessful job interview. Was the event itself bad or our perception of it? We are always under the watchful glance of the Infinitely Kind & Compassionate.