Shifting Our Mindset to Embrace the Seasons of Our Lives
Aug 2, 2022
Noor Suleiman
staff writer
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Have you ever felt stuck in a season of life, left wondering if this is your new (and maybe permanent) normal? Like the life you see other people live, that you so badly wish for, is just maybe not written in the cards for you?
If you have, you’re not alone.
And most likely, when you’re left wondering this, you’re probably going through some deep hardship, unable to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Whether you’re sitting in a drawn out period of grief, experiencing financial hardships, or life has thrown you more curveballs than you think you can handle, you know that it can sometimes feel like this is just IT for you. You might resign yourself to this “lifeless” or super hard life, or you may be angry and resentful or a slew of other emotions; but when you’re in the middle of it, it’s really really really hard to see anything good or to believe that things will, Insha’Allah, get better.
And that’s okay. You’re human.
On the other hand, you may be in an okay place in life but feeling stuck. Like whatever choices you’ve made for your life, you’re in them forever. Like you’re just constantly sacrificing yourself for your family, and maybe your youth was your only time that you had for yourself. Maybe this is you. Maybe you’re a mom who sacrificed her career to raise her little ones, often looking at her friends and peers climbing the ladder that they often wish they were still on. Maybe you’ve made a specific career choice that you no longer find fulfilling, but on which you’ve spent so many years and time and money. Is this it for you?
But, I’m here to tell you two things:

1. This too shall pass.
2. Life has seasons.
Let me elaborate on each:
Image source: Pexels
This too shall pass.
Allah (S) tells us that this life (on earth) is but a glimpse of your existence. We know that eternity will be spent in the hereafter, not in this dunya. We know this. But what does that even mean?
It means that nothing is permanent. Not the good, not the bad, not the in between. It means that life will ebb and flow like a wave. There will be high points and low points; there will be storms and sunny days, but nothing is permanent. That alone can be a source of comfort when you’re in the thick of it. It will pass, Insha’Allah. It will pass. And also, Allah (S) promises us in the Quran, “Verily with hardship comes ease. Verily with hardship comes ease." [94:5-6]
This promise is repeated twice, for Allah (S) to remind us that there is ease, even in the midst of your hardship. One must only stop and look for it. It may not be the ease you imagined for yourself, or it may not come in a recognizable form, or it may not even happen in a timeline you asked for. But Allah (S) has promised us ease with our hardship in the way that is best for us.
Allah (S) also says in the Quran,
"No disaster strikes upon the earth or among yourselves except that it is in a register before We bring it into being - indeed that, for Allah , is easy ... "
" ... In order that you not despair over what has eluded you and not exult [in pride] over what He has given you. And Allah does not like everyone self-deluded and boastful."
Everything that is happening to you is written for you – and while the hard things can seem overwhelming, there is comfort in knowing there is a higher power at play and that there is wisdom behind it all, a promise that ease will come Allah’s (S) mercy, knowledge and wisdom are all encompassing. Hold on to God in these times of darkness; seek His mercy and ask Him for a way out, and Insha’Allah you will get it.
Image source: Shutterstock
Such is life. Do not be deluded by movies to think that the goal in life is to attain permanent ease and comfort and happiness. That’s a promise for jannah [heaven]. Rather the goal in life should be to find stability in our inner selves in our path to Allah (S). That, no matter the storm, our faith anchors us. We may be rocked but never broken to the point of no repair. We have Allah (S), and He’s got us.
The Prophet Muhammad (saw), said:
عَجَبًا لِأَمْرِ الْمُؤْمِنِ إِنَّ أَمْرَهُ كُلَّهُ خَيْرٌ وَلَيْسَ ذَاكَ لِأَحَدٍ إِلَّا لِلْمُؤْمِنِ إِنْ أَصَابَتْهُ سَرَّاءُ شَكَرَ فَكَانَ خَيْرًا لَهُ وَإِنْ أَصَابَتْهُ ضَرَّاءُ صَبَرَ فَكَانَ خَيْرًا لَهُ
Wondrous is the affair of the believer for there is good for him in every matter and this is not the case with anyone except the believer. If he is happy, then he thanks Allah and thus there is good for him, and if he is harmed, then he shows patience and thus there is good for him. [Sahih Muslim 2999]
Stability of our inner selves. Our faith remains steadfast, and in that, comes comfort and ease as you wait for the storm to pass, inshallah.
Life has seasons | chapters
As for this second statement – there are seasons of life. And the sooner you accept it, the sooner you’ll be able to let go of a lot of invisible guilt and baggage and put down the barriers you may have placed on yourself.
What do I mean?
When you read a nice long book, it has chapters, right? The plot doesn’t stay constant. The character evolves and with them, the story evolves as well. That’s a great metaphor for life. As life moves on, so do the chapters, and with that comes change. You’re supposed to change and evolve. You’re not supposed to be stuck in quicksand.
This means that the decisions you make for your life today does not necessarily define your entire story! If you make the really difficult choice to leave your career to stay at home and run your household and care for your little ones, that doesn’t mean you can never get back into it when the time is right again! I saw this a lot during the Haute Hijab Changemakers tour a couple years back – women often felt despair about their state after years of being homemakers – and often felt their aspirations were out of reach. They also felt bad about themselves, as if they were blaming themselves for being in that position.
Image source: Pexels
But – what if we shifted that mindset? What if we looked at it from a different perspective. What if you made that active decision for yourself for this chapter of your book. The next chapter, when the time is right for you and your family, you can absolutely change the story and evolve! It will look different for everyone, but the worst thing you can do for yourself is to feel stuck and torture yourself with self blame. Be proud of your decisions, and honor the role you held in each chapter of your life with the understanding that things shift and change.
This goes for anyone! Whether you’re feeling stuck in a career or feeling stuck in decisions you’ve made for your life, I encourage you to instead shift mindsets and appreciate each stage you’re in, even if it’s difficult. Timing is everything. And also, make du’a and ask Allah (S) to grant you the best in each chapter of your life!!
So, as you move through the different seasons or chapters of your life, do so with intentionality. Lean into the decisions you’re making and make the best of them, because the next season or chapter for you may hold something entirely different! You can absolutely wear many different hats in your life.
At the end of the day, for however long we live on this earth, one thing is true: Nothing is permanent. We are but visitors passing through, making the most of our time here on earth as servants of Allah (S) by honoring the different roles He chose for us to have. May you get the best of what this life and the next has to offer, even in the midst of your good days and bad days, Insha’Allah!
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