When the world gives you so many reasons to give up, it’s easy to lose hope.
It would be like when one peeks through a window of an empty, dark room and would see nothing but the darkness that is associated with the room and not the shaft – as subtle as it may be – of light that enters through the window from the outside. As a human being, it is natural to conclude a conflict based on what we see and how we perceive it to be. It is because our perspectives are so limited and tend to be one-sided that we would argue we have the best solution to alleviate the concurrent problems.
And when you lose hope, it feels like our minds are imprisoned into this one continuous loop of bleakness despite our attempt to get out of it. When you lose hope, it is also like seeing the world with one eye when you have been blessed with two. It is dismissing everything that you have been blessed with and your problems become magnified – sometimes even bigger than they actually are.
And people have reacted differently when they lose hope. We get depressed and sad when we lose hope, which is a normal kind of reaction.
On the other side of the spectrum, people become angry when they lose hope. They blame it on everything around them without seeing the hikmah (wisdom) behind it – the only see the surface and not beyond. Some people would hate and spur the words of foul, mindless hatred without considering what it feels like to be in the victims’ shoes. At an extreme extent, people would kill. But even the departure of one soul from this world would not stop them from doing even more. It is a selfish kind of hopelessness.
It feels like these events that have led us to hopelessness are endless and now it has become routine to see some parts of the world falling apart. But we need to sustain our hope.
When there is hope – no matter how little and insignificant it may be – everything would start to add up. We might grieve and feel for those who suffer, but we don’t just lose hope.
Hope isn’t like how expectations are when they are not met; one would feel disappointed and broken by it. It looks like the sunlight that would gleam through the trees in a lush forest and would still reach the animals living on the forest floors, even on a minuscule scale. It is when the rain would still fall after a long drought to nourish and rejuvenate the soils.
Hope smells like a warm, “fresh-from-the-oven” home-cooked meal that you have been looking forward to, after a long day at work or school. It may not be your mother’s cooking or the best homemade dish you’ve ever tasted, but it still fulfills you.
When you’re on the brink of giving up on life, there is a force inside you – a kind of voice – that would pull you up from staying in bed for too long or that would stop you from hurting yourself. It is seeing the problem that you are having beyond what you can comprehend. It is when we as ordinary human beings receive the enlightenment of what it means to be alive.
And hope to a believer is tawakkul (consciousness of God). It gives you the sense of security no matter how deep in the trench you’ve fallen into. Hope lies within our iman (faith) in our hearts that is explained so beautifully in the verse below.
“Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth. The example of His light is like a niche within which is a lamp, the lamp is within glass, the glass as if it were a pearly [white] star lit from [the oil of] a blessed olive tree, neither of the east nor of the west, whose oil would almost glow even if untouched by fire. Light upon light. Allah guides to His light whom He wills. And Allah presents examples for the people, and Allah is Knowing of all things.” [Surah An-Nur: 35]
Allah gives light to those He wills.
Hope is when you think about the fact that there is more to this world than just this world. It is the belief in the hereafter when justice is completely served and the decree of Allah that everything had happened for a reason. It is beyond something that is our logic and human perspectives can reason with. We must have a sense of faith, in something more than we can see with our physical limited eyes.
When it is easy to lose hope, stop trying to reason with it when you can’t and try to find a way to sustain it. And one of the ways is to sustain that faith in you.