So it is one of those days. You are tired, your spouse is exhausted. The boss has been a pain, the children are about to devour each other. Doors have slammed. Food has burned. There is an inexplicable sticky patch in your kitchen from some mystery, sugary substance that seems to have traveled all over the house and no one will admit they spilled anything! The frowns are etched in the faces and the air is electric. One false word, one careless move, and the storm clouds of anger and frustration will erupt and nasty, ugly, ungrateful words will pour forth that everyone will regret for years to come. The logical, ‘religious’ part of your brain is exhausted and has suspended all operation and you are simply seething with rage and resentment. You know what I am talking about?
This advice is for that time:
- Brace yourself for impact. Everyone else is about to unload the burden of their day upon you. They are under the illusion that you have spent the day drinking tea on the recliner. You are under the impression that they have spent the entire day at their amazing stress free job. The reality is you cannot truly put yourself in anyone’s shoes, whether it is your spouse or your kids. Only you know that you have no strength to take on more.
- JUST DUCK – When the words come avoid taking the bait and responding in kind, “I had a terrible day too you know!” Than it will become a competition in ingratitude. You will relate your depressing story of the day with some embellishment and than they will respond with some exaggeration and both will feel worse. Even when one side acts with restraint, negativity cannot find a breeding ground and gradually dissipates.
- Listen sympathetically: they are not upset with you personally. They simply need to vent.
- You might say, “I can’t. Why should I have to listen? Who do I tell the state of my heart?” Share the state of your heart with the only Being who can really understand. If you tell people you run the risk of being misunderstood. You might be looking for a sympathetic ear and you might get a cold shoulder and end up feeling worse than when you opened your mouth.
- It will not be easy so imagine your house in Jannah, the rivers of Paradise and the layered shades of its trees because the reward for patience is Paradise.
- If you follow this process inshallah in a few minutes (or hours) everyone will relax and you can relax as well
- Thank Allah for diffusing the situatuin
- If you fail and erupt, don’t dwell on it. We are all human and fallible. Try again next time.
The one who seeks sabr (patience) will be granted sabr:
Abu Sa’id Al-Khudri (May Allah be pleased with him) reported that:
Certain people of the Ansar asked the Messenger of Allah (saws) and he gave them; then they again asked him and he gave them until all what he possessed was exhausted. Then the Prophet (saws) said, “Whatever wealth I have, I will not withhold from you. Whosoever would be chaste and modest; Allah will keep him chaste and modest and whosoever would seek self-sufficiency, Allah will make him self-sufficient; and whosoever would be patient, Allah will give him patience, and no one is granted a gift better and more comprehensive than patience.”
May Allah grant us the gift of patience and fill our homes with harmony and contentment. If you have any suggestions please add them as comments. If my method sounds too ‘goody-goody’ you are welcome to criticize as well 🙂