Copyright © 2014 by Malik Shabazz
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This is one of my favourite chapters of my book and many others who have read it.
Chapter 6 – A Hard Heart
At some point in our lives, we have been hurt by someone who we loved so dearly or cared for deeply. We spent hours with them, treated them as if they were kings or queens, giving them everything on a plater, making them happy and smile. We would go out of our way and give them what they need, even if we were in the middle of something. There would be nothing in this world we wouldn’t do for that certain individual or individuals because they meant the world to us.
Along the way, something went wrong. We either fell apart or had differences that led us drifting apart and sometimes that is good. Other times, we would be stabbed in the back, taken advantage of and disposed as if we were never good enough for that individual no matter what we have done for them. Eventually, we look to blame ourselves for everything that has transpired. Truthfully, we are to blame because we allowed others to do as they please, whenever they pleased, just so they could get what they want, while we looked to be loved and accepted. It only turns disastrous and depressing, pushing us into a dark place blaming every single human being on the planet, as if they are all the same and each of them comes to do the same thing.
In that dark place, in that time of depression, we think over everything we have done for those individuals. We think how come they never treated us right? How come, they never loved us and admired us for what we did for them? It turns into memories being played every night and going to sleep with heavy thoughts and a heavy heart, crying our eyes out because we only wanted to be accepted, loved and recognized. When it didn’t come, we closed our heart to the entire world, while we used to wear it on our sleeve.
There was a point in our lives where we would smile through the pain no matter how bad it hurt but this time, it was different. The smile would disappear and sitting alone thinking of what transpired over the years made us feel bitter. Making us regret the years and time invested into those individuals who we did everything for. It tares us apart anytime we think of it and it gets us angry when we think of them or see them. Eventually this bitterness, this cold and dark place we reflected in, turns our hearts hard. We used to be sweet, kind, open, expressive, helpful but now we are reserved for only ourselves and everyone else is an enemy to us.
Having a hard heart will never do anything for us, except let it run through veins and into our daily actions, keeping us bitter and cold towards everyone who tries to get near us. We think everyone is the enemy and everyone is capable of harming us the same way, when this is not true at all. Just because others have taken advantage of your kindness, of your sweetness, of your expressiveness, does not mean others will have the intention to do the same.
There are so many people in the world who would LOVE to be catered by you, as you have catered to others, only for you to be accepted and loved, as you have always wanted to be by that one individual or those individuals in the past. This particular individual, will be open to you and will appreciate everything you are doing for them.
If you keep your heart hard, you lose out on your naturalness, your uniqueness, which has been given to you by Allah SWT. A hard heart only affects one person and that is you because instead of learning a lesson from those who have taken advantage of you, you instead closed yourself off, put a seal on your heart and threw the keys away. What good has that done you? You may think, it is a brilliant idea because no one else will be able to harm you but what about those who don’t actually want to harm you? How many people are you turning away due to your hard heart? How many people have walked into your life thus far that wanted to see the person you once were, only in return to get the person you are not because of your hard heart? Look at how much pain you’ve caused yourself.
It is time to let go and make better choices with your life and let your heart ease itself back into who you once were but this time, into a stronger version of yourself. Let yourself be free of heartache and let your heart open itself and uncage itself from the harsh memories you reflect on. Break the hardness of your heart with the remembrance of Allah and no one else.
Allah SWT says in the Qur’an:
“Verily, only in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest.” [13:28]
There is no place in the world like in sujood (prostration) where you’ll find ease and relaxation. Where your heart will feel content about the act of worship you’ve done. Whatever hardness has covered your heart, speak to Allah SWT about it in sujood and let your tears flow and ask Him to guide you to an understanding about the lessons you were supposed to learn from what happened.
After you’ve done that, let your life take a better journey from the bitterness it went through and allow yourself to recover and look at life optimistically. Look at everyone as if you’ve never met them and each individual has something to teach you and not something to take away from you. A hard heart is not something you want to live with but a pure heart, a warm heart, the one you once had and the one you will have again, is the one you always want to keep.
We all make choices in our life, so make a choice to keep your heart clean and never with any hardness attached to it. If others don’t receive you for your acts of kindness and appreciation, look at is as Allah SWT knowing you’ve done all that and reward lies with him and nobody else. There are no rewards in the world like the ones given to you by the creator of the heavens and the earth. Never do anything to seek appreciation or praise or even acknowledgment but look to do things for the sake of Allah SWT as the rewards and blessings are with Him.
Eventually, in due time, there will be an individual who walks into your life who is able to appreciate your sweetness, your kindness, your loving and unique nature and will cherish it for the rest of their lives. Until then, let your heart be free of the hardness that has covered it and let you be you again, being the strongest version of yourself from the lessons you’ve learned. Don’t let life and its difficulties along with the people in it, to make your heart hard but let it be as it is meant to be and be who you always were. Keep it soft and never let the worlds trials and hardships change that into a hard one nor let people who never understood your uniqueness and your purpose take advantage of it.
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