Have you ever met anyone who is on a weight loss program? Have you ever put yourself on a weight loss program?, made a decision to exercise at least once a day? decided to wear the hijab?, resolved to reciting the Qur’an everyday?, made a mental note to be nicer to your boss and co workers?, decided to give away in charity as much as you can afford to? Have you ever made any important and life changing decision before? If you have, then you would be able to relate to this. If we are observant, we would realize that we didn’t just make any of these decisions off handedly, we would discover that something profound and wonderful came before we made our resolve. This ‘thing’ or this moment has been described in so many words or terms but the one that readily comes to my mind now is the word ‘epiphany’.
The word has a lot of meanings in the English dictionary, some of which I don’t care to enunciate. However, the one that suits this context of conversation is : ” a sudden, intuitive perception of or insight into the reality or essential meaning of something……..” This feeling is what usually comes before the decision to do something. You see, so many people may tell you that you are rapidly gaining weight, or that you are falling down that slippery slope of spiritual backslide, or that your attitude towards other people is really appalling, or maybe someone might confront your miserliness or whatever shortcomings you have; but, for most people, it just goes in one ear and comes out of the other. This might be because you are stubborn, proud, content with yourself or maybe you are sincerely elusive to any these problems. So, you continue with your life until you get that ‘light-bulb’ moment, that epiphany which might have been triggered by anything from a thought that ran through your head, to the realization that nothing in the life of this world is permanent or guaranteed; it could be anything! It is after this moment that you make that decision to cut back on sugar and large food portions, or make time out to recite your Qur’an everyday, or pick up the hijab and never take it off ever again.
But, like everything beautiful; that wonderful feeling of self empowerment, of assurance and certainty slowly begins to wane, you begin to lack steadfastness. Little by little, you find yourself slacking and losing momentum. Upon realizing this, you try to get back on track but it seems to be more difficult than it was when we started out on this journey, you find yourself stuck in a rut. In this situation, what I have found to be useful is asking myself the reason I embarked on this journey. I try to go back to my ‘A HA!’ moment, my ‘epiphany’. Doing this helps me get back on track and continue my journey. People sometimes say that in order to move forward you need to go back. I agree to going ‘back’ to the basics, and not back to the beginning of your journey.
What decision have you made lately? and do you remember the reason you made this decision?