To the tired soul
You are not your pain
“Do the people think that they will be left to say, ‘We believe’ and they will not be tried?” (Quran, 29:2)
I often wonder how many people throughout the world are gripped by depression, anxiety, and a variety of other mental illnesses. The number of people waiting in hospital wards to find out if their loved ones made it. The number of people constantly enslaved by their own thoughts.
Because there's a good chance you're one of them, I've decided to write this for you. I want you to know that when life gets tough, you are not alone. You have a support system all around you, whether you choose to acknowledge it or not.
To the tired soul,
I am not going to start this letter with the conventional “how are you?”, because I know how you are. I know that you’re hurting. I know that you are exhausted. I know that you want out. I know how much effort you put into hiding how you feel.
I know it's rough now. It feels like a never-ending cycle of happiness to sadness and back. You wake up everyday, feeling like the world is falling apart, progressively improve throughout the day, and then revert to your previous state. "It'll be okay," "life gets better," "Allah doesn’t burden a soul beyond its capacity," "life moves on and so should you" are all phrases you've heard from your loved ones. You know they're right, but you can't seem to feel the same way.
You feel you've used up all of your resources and are destined to handle everything on your own. You can see yourself deteriorating over time—losing enthusiasm, losing motivation, losing passion and losing the will to keep going. You are curious as to when the suffering will end. That smile that you plaster over your battered and weary soul—you’re exhausted.
Life is not a straight line, there are ups and downs. It is a series of twists and turns, hills and valleys, with both smooth-sailing and rough seas.
But here's the thing, you already know this. You've been through this all before, and you've grown so much since then. You know for a fact that once this passes, things can only get better.
So, if there comes a day -and oh we know there will be- when you just feel like hating yourself, your life, and the entire universe around you, kindly pause for a second and stay still. Take your time to reflect on the positive aspects of yourself (not only the negative aspects) and the things that make your life and who you are.
I hope you'll use the opportunity to examine past the layers of filth you've chosen to hide behind. I hope you'll realize the good in yourself that's lurking beneath the surface. And as you do this, keep in mind that you are deserving of kindness, love and respect.
It is not your responsibility to constantly be fine or to make others believe you are. Remember that masks hurt too, because they conceal the real you.
I know you doubt yourself more than you would like to admit but I want to remind you of the journey that has led you to this very point, and because you are still here, there is is no need for doubt.
YOU ARE NOT ONLY INTERESTING, BUT ORIGINAL, NOT ONLY GOOD ENOUGH, BUT EXCEPTIONAL—NOT JUST HERE, BUT HERE FOR A PURPOSE
You’re strong so I know you won’t stay sidetracked for too long and in the end, you’ll do what’s best for you. Keep holding on because better things and days are on the way. You will persevere and come out on the other side stronger than you’ve ever been before. You are loved. You are worth it. Never forget that.