She opens her wardrobe. Two dozen dresses— red, yellow, orange, pink, and you-name-it— are hanging there. After a cursory glance, she bangs the door shut.
“Mom, I have nothing to wear for the party,” she whines. “I’ve been begging you to take me shopping for ages— you never listen to me! What do I do now?”
He’s rummaging in the fridge for the fourth time. Pizza, chocolate, ice-cream, fruits, and juices are stuffed inside. He closes the door despondently and leaves the kitchen, saying, “There’s nothing much to eat in here. Let’s go to the café and get some decent food.”
She wakes up with the same feelings of depression and dread that she’s been experiencing every morning. Thoughts of suicide are again floating in her mind. She’s married to a handsome man and has two lovely kids, a home, and a car— everything most women would ask for. Apparently, life is perfect, but something is missing; she’s just not married to the man of her dreams.
He’s seventeen years old. He has an iPhone, Core I-7 Dell, and 1000 bucks monthly pocket money, but according to him his life sucks. He can’t focus on his textbook. He slams it shut and starts pacing the room as he thinks aloud: “If my friend can own a Jaguar, why the hell can’t I? Everything sucks.”
Do any of these scenarios sound familiar?
The Ingratitude Habit
As we grow up, we get tuned to be ungrateful, to be blind to the blessings in our lives. We focus all our energy and attention on looking for what’s lacking in our lives. This is really ironic, because the more we focus on scarcity, the more we tend to attract it.
How to Become a Black Hole of Despair
Research has proven that our thoughts and emotions emit powerful signals, and that these signals have the ability to attract signals of the same frequency! In other words, whenever you’re ungrateful or have negative, self-defeating thoughts (for example, I never seem to have enough of money, or I can never be healthy, or I’ll never find a practicing husband) or worry about issues beyond your control, you’re actually emitting energies that will attract similar energies. Ultimately, you’ll end up becoming a black hole of despair. All the worries, arguments, and frustration just lead to more of the same.
Want to try to attract more peace, joy, harmony, ease, and prosperity? Choose your thoughts consciously and carefully.
Open Secrets in the Quran
Today non-Muslim researchers have discovered these secrets in the name of natural laws, while these “open secrets” were given to us in the Quran 1400 years ago. Psychologists and philosophers have painstakingly conducted research and come up with new theories and ideas. All this “newly discovered” stuff was presented to us in the Quran in no uncertain terms. Allah (swt) promises us: If you are grateful, I’ll give you more.
And [remember] when your Lord proclaimed, ‘If you are grateful, I will surely increase you [in favor]; but if you deny, indeed, My punishment is severe.’ [Quran, 14:7]
This is a ready-made formula for attracting more of what you want in life.
Surah Fatihah: A Pillar’s Pillar
It is well-known that prayer, the important pillar of Islam, is incomplete without Surah Fatihah. Surah Fatihah begins with expressing our gratitude to our Lord for the countless blessings He has showered upon us.
Have you ever noticed that a lot of duas taught by the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) also start with the same expression of gratitude— alhamdulillah? The day starts with the supplication Alhmdulillahilazi ahyana… (All praise and thanks be to the one who gave us life.)
Allah (swt) wants you to start your day in a super-charged state, attracting ample happiness and abundance in life. The meal ends with the supplication Alhmdulillahizli at’amana wa sakana . . . (All praise and thanks be to the one who gave us food and drink). Why? Because He always wants you to have better food every time you eat. The same expression— alhamdulillah; it’s not a coincidence, is it?
Getting Back on Track
Gratitude is one of the quickest ways to regain our focus. When we feel stuck it means we’re giving too much attention to something that doesn’t really deserve it. Most so-called problems are usually mundane preoccupations and mental obsessions. We focus so much on one area to the exclusion of everything else that we create and thus magnify our problems.
Surprisingly, when we focus so much on what’s not working, we can’t even access the part of our brain that provides us with solutions. So, when something is not working, we should focus on what is working and say alhmdulillahi rabbil 3lameen aloud.
What do you think you’re doing by saying this? You’re freeing your mind from those thoughts that bog you down and reinforcing strong, positive beliefs that even if some areas are not working in life, others definitely are. In this way, you’re able to think in a quicker and better way to resolve what’s not working in life. Try it out!
It’s reported that some of the companions of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) were even grateful for the calamities they faced and presented their gratitude to Allah (swt) for not letting something worse befall them. Now that’s the attitude of gratitude!
Being grateful to Allah (swt) does wonders. When you’ll acknowledge His hand in your life, miracles will happen. You’ll be in the middle of a problem, not knowing what might happen next, and suddenly the solution will dawn upon you. You might be in dire need of money and someone might, for example, return to you an old loan that you completely forgot about. Or you might be missing your loved ones and they give you a call right then.
We usually ignore many things that are readily available to us and need a big reason to be grateful. Our family, friends, body, health, job, leisure time, education, food, wisdom, smiles, children, and even the painful lessons that life teaches us (and the list goes on) are huge blessings to be grateful for. If you don’t have the same feeling, just close your eyes and imagine one of these blessings vanishing from your life. How does that feel? This is exactly the reason you need to be thankful each day, every moment.
All of us need a bit of fine tuning, so below are some tools that I am sharing with you to enable you to be grateful to Him and let the magic unfold.
Essential Tools for a Grateful Life:
1). Make a list of twenty things you appreciate right now. Write alhamdullilah in front of every blessing. Make a list of the things you feel good about and why you’re grateful for that thing, situation, or person in your life. How did you feel doing this? Here’s the good news: you just increased your positive emissions and now you are actually able to attract more happiness, abundance, and prosperity in your life.
2). Start looking for everything you can be grateful for in life and start talking about it all the time no matter how insignificant it is. If you find a buck from your old shirt’s pocket, celebrate. Go around and tell everyone how grateful you are for that. That’s how you are actually tuning your mind to show gratitude for tiniest blessing in your life.
3). At least once a day, share a gratitude status on Facebook and Twitter (or whatever social media you use) and ask others what they are grateful for. Insha Allah, you’ll get ajar for your shukr and theirs too.
4). Try to seek the positive in every negative. Take out at least three good lessons from every painful experience and be grateful that life threw that situation at you so that you could learn.
Do share with us a list of some blessings in your life in the comments below.
Bela Khan is a student of Islam, a Muslim women empowerment coach, speaker, writer, and philanthropist. Her mission is, as she says, “to make every single woman reconnect with her Lord, refine her relationships, and get the money flow by inculcating an entrepreneurial mindset.” muslimwomenempowerment@gmail.