Why did God give me this hardship? Why in this game of life was I given such hard tests? Am I being punished? Why me?! WHY? WHY? WHY?
Some of you may recognize these as internal questions you secretly ask yourself. When the traumatic event occurred that has now resulted in PTSD, perhaps you said, “Why am I being put through this, did I do something wrong?”
As the depression or anxiety grew in intensity, perhaps you asked, “Why did God give ME this test?”
Our sense of self-worth can nosedive when this is the perspective we take during trials in life. A blame-game of sorts to find an explanation.
When hardships strike and our resolves are being tested, this is when coping skills become crucial and having a grateful perspective centered around your faith/spirituality will build your strength.
It is not stress or hardships that determine our quality of life and happiness, it is how we manage our stress and hardships that determine our quality of life.
Why Am I Being Tested?
This is a big question with multiple possible answers, but one simple answer can always be given. This is your struggle and it has purpose.
In the Islamic faith we call a struggle a jihad. It could mean we struggle against our own selves with addiction or we struggle to be more self-aware of a personality disorder while striving to better our behavior. Anything can be your struggle in life and struggles are not necessarily bad. This is where your perspective comes into play.
These life struggles and hardships can be thought of like blacksmithing. The intense heat used in this skill can be dangerous and hurt us, yet what happens when the metal is heated up and pounded? It becomes stronger, it becomes worth more, it is molded even better than before.
The struggles put in front of us are meant to strengthen us, reveal our true self, and if we allow it, they can build us up even stronger than before. Your struggle can be your doorway to deeper spirituality.
Your struggle was designed for you and no matter how difficult, one must always persevere with patience. God will not overwhelm us with more than we can handle.
Change Your Perspective
During our moments of hardship, if we alter our thoughts/beliefs our emotions will change in turn, and this directly impacts our behaviors. This cycle continues as our behaviors will impact our emotions and thoughts.
Instead of questioning why and swimming in a lake of self-pity (which helps no one), think of your hardships as challenges that are meant to help you – whether in this world or the next. See your jihads as opportunities for growth and self-reflection while becoming stronger in your faith. Give praise to God or whatever your spirituality aligns with, and sincerely feel THANKFUL for your tests. This type of perspective will yield much better results than one that focuses on “why me” and is not solution oriented.
Seek solace in prayer and reflecting upon your own faith, instead of questioning your faith or filling your void in negative ways. Your spirituality is a source of light and strength during tests, these struggles are a gift for our spirituality in that they often push us to look deeper.
Our struggles are blessings in disguise, meant to harden our resolve, strengthen our faith and enable us to grow. In those moments when we embody a perspective backed by faith, we are showing our true strength and colors. Instead of saying “why me” we can say “Thank You God for This Opportunity!”
Tell us about your struggles.