by Mortaza Lutfy
If you are like me, then you have spent the last year and half of the pandemic completely focused on self-improvement. Throughout the pandemic I have learned many lessons, and I would like to share some discoveries that have helped fulfill me greatly as I have matured in this time. Hopefully some of the anecdotes I will share are relatable in some form or another. Ultimately, it’s most important to note that I found a better version of myself because I was actively in search of that.
First of all, the core of my growth as an individual is ingrained in my religious connection and faith in God. I haven’t always been someone who was actively in search of ways to please God; however, I always wanted to be a “good person.” Furthermore, I haven’t always had an extremely confident personality. In the pandemic, I found myself getting deeper into religion and prayer, and it helped me come to one major realization. God loves all of us, and if I actively seek God’s guidance I will have it. I realized that as long as I am doing everything in my power physically, mentally, and spiritually to please God then I might be able to because God has given each and everyone of us the capacity to do so. This helped a lot with my confidence because I recognized that if I’m able to please God, then who am I to be unhappy with myself. I understand that I’m doing my best and that is all I can do.
To piggyback on the note of being internally happy with myself; I’ve learned to interpret happiness itself as a state of mind rather than a state of life. In my opinion, happiness is a choice that we have to actively make every single day. Plenty of people all over the world have so much stress and pain affecting their lives, but they choose to turn their attention towards the positive. I’ve found that in times of turmoil being grateful is a beautiful cure. Of course, some ailments may be beyond the scope of our minds; however, we don’t ever have to give in to them. I’ve realized that as long as we accept everything that life throws at us and tackle it head on we will always have a chance. We must tell ourselves that we love every minute of the experience, both good and bad.
Finally, I’ve realized with everything that has unfolded over the course of this pandemic that this life we live is a shared experience. A lot has been lost in this time; a lot has been learned. Some people have benefited from the suffering of others. Other people have struggled and toiled in order to help others. Regardless, each and every one of us is connected to one another. Whether it be that we are connected more loosely by a fine thread or by blood; we share this planet and should make every effort to make life easier for one another. In the words of the civil-rights activist, Malcolm X, “When “I” is replaced by “we,” even illness can become wellness.”