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Discipline Your Soul

You've just woke up. Are you irritable for no reason? Or do you feel weary for no reason? Or uneasy? Or does everything annoy you?

One may well find himself in such a negative state of mind from time to time, albeit unwillingly. One may be unwilling to communicate with the people around him, to cheer up, to be lively or even to leave home. 

A believer will make more use of his willpower at such times and quickly seek to escape that troublesome state of mind. One way of doing that is by reflecting on, and giving thanks for, the blessings bestowed upon one. One may give thanks for one’s feet that allow one to walk, the eyes that let one see, one’s home, family, the food one eats, the sky, the Sun and the very air one breathes. In short, one feels grateful to God for everything, and sincerely thanks Him for all the blessings He bestowed. One remembers all those people who have none of these things, who are starving to death, who beg for food or who lose their lives in war, and all those bleak thoughts suddenly depart.

For an unbeliever things are rather different and troublesome. An unbeliever who starts the day with a negative state of mind will be exceedingly irritable and sulky; he will complain about everything and be pleased by nothing. Since he is troubled, he will emit negativity all around him. He will have no solution to any problem, and criticizing everything will be the only thing he does. He will see none of the delights around him and will look at everything in a negative way.

In fact, the main problem with those people is their lack of love. A loveless life is a toxic one; it eats away the soul. A loveless life is full of ambitions, troubles and restlessness. A loveless person’s life is dominated by insecurity and selfishness. People who have not disciplined their souls, or curbed their lower selves, in other words, suffocate in this lovelessness.

God reveals but one criterion for curbing the lower self – sincerity. When a person forgets to be sincere, despondency and unease follow. He becomes incapable of speech. But a sincere person surrenders himself entirely to God; he loves God above all else and is happy and joyful at all times through the inner peace and joy he attains with his faith. Such a person is aware of the blessings bestowed upon him, frequently brings them to mind and expresses his gratitude to God at every available opportunity.

This world is a place for learning love. Every detail directs us towards love. The symmetry and harmony seen in a butterfly’s wing, the majesty of the mountains and oceans, the cute features of animals and the glorious colors in nature – all speak to us of love. There are so many details to reflect on in this world and they are all there so that we can know God, learn about His sublime attributes and love Him above all else. People’s responsibility is to be aware of all these details, to acquire the loftiest moral virtues by training their souls and to be worthy of entering God’s Heaven.

Love and beauty belong to God. Hearts can only be at ease when all that attention and love is directed to Him. Love is the light and color of life. The human soul can only be at ease with love. Without love, a person's soul dies, it withers and is ruined.

Believers give thanks to God even if they own nothing. That is because they never forget that this world is a temporary abode and that troubles are specially created tests which allows them to turn them to their advantage. They successfully complete the test in this world with their love of and submission to God, and attain Heaven with disciplined souls, never falling prey to the whisperings of satan. 

The Great Pyramid of Giza

Living an unaware life