Ayesha (ra) said that the Prophet (pbuh) used to pray at night until his feet would swell. She asked, “Why do you do this, O Messenger of God, when God has forgiven your past and future sins?” The Prophet replied, “Should I not be a grateful servant (Of God)?”
(Sahih Bukhari Volume 8, Book 76, Number 478)
A few weeks ago I restarted a diet in which I cut out sugar and white flour. I did this because I know that I come down with colds more often when I eat sugar and white flour. I realized that these foods drained me of energy as well as immune system strength. So when I began this diet, I adopted the attitude that I had a health weakness. My health weakness was that sugar and white flour affect my body negatively. So I saw myself as weak, and my story was that I had to be a lifelong sufferer from a health weakness.
Well, that diet lasted for a few weeks, and then I just gave up, due to the wide availability of very tasty foods that contain sugar and white flour. 🙂 Then I came down with a bad flu, and knew that I had to go back on this diet.
This time, Allah (swt) helped me to see that my story (how I explained my choice of this diet) is not helping me. My first story was that I have a health weakness; I am a victim to my weakness of digesting sugar and white flour. So it was a story of being a victim and having little control. Allah (swt) helped me to change my story. Now, I am avoiding sugar and white flour, but for a different reason. I am avoiding these foods because I choose to take care of my health. I choose to make choices that give me strength and good health.
Now, my story is that of a victor, not a victim. I have the choice to choose healthy foods (fruits instead of cakes; raw vegetables sprinkled with salt instead of chips). I am still following the same diet, yet I feel stronger and more in control of my life. I am not a victim to the unfair world of sugar and flour; I am a victor who chooses to eat healthy.
Your story affects your energy, and your energy affects your life. Your energy is simply the feeling you put out in the world.
As we see in the lovely hadith above, our Prophet (pbuh)’s energy was that of thankfulness. He did not pray out of fear or wanting reward, he prayed out of pure gratitude and joy.
How is your story affecting your life?