After being diagnosed with acute inflammation in my vocal cords and being ordered not to speak for three weeks as a start, I felt completely lost. As an educator, I enjoyed teaching. My classroom was my platform where I felt successful, fulfilled and happy. A problem in my vocal cords would risk me my job, and what would I do if I will no longer be able to teach, I thought. I felt depressed and angry, life turned black and I wished to die. Stupid I was, you might think, and that’s what I discovered later. It’s in the confusion that we start to answer the big questions. It’s true I was on top of my life when I got sick, but I was on top of a hill not a mountain. And as I read ‘Life favours the devoted’. I was devoted, in both my personal life and my professional one. And that’s the way life favoured me. It attacked me severely in my most precious asset – as I thought back then – to force me to feel lost. And, to start all over again, to answer the big questions of who am I, what am I doing in this life, what’s my life purpose, what will happen to my little family if I turn mute forever, what are the possible ways to socially contribute if I turn permanently mute. This feeling of being lost wasn’t a curse as I thought back then. It made me pause and evaluate the 35 years I had lived.
The lesson I learned was that whenever life embraces me with a hardship I better pause, smile and feel excited, not angry, believing that the best is yet to come. To have faith that the pain won’t last forever and that new horizons are awaiting for me.
When life knocks you down, comprehend that it’s time to pause and reflect.
To read the intro to this series of articles visit: https://imanrefaat.com/2016/08/16/how-turning-mute-made-me-better-not-bitter