I started to ask myself, Why did I have to create something new? Why didn’t I just join the Peace Corps? Or why didn’t I stay at GE?
I was having trouble sleeping, When the phone rang, I wouldn’t answer it because I didn’t want to confront the simple question “How’s it going?” I avoided certain friends because I knew they would ask about BwB.
I was reading Walk In Their Shoes for Jim Ziolkowski. In the words above, he was describing his fear of his big decision failure. He decided to leave everything around earlier, to just start working on BwB project. It was a huge risk, a route that only he took. A route that is not predesigned or with a clear destination. A route, that would take him to no where. After he started this, he started to realize the fear of getting to nothing. The fear of wrong choices and ending up no where is somehow the highest fear in our twenties.
In the beginning, he took the first step because he felt he can’t just stop himself from going for what his soul is calling him to. But once he is on the route, unlike many people thoughts, the road is not clear..it is never clear. He started to fear. I loved how Jim described his fears in a very sincere way.
Many people guess that those people who take different route are fearless. Yet, I bet that those who go for what they are meant for, fear most. In this chapter, Jim talked about that “Fear is useless, what is needed is trust”.
I usually got a lot of fears, yet I got huge trust. I don’t have enormous moves like Jim, may be. But I always have this moment of not wanting to hear “How’s it going?” at some point after the beginning. I usually don’t tell when I take a new route, to just get away from his question most. I always have this moment of closing my eyes, and thinking “Is it really worth it?”..”And even if it worth it, will you reach this? or you will just end no where”.
At those moments, I learned to say “لا حول ولا قوة إلا بالله”..”There is no strength or power except in God Almighty.”. It is crucial to remember that its not my power or strength that would get me anywhere. It is a moment of relief when you know you don’t need to handle this alone.
Sometimes, I wish those fears would stop sometimes, I miss that day I would lay down and just be fearless, and at rest. Then I realize this is exactly death. Through reading Quran and books before, I reached that fear is a good company. It is not lovable, it is not something I seek in the ever after life, but it is a must in Life. Only with those fears, we are moving until we reach that day of “On them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.”. I love how this verse is repeated, and it touched me with every single time. Sometimes, it pushes me to cry.
In Quran, Everyone will go through fear, but only believers will know how to handle such fear. Some fears are part of being in Life, it is part of Allah’s promises, something of fear.
وَلَنَبْلُوَنَّكُم بِشَيْءٍ مِّنَ الْخَوْفِ وَالْجُوعِ وَنَقْصٍ مِّنَ الْأَمْوَالِ وَالْأَنفُسِ وَالثَّمَرَاتِ ۗ وَبَشِّرِ الصَّابِرِينَ
And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give good tidings to the patient,
Surat Al-Baqarah (The Cow)- سورة البقرة
Believers turns fear into hope and mercy:
وَادْعُوهُ خَوْفًا وَطَمَعًا ۚ إِنَّ رَحْمَتَ اللَّهِ قَرِيبٌ مِّنَ الْمُحْسِنِينَ
And invoke Him in fear and aspiration. Indeed, the mercy of Allah is near to the doers of good.
Surat Al-‘A`rāf (The Heights)-سورة الأعراف
While those who don’t believe, panic and let their fear take all trust they might have had.
وإذا جاءهم أمر من الأمن أو الخوف أذاعوا به
And when there comes to them information about [public] security or fear, they spread it around.
Surat An-Nisā’ (The Women) – سورة النساء
فَإِذَا جَاءَ الْخَوْفُ رَأَيْتَهُمْ يَنظُرُونَ إِلَيْكَ تَدُورُ أَعْيُنُهُمْ كَالَّذِي يُغْشَىٰ عَلَيْهِ مِنَ الْمَوْتِ ۖ
And when fear comes, you see them looking at you, their eyes revolving like one being overcome by death.
Surat Al-‘Aĥzāb (The Combined Forces) – سورة الأحزاب
Believers connect their fears to their trust. They trust Allah, so their fears are turned into power:
قَالَ رَجُلَانِ مِنَ الَّذِينَ يَخَافُونَ أَنْعَمَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِمَا ادْخُلُوا عَلَيْهِمُ الْبَابَ فَإِذَا دَخَلْتُمُوهُ فَإِنَّكُمْ غَالِبُونَ ۚ وَعَلَى اللَّهِ فَتَوَكَّلُوا إِن كُنتُم مُّؤْمِنِينَ
Said two men from those who feared [to disobey] upon whom Allah had bestowed favor, “Enter upon them through the gate, for when you have entered it, you will be predominant. And upon Allah rely, if you should be believers.”
Surat Al-Mā’idah(The Table Spread) -سورة المائدة
Only those who feared could be full of courage to meet the enemies. Only those who feared, could seriously rely on Allah.
I keep reading other verses, that tell how believers where full of fear, this fear in Surat Ar-ra’d, the other one in surat Al-insan. How their fear, pushed them to give, to move, to walk the walk and to talk the talk!
How their fear was turned into trust. And from Allah’s blessing, that this fear is turned in the end of the road, to a very soft kind of feeling that make it all worth it. For sure, it is never forever, as fearless is not for this life, but it is a great blessing, that helps.
وَعَدَ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا مِنكُمْ وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ لَيَسْتَخْلِفَنَّهُمْ فِي الْأَرْضِ كَمَا اسْتَخْلَفَ الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِهِمْ وَلَيُمَكِّنَنَّ لَهُمْ دِينَهُمُ الَّذِي ارْتَضَىٰ لَهُمْ وَلَيُبَدِّلَنَّهُم مِّن بَعْدِ خَوْفِهِمْ أَمْنًا ۚ يَعْبُدُونَنِي لَا يُشْرِكُونَ بِي شَيْئًا ۚ وَمَن كَفَرَ بَعْدَ ذَٰلِكَ فَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْفَاسِقُونَ
Allah has promised those who have believed among you and done righteous deeds that He will surely grant them succession [to authority] upon the earth just as He granted it to those before them and that He will surely establish for them [therein] their religion which He has preferred for them and that He will surely substitute for them, after their fear, security, [for] they worship Me, not associating anything with Me. But whoever disbelieves after that – then those are the defiantly disobedient.
Surat An-Nūr – سورة النور
قالوا إنا كنا قبل في أهلنا مشفقين
They will say, “Indeed, we were previously among our people fearful
Surat Aţ-Ţūr (The Mount) – سورة الطور