When You Don’t Get What You Want

Shereeza Ibrahim. B.A.Psych, M.S.W, R.S.W.
Clinical Counsellor and Author

The riches that life has to offer is plenty, and wealth is everywhere. 

Here is the thing: 

Some of us spend time looking at those beside us, wishing we could have what others have.  We spend time feeling frustrated that although we work towards it, we don’t attain it.  We wonder why the next person gets to have that nice house or those beautiful children and family relationships or vacations, or seem to have no financial stress.  

We have to remember a few things. 

Firstly, there are different types of wealth, literal and figurative.  The wealth of material goods, money, beautiful life experiences, travel, family, social connection, success, popularity, health, time, knowledge/wisdom etc.  We must remind ourselves that we have some types of wealth and not others.  We must be grateful for that.  And those same types of wealth that we have, there are a lot others who may not have it and long for it.

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)  mentioned that “If Adam’s son had a valley full of gold, he would like to have two valleys (Bukhari).” 

There is nothing wrong with having goals, but it can be distressing to constantly focus on what we don’t have, and to look at the blessings of others.  Sometimes provisions like social connection, popularity, children and material wealth can be a test or place difficulties in our life.   It may lead to jealousy and envy.  We don’t know the struggles others go through.   It may look like they have convenience, but we don’t know what sacrifices and difficulty people went through to attain that car, or vacations, or family relations.  We are only seeing what is on the surface level.

Secondly, we need to be aware of simplifying what we see in others’ lives. Would you want that car or vacation if you knew it would lead to debt and difficulty keeping up with bills? Or if it created tension between other family members? 

Lastly, as Muslims, we must remember that if Allah intends something for us, He will provide it to us.  He gives all of us different blessings.  It is our duty to be grateful, and respect Allah’s wisdom in giving us what He has determined for us.  We try our best in life and work towards attaining comfort and joy, but it is our duty to always keep in mind that we can only have what Allah will allow us to have.  He is in control of all things.

Author Bio: Shereeza is a clinical counsellor and award-winning author, whom offers low- cost telephone counselling through GTA Wellness Consultation. She has been with the Islamic Institute of Toronto community for over 10 years and is now a regular contributor to the IIT Newsletter.