"Life Can Be Humbling If You Let It" by Ahmad Jooma

Ghazalla Hussain
20 December 2017
Slide 7
4 May 2018

*Life Can Be Humbling If You Let It*
On the journey of life, the lessons never stop. I’ve found myself reflecting on the beauty of the human experience.
From children, we grow and fall in love with happiness. We have a view of the World and ‘how it all is’.
Our wants and desires are the fuel and focus of our existence. We don’t even question possibility – we just go!
And inevitably, one day, someday, life shatters our dreams into a million pieces.
Our hands slip from the control of our proverbial vehicle in life and we go flying off the side of a mountain (metaphorically that is.. not literally, I hope!)
And as we sit huddled up in a dark corner of existence staring at the broken shards of our dreams we’re forced to reconcile ourselves and our dreams with the pain of existence – ‘reality’ – is happiness just a mirage?
This isn’t what I wanted. This isn’t how I imagined my life would be… where’s all the glitz, glamour and gold?
Many of us get stuck at this point – unequipped and new to the pain we feel hopeless – at loss.
“Why me?” – we question.
“I don’t deserve this” – we claim.
“Why doesn’t anyone help” – we accuse.
And inside of these feelings years of our life can slip by without resolution.
Life has pain built right into its structure: failures, illness, loss and death; it’s inherent.
Sadness gets us all. That’s obvious.
Over this past year, I’ve found a certain beauty unfolds when we accept this darkness – the dark side of life.
It begins with acceptance. It begins when we stop resisting pain in life and the darkness within ourselves.
Accepting that while there are over 7billion people on this planet – each of us must inherently walk our path alone. Sure… others may help but in the end, only we can overcome our battles and demons. Because only we can see what’s in our mind’s eye.
A good friend and mentor often reminds me – “when you’re frustrated, rejoice, because it means change is coming!”
I find we often seek to hide or ignore the darkness that exists in our lives or within ourselves and that only serves to prolong suffering.
Without this darkness or ‘friction’, there can be no progress. If there was no friction there would be no need for progress.
Nothing in what I’ve written is easy to achieve. Awareness and acceptance of who we really are and our journey can take a lifetime. I assume most of us live and die without ever reaching self-awareness.
But if and when you can honestly look at yourself and say this is me… this is my life… both the good and the bad… the light and the dark… then life can be a humbling experience. And at once a certain compassion develops for all other humans because we’re all going through this.
This year was the first time I truly saw and accepted that I can be a fucking arsehole. As much as I love for people to see me as wonderful and loving – cruelty, selfishness and arrogance also feature heavily in my personality.
Acceptance doesn’t excuse my behaviour or provide resolution for the people I hurt. Acceptance allows me to own it… gain peace and to be compassionate towards other people darkness and to learn from my life experiences. To mature and grow.
There is no end to this journey. The lessons in life never stop. It’s not a race and there is no winning.
I wish you all acceptance, peace and compassion in the New Year. 

Acceptance of who you really are and for your life’s journey – after all this is your life and all that matters is what you make of it.
Ahmad Jooma