The ultimate relaxation is that which comes from within. For the achievers, the successful ones, relaxation is something they reward themselves with, when they have accomplished what they were aiming for. The farmer works relentlessly, and when the crops are harvested, he relaxes to prepare himself for the next season. It is the same with fishermen, athletes, business people and all the high fliers. They work hard and once they win: achieve the good catch, the gold medal or the profits, they relax to consolidate energy for the next round. Relaxing comes after achievement.
Now let us examine what relaxing means to the young people and the lost ones. They continue stubbornly and arrogantly on the same track, but they are running without focus or goal. They get tired and frustrated; and once burnt out, they cry out for relaxation. For them, relaxation is another form of “time out” to ready themselves for another rotation of a lunatic lifestyle, and they return to the same stressful cycle of wearing multiple faces. This is not relaxing, it is just a short term means of blocking out reality!
Similarly when a person cannot handle a situation, he goes to a bar, believing that he is relaxing when the truth is that he is merely avoiding responsibility for the time being. It is the same with drugs, music, clubbing, shopping and vacations – these are just temporary highs if one reverts to the same style of life after the experience. This is not relaxation!
High achievers take a break between one success to another to prepare themselves for the following sequence of what they have to attain. They relax with the intention of learning from the past, to analyze previous events, and to learn from their mistakes or wrong turns. Unwinding for them is a reflection, a way of harnessing strength and decreasing their weaknesses.
Let each of us examine ourselves.
Do you want to relax to grow?
Do you want to relax to gain vision?
To gather strength?
Do you want to relax to start a new chapter in life?
Do you want to relax to focus on your journey?
Do you want to relax to utilize your ability and your time to achieve a goal which can cause the success for you?
It is a very precarious point, for a lot of people have fallen into the trap of “relaxing” and emerging from it more pressured and exhausted than before. Please don’t take this wrongly. My intention is to make you alert, serious about the severity and importance of making a change with strength, power and determination. It is not to discourage. If you are seeking escape, and you wear three or four different faces, you do not want to capture reality and you have no value to yourself, you will never be able to relax.
You have to Disengage
In life, we will always be placed in different struggles and we go through things we like and dislike.
The first step is to let go of whatever is weighing you down to your environment. For example, a massage has prerequisites. You have to discard your everyday clothes, and wear whatever attire they provide you. Sometimes you are immersed in a bath or a steam room, and often the massage takes place in a darkened room. The main concept is to disengage you from the outside world.
Similarly, for yoga or meditation, you are placed in a secluded and tranquil environment, with no interruptions. Even mobile phones are banned. This is to help you to achieve the relaxation that can cause you to have clarity of vision, stability and balance, physically and emotionally.
There are plenty of similar examples, with one common element of understanding at the core. To achieve relaxation, you have to let go physically, emotionally and psychologically. You have to shed the outside world. For example, if you want to take a shower, you cannot do it with your dirty clothes on. You have to peel off the outer layer first.
This is why when people reach a level of severe stress or suffer anxiety attacks, doctors sometimes administer dosages of tranquilisers or relaxants to induce a deep sleep for a long period. This is the forced relaxation, to constrain the person, meaning to stop his brain from overloading itself and to allow the person to disassociate from the surroundings.
In chronic cases, where the intense situation is repeated over and over again and things get out of control, some people have to be institutionalised or placed in rehabilitation for months.They are put under expert supervision,which strictly monitors their diet and environment. A common feature of such centres is that any contact with the outside world, even visitors, is prohibited. This environment allows them to be free to find who they are and capture themselves.
Now let us examine something much higher. When the Creator prepared a man to be a Prophet or Messenger, He put them in a situation of ultimate seclusion, in a mountain, desert or some other isolated spot for some time. When they were spiritually ready, having cleansed themselves of their daily attachments and problems and connected their hearts to Him, He revealed His message and their mission to them.
Stripping away the Layers – Finding a Confidante
If you meet someone and he tells you that you might be very ill - a heart problem, or cancer, or you might lose a leg or arm, do you take it lightly, or you keep searching for the best doctor for a second opinion? Are you determined to find a doctor who can cure you in time before it is too late? What makes you look for the doctor in the first place? It is the belief you need to find a cure and be healthy as soon as possible in order to function properly in life.
Similarly, the first stage of healing and relaxing is to label your condition as urgent.
This brings us to the second element of escaping the cycle, which is to have the right tutor, mentor or doctor (we will refer to this person as your confidante), who will be close to you, examine the way you behave and talk. The confidante must be an impartial, wise and trusted person, with whom you are ready to share your innermost thoughts and problems: what is going on, what you are looking for, your weak points and your strengths. The right confidante can make you understand what the issue is and who you really are - something you sometimes cannot figure out by yourself. After that, he will prescribe the sequence of how to capture yourself, rebuild your strength, focus your resources, mobilise your ability and how rise above the conditions and the environment.
The more you are able to share with your confidante and open up with honesty, the more he can help you to really analyse and find yourself.
For instance, when you consult the doctor, either you know exactly what your problem is, or you describe your symptoms. He will prescribe the medication accordingly after he examines you and diagnoses the root of the problems. However, you have to reveal where the infection is, even if it is private or shameful, in order for him to help you. Similarly, in the journey of iman, if you know what your dilemma is and describe it accurately to the right confidante.
If you are not sure, you must, and I repeat you must, be transparent, straightforward and honest, and scrape the outer layers away and expose what is inside. Even if you can’t do it before a confidante, do it before yourself. Don’t be concerned about how ugly you think you are inside, because everything has a cure. Otherwise, no one can help you if you keep giving the different faces or conceal what is really going on. The more you reveal and admit your issues, even if only to yourself, the more you share and realise the truth of what is taking place. It is then that your confidante can prescribe the right healing for you, not for the masks that you show others. It is only then that you can help yourself.
However, if you consult a person who adopts the same attitude of pretending, deceiving and having many faces, you will never benefit from this consultation. Such a confidante will never give you the real cure.
If you are still in denial, playing the same game and hiding behind different personalities – you will never achieve relaxation or benefit yourself. Anything you do will provide a temporary relief, but you will go back to the same pattern. In medicine, when you provide the wrong symptoms, the doctor will give the wrong diagnosis. You will never be cured. It is similar for a journey of iman.
You might be wondering, not everyone has the luxury of having such a trusted or wise person in their lives. The answer is very simple.