This life is not home. Sometimes when you tire of going through difficult circumstances and against the grain and tire of fighting with your nafs you run the risk of falling into a dangerous thought pattern. Why? Why are we born to struggle against ourselves? Why do I have to perpetually feel religious guilt? Why am I always worried about my akhira? Why do I feel this weight on me when most of humanity does as they wish and there doesn’t appear to be any consequences? Why do we have to suffer? Why did Allah even create us?
The answer is that this is not home. We are only here for a time to be cleansed before we go home. Like a shower before entering a pool. Or like a dress code before being allowed to enter a function. Or like the extraction of iron ore. We are not in our final form of purity. We are not pure enough to be fit to enter eternal bliss. There are requirements for that. When we take the first step into Jannah, it will all make sense.
This is just the blast furnace, it is not meant to comfortable. Purification hurts.
The best strategy is not to lose focus and to get external help for what you are struggling with. I was speaking to a friend who advised me to ‘be an ally to yourself”, if you slip take the most compassionate response and the most compassionate means of undoing that disease. Purification of the heart by Hamza Yusuf is book we all know and can help us to make a self diagnosis. It also lists the spiritual tactics you can employ to undo each disease. However I also recommend spiritual counselling if you have the resources, to be used in conjunction as sometimes our diseases are so entrenched that it may take a professional to help you undo it.
Focus is key. The more you surround yourself with content and people that remind you you’re in a basin, the easier it will be to pass through this life quickly with the objective of a sound heart at the forefront of your mind.