How to Deal with Despair?

I don’t have an easy answer.
But, there is something that I found to be extremely helpful. It is the doa of Istikharah.
The doa of Istikarah is about choices. It is not just about marriage, as what a lot of people believe. It is about any important choices we make in our lives (certainly marriage is one of them).
In Istikharah, you ask Allah for guidance whether the decision you are about to make is the right one or not. Sometimes, you get what you hoped for and other times you don’t. When you do get what you want, you might say to yourself, “Alhamdulillah, Allah answered my prayer!”
But, when you don’t get what you wanted, are you as readily grateful as you would be if you do get it? Do you immediately say, “Alhamdulillah, Allah answered my prayer!”? Chances are, for a lot of people, that doesn’t happen.
When they don’t get what they wanted, they might feel like Allah is not answering them. That is why I highlighted the doa of Istikharah. In the doa, you will understand why you don’t get what you wanted and why Allah is not ignoring you.
In the doa, we first acknowledge that we don’t know and Allah is the All Knowing. That alone should put us in our place and understand that we don’t know whether what we want is good for us or not.
Then, we ask Allah to make the choice easy if it is good for us here and in the Hereafter. But, we don’t stop there. We continue by asking Allah to distance the choice away from us and to distance us from the choice.
So, if we don’t get what we wanted, it is because that was what we asked Allah. Allah’s rejection was His answer because we asked for it. In the doa, we asked for what’s good, not for what we want.
Plus, a doa is a request. Not a demand. We ask Allah to show us guidance. We don’t demand Allah to give us what we want. Because what we want may be bad for us in the future and we might regret wanting it in the first place.
Knowing that and understanding that, makes it easier to move on and grow beyond the despair.
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