Dealing With Difficulties: Learning From Sheha
It took some time for Sheha to adjust to being completely blind. She knew she could no longer be a scientist, but that didn’t mean she had given up on life. There was something else that she discovered she could do.
By Sheesha Hee!
Sheha was a cheerful and intelligent girl. She was so good at her studies that when she graduated from college she won a scholarship to go to England to do a Ph.D.. She loved chemistry and wanted to become a scientist.
It took Sheha some time to get used to life in London, but soon she was enjoying it. She learnt many new and good things there. Her professor was very happy with her, as were her colleagues.
But in a few months’ time, things began to change. Sheha began to have trouble seeing things: they appeared increasingly blurred to her. She had several appointments with eye-specialists, but at last she was told that nothing could be done. She was suffering from an incurable condition and would soon lose her vision completely.
Turning to God
When the doctor said this to her, Sheha was, as you can expect, shocked. Imagine being told that you’ll soon turn blind and will be that way for the rest of her life! But that night, before she went to sleep, Sheha turned to God and said, “Lord, You brought me into this world and You know what is best for me. My eyes are Yours. You do with them as You wish.” (Sheha was blessed to be a prayerful girl, you see. Her devout parents had brought her up that way.)
Soon, the trouble with Sheha’s eyes became so acute that she had to give up her Ph.D. and return home. As you can imagine, Sheha’s parents were distraught, but Sheha didn’t cave in. Such was her faith in God and her conviction that whatever was happening to her was for her best that she didn’t lose hope, not even when, some months later, she could no longer see at all.
Becoming a Counsellor
It took some time for Sheha to adjust to being completely blind. She knew she could no longer be a scientist, but that didn’t mean she had given up on life. There was something else that she discovered she could do, and which was to give her great joy: she could become a counsellor!
A counsellor is a person who is trained to listen to people who come to her/him with their problems and help them deal with them. These days, when most people lead such (often unnecessarily) busy lives, they have no one willing to give them time to listen to their problems, and in a non-judgmental way. A counsellor is someone whom you can trust will patiently hear you and also help you negotiate your difficulties, without imposing his or her opinions on you. We’d all like someone like that to turn to once in a while, isn’t it? Well, that’s what Sheha decided she would become, now that she couldn’t become a scientist because of her eyes.
Transcend Your Sorrows
Sheha spent the next two years doing various courses to develop her counselling skills, after which she got a job as a counsellor at an NGO. She fell in love with her work at once! She found listening to people and helping them handle their challenges deeply satisfying. “Being a means to bring relief to others bring me great joy,”, she would say. “If you want to be happy, try to be a means to make others happy. A good way to transcend your own sorrows is to help someone else overcome his or hers,” she would explain. “It helps get the focus off you and your woes.”
People enjoy being in Sheha’s presence. They feel a deep sense of peace when they are with her. She can’t see her own smile, but she still retains her smiley face. People often ask her, “Sheha, how do you remain so cheerful despite what you’ve been through?” And in reply she says, “You must believe me when I say that blindness has actually been a blessing for me. Because my eyes can’t see, I can’t see the cruelty in the world. And then, it was because I turned blind that I decided to become a counsellor, through which I am able to be an instrument to bring joy to many others—which gives me great joy. If I hadn’t lost my sight, I’d probably now be a research scientist in some laboratory in England, making a lot of money no doubt, but only earning for myself and not being concerned about other people and their problems.”
When asked what keeps her going and her spirits alive, Sheha inevitably replies, “The Lord is my strength. Without God, I would have given up a very long time ago. Life is full of challenges, and although I don’t always practice it, I know that the only sensible thing to do if you want to retain your sanity is to give the challenges you face over to God to handle just as God wishes. ”
This story is inspired by a ‘real’ person who I have the good fortune of knowing.