Filling the void

Bismillahi ir-rahman ir-rahim – In the name of Allah, most gracious, most merciful

Yesterday I was thinking about the role footy (aussie rules) used to play in my life.  I should probably point out that as a teen my life was quite bland.  It pretty much consisted of two things, school and footy.  Although I had friends at school, I didn’t have any friends who I saw regularly outside of school.  So that left footy as pretty much the sole source of real enjoyment and entertainment, and as such I had what could be described as an unhealthy attachment to it.

It would have been more understandable had I been one of the participants, but to attach that level of meaning to something that you aren’t really involved in seems a little immature to say the least.  Football was my life. From the moment a match ended I would look forward to the next week.  The week would be filled with excitement and anxiety in anticipation of the weekends match.  And then my mood, my happiness, in fact my whole frame of mind would be based on the outcome of that match.  If we won I would be on a high, I’d be happy the whole week.  However, on the occasions where we would lose, and there were many, I would be almost depressed – down and dejected.  I know if one of my children were to place such great importance on a mere sporting game I’d be quite horrified.  However, as it were, I believe it may have served an important purpose in my life – it filled a void.

Nobody can say how I would have been at that stage of my life without football, the fact is I had this in my life, and it could never have been any other way.  But it made me wonder about how teens, or anybody else for that matter, feel without anything to keep them occupied.  For me football was important, it gave me a lot.  It gave me joy and ecstacy, which of course was coupled with bitter disappointment.  It gave me something to occupy my time and thoughts with, something to look forward to, something to hope for. Although in the bigger scheme of things it meant nothing, I believe that for me it filled a void.

It wasnt until my life was full in other ways that I stopped attending the matches.  My growing faith, my husband, my children, all filling my life in ways that football never could.

Yesterday as I was reflecting on how much I have changed since then. I was wondering if this was one of the modern day problems that lead to unprecedented rates of depression and suicide. No I’m not suggesting everybody attend AFL matches, but I’m wondering if the problem is that people have a void – an emptiness in their lives.   Nothing that keeps them going, nothing to look forward to, and nothing to hope for.  In the past people have found meaning in their faith, the central role of their families and extended families, and their communities.  However, I wonder if modern societies characterised by a lack of faith, disjointed families, and individualistic lifestyles have created a void that many people have been unable to fill.  This, I believe, is the problem with ideas and movements originating from humankind, things may sound great in theory, and may look good to begin with, but in the end we don’t really know what makes us tick like our creator. It reaffirms once again in my mind the need to follow the guidance of He who created us.

I still like to watch footy.  I love seeing Collingwood win, but when we lose I just turn off the tv and forget about it.


2 responses to “Filling the void

  1. as salamu ‘alaykum again

    You can see the official statistics for 2005 for the suicide rate in the US here:

    It’s heartbreaking to think that people, our youth especially, are killing themselves because modern time has seriously made everything about ‘things’ and nothing that has real meaning. Before I took my shahada I was part of the group that didn’t want to have to do anything with this world anymore, but I’ll spare the details of that. My hideaway, what gave my life meaning, was music. Imagine me when I found out the opinions in our deen, subhana’allah. I used to sing, dance, play instruments, and that was where I vented. I used to write songs and always thought I could go big with those because they were just spills from my heart. I look back and I sometimes don’t even feel that it was really me because of how different things are now, but it was me. I had to find a way to remove the emptiness that I had. Unfortunately, much of our youth is finding comfort in things that are awful for the spiritual being (fornication, alcohol, drugs). It’s very disturbing, especially when we think about the future for our children, subhana’allah.

    Like you, though, I have found more mearning now that I am a mother, a wife, but it is very easy to lose ourselves in these roles that we play as well. I’ve had moments where I wasn’t satisfied with being a wife or a mother, staying home and getting to relax, etc., and I realized that during those moments I was losing focus of my real purpose in this dunya – Allah.

    Khairan, may Allah help us not forget why we are here. Ameen

    Another thought-provoking post, sis. Thank you so much for sharing with us.

  2. Jazakallah kheir for the comment (sorry I took so long to respond). I know sometimes as a mother/wife it gets a bit tiresome, but we have to remind ourselves why we’re doing it, and i think those times that you can look at your kids and realise that masha’allah something is going right with them it seems all worth it.

    PS: i’m glad that you get to relax at home 😉

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