"...and be not like those who forgot Allah, so Allah made them forget themselves..."
It occurred to me that the inverse of this should also hold true: that to remember Allah becomes the means by which the identity of the self is preserved. As forgetting Allah eventually results in losing one's self, so should remembering Allah lead to being able to find one's self as well. And quite literally this is one of the underpinnings of my own existence. The most wholesome peace I have ever known has always been in dhikr of Allah to some extent, whether in praying or dua or just remembering internally. Part of my nature is to try and retain the identity of what makes me 'me', and the only times I've really been able to know this was with Allah, through Him. Any other manifestation of self-awareness or purpose never really reached the potential that an idealist sets up, but the potential with Allah has no limits and retains the perfection in Him as its penultimate goal. What better than to seek the best end with He who made and sustains and ordains everything?
If one seeks to be reminded of who they truly are, then that reality is only going to be found in remembering Allah, keeping a connection to Him open regardless of circumstances or anything else. Human beings need many things, want maybe even more, and seeking that from anywhere else just seems so...inadequate. Why turn to other humans or self-made concepts that arejust as vacuous as our own whims? There aren't any answers there, only more of the void leading to further misery. It'll always amaze me how challenging life is for ideals, to keep them, hold on to them while reality slowly and inevitably tries to burn them away. What's worth having, worth striving for, no doubt doesn't come without its price, to forsake a lesser thing for the greatest reward. Like most things, there's a balance to be struck between accepting everything as it comes and trying to forge something brighter between whatever darknesses befall us. Acceptance doesn't have to mean/imply inaction, internalizing the qadr of Allah shouldn't shortchange the ambition or will of a human being. Rather I would say it should make our flame burn ever brighter to try and seek the ridwaan of Allah. If one sees their path going down a dark or lonely road, then fight the loss, search desperately for truth, make dua without any reservations, struggle against those currents of life that try to drown the human being. Whatever helps us cling to Allah, keeps our focus on Him, helps us understand our need versus His providence, find it, tooth and nail, hold on to it with everything you have. Eventually, after a time of clinging like a half-mad person about to fall off a boat in a stormy sea, the rope settles and becomes so easy to climb, bi ithniAllah. Just that cognizance has to be there that we need Allah, not the other way around.
Some of the darker places I've known in life, total contrast to this now. Life is never without its journeys, without its good and bad, but honestly the best anchor possible I think is only found in akhirah. Keeping a goal for then, wanting and needing it such that one's very existence begins to shift towards it, so the distance between the Seeker and his Sought becomes smaller, day by day, with the help Allah it's a brightness that cannot fade - because it far surpasses what can even be imagined.