Throwing tantrums at God

Eren Cervantes-Altamirano

Eren Cervantes-Altamirano

I must admit. I am angry… angry at God. I know… not very orthodox of me. But why in the world would I be put through this? I already lost the partner I had planned to spend the rest of my life with; I already had to work my way through people’s pity after that happened; I am still recovering from the emotional trauma, which has slowed down my intellectual productivity in a world that does not appreciate delays or people’s mental health; and I am just getting myself back into regular worship mode after being put in a position to question the very purpose of my life.

So what is the lesson to be learned from being incapable to fulfill a relationship, of any kind, with someone you really like? I don’t know. This is still a mystery to me. For the past year, I have tried to convince myself that God really has a plan for me… but I still do not see the light at the end of the tunnel, and I have the feeling I won’t see it for a while.

You know, it took me a lot to let myself fall for someone. I am, generally speaking, all brain no heart. I overthink, I overanalyze and I am completely skeptical of my feelings and my desires. This goes against my Indigenous family’s ways of understanding the world and their efforts to teach me that it is okay to feel.

On the one hand, I blame my upbringing in a society that taught me to always feel guilty as a “good Catholic” (even though I was never a Catholic). On the other, I blame the Western-Eurocentric construct of “rationality,” which has trickled down into most societies around the world. “Rationality” often deems women lower beings because of their “emotionality,” and as a teenager that led me to truly put a lot of effort into pushing down every drop of emotionality that could be perceived as weakness.

That, though, leaves you vulnerable. You can’t find the words to tell someone you like them… that you really want them… that you desire them. I somehow feel that if I could say what I need to say without fear, life would be so much easier… But, oh well, that’s why I write. Also, that’s also why, despite my anger, that I continue to talk to God.

I fell for a guy. An organic relationship. No online crap.

But in between my lack of words and what I suspect is huge baggage on his side, nothing materialized. We kept playing the uncertainty game… we would leave each other little gifts, little notes… but nothing really substantive, as if such a thing was safer.

Some days it drove me crazy to the point that I would sit in prayer wondering what the purpose of this “thing” was and begging God for some clarity. On others I would prefer it. I did not have any responsibilities and I could just enjoy the luxury of disappearing when I felt like it. There were plenty of confusing moments… there was the day that he brought me cake on a stressful day only to disappear again the next week. There was the time he went on a trip and vanished for a month only to appear on my doorstep with jewelry and candy. There were a few late night conversations that would end with little gifts left on my desk in the morning. And there would be our awkward and shy conversations in the office, as if we were trying to hide a non-existent something…

But I still wondered, does he like me? And if so, why doesn’t he say something?

And one day he finally said we needed to talk. I was nervous. As I got into his car, my heart raced. I knew something was coming. He broke the news.

All I heard was: Afghanistan. Leaving. One year. Soon.

At home, I sat once more in prayer. Why? What do I do with this? I got angry, I got tearful and I threw a silent tantrum at God.

And as I asked for a sign, I was taught submission. Not to the guy, not to my feelings and not to my baggage… but submission as trust, as infinite faith in the plan. I am still angry. I still feel nothing is going the way I want despite my efforts. However, I have been reminded that to have faith is to actively let go. It is not about passivity or carelessness. But about remembering that there are things beyond our control, and that although many times we cannot see it, all our experiences create a little trail that will lay the ground for that light at the end of the tunnel that we have been awaiting for…

At least that’s what I hope for. That’s what I say “InshaAllah” for.

Read more from Eren on our site, here.

Eren Cervantes-Altamirano is an Indigenous-Latin American convert to Islam. She is currently working on her MA in Public Administration (supposedly). Eren’s blog Identity Crisis focuses on her multiple identities and how to reconcile them when they are at odds with each other. She also blogs at Muslimah Media Watch. When she is not writing, Eren can be found baking, knitting and sewing and oh yeah… dating. Follow her at @ErenArruna.

3 Comments on “Throwing tantrums at God”

  1. Laila says:

    I can so relate to this. I’m 37 and single. Never had a relationship. My parents spilt when I was small so I get mad wondering why God deprived me of ever knowing the comfort of family. Just 3 days ago I delayed dhuhr into asr time because I was angry. Hopefully God is too Raheem to hold that against me.

    What I enjoyed in your post is your description of your courtship. It made me wonder, do all Muslims court like this, like shy adolescents, who can never quite come to the point so they circle around each other making subtle tender signals. To actually come to the point is too much a finish line because there are no interim steps before marriage. No cohabitation or going steady. And in our 30s it can be hard to sustain the just friends thing. At least for me.

    I went through a similar encounter. It lasted over a year. And now almost 2 years on, I still find my thoughts turn to him. And I pray, God please free me from vain desires and fantasies.

  2. anonymous says:

    Thank you for this post; this reflects how I am feeling right now. Inshallah we will all have peace as the larger plan for our lives takes shape.

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