Every time I see it in my mind, the scenario is repeated in front of a certain tree. When it happened, I was in my junior year, right before clinicals.

I went out of the practical examination room that day with my eyes filled with tears. My colleagues called me to express their sympathy about this exam and said you can improve your score in the next exam, but I didn’t care about that. No one knows what I felt and what I went through. What I still go through every day by myself. I didn’t know if the tears which fell from my eyes were from sadness about what I lost as grades in this exam or from what happened to me as if it were yesterday.

On that day, after finishing a private tutoring session with my students, I should have started to train for the practical exam. But it was eight o’clock and the time for the electricity to come back on was ten o’clock. So I only had to wait. But ten o’clock came and the power was still shut down.

I waited another hour hoping for the power to be restored, but in vain. I then realized that it was the weeknight in which is the power goes out all night. We are used to irregular power schedules, so I decided to light a candle because the twelve-volt house battery was weak and my phone battery was low. I took my tools and sat in the kitchen. The practical exam was going to be the arrangement of teeth at the simulator. I tried lighting a gas lamp but in vain. I checked it out and tried repeatedly to light it but it never ignited.

I woke up my mother so she could check the gas but she said the cylinder was out of gas. Then I asked myself how many more hoops I would have to jump through that day that would hamper my patience. With a deep breath, I said okay I will light a candle, and thus I started training.

When we work with passion, we forget all the obstacles. So I was training, ignoring all that happened, memorizing the order of teeth, their measurements, distance, and all these fine details.

My brother Mohammed came to the kitchen to drink a glass of water, then he started touching things and accidentally he knocked over the teeth which fell to the ground.

“Oh what did you do, Mohammed! The dentures are spoiled. If the one of teeth is missing, I can’t arrange the others!”

I searched a lot for the missing teeth, but in vain. It was as if the Earth had swallowed them.

Are these things obstacles or are these things life lessons? Does nature know my patience and want to test me even more? I can take an exam without training, but how can I learn about dentures before the exam which is held at eight o’clock in the morning?

I waited until daylight to connect with one of my colleagues in another group to borrow the dentures. So I was ready for the practical exam, entered the laboratory, and started arranging the teeth. I was slower than my colleagues who I had taught to arrange the teeth because I wasn’t prepared. This work had been the best for me during my entire year’s work and I had earned a high score. But the time of my final exam was approaching, and it required an intensive concentration in order for our hands to be able to work quickly. The argument of our lecturers was that you will be dentists and speed is an important part of our work.

Suddenly, I heard a voice saying, “Everyone stop working!” This meant the exam was finished but there were four teeth I hadn’t arranged, therefore I would receive a low grade on the exam. Our university exams don’t include other grades except what has been submitted for the final exam. I went out from the examination hall as if something had exploded inside me.

I left all my things behind me and went outside of the university. I walked in the garden because walking is my habit to unload negative energy. Maybe I could figure out what was going through my head. Soon I found this tree and sat in front of it. I started talking a little to complain about my worries, silently and with meditation language.

The universal message of the tree was that all misery is caused so we continue life towards a higher power and purpose. I understood from this message that the roots of the tree were strong and the other parts would become wilted and yellow, but then new green leaves will grow out of it.

I then realized that all difficulties which I face will make me stronger and my life will be better because of them. I also realized that in external objects there is life and the universe is full of such universal messages.

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