Psychology is everywhere. How we imitate our elders or characters on television whom we consider role models, how our mind develops mechanisms to prevent ourselves from showing our weaknesses, how you can give someone a label and suddenly that’s how they are defined, how illnesses such as anxiety and depression are common, how traumatic events effect your mental health; it’s everywhere. The fact that many questions I ask are answered by psychology is intriguing. As much as I feel, The Quran expresses a lot of cognitive psychology, telling mankind not to despair, to be hopeful and that the world is a test in order to strengthen you. There was an ayat saying:
“Perhaps you like something that is bad for you and you hate something that is good for you……”
Another main reason for liking psychology is my mother. She’s taking a diploma course on psychotherapy and also conducts therapy sessions on clients. She tells us about her clients and their and her experiences. It was like wearing spectacles and seeing what was not in front of me. There are so many people going through mental issues and troubles, engaging in drugs, fighting and resenting families, having relationships only to fulfill their desires, expressing abnormal aggression and anger and more. And many of these people would be from rich families! That’s what surprised me a lot. So I saw a whole new reality and I wanted to know more about them and help them, because these are things that cannot be seen easily seen. A druggie could be a druggie due to absence of parental figure. A person who forces a smile on his or her face could be crying themselves to sleep and plotting their suicide. You can easily diagnose and treat a leg pain but perhaps not a depressive patient unless they show up for help. The human mind is a very marvelous and a complex system, yet it can easily be shattered and no one will realize it.
By the way, what do you think is the most difficult job in the world? Do leave your answers in the comments below. For me, it is parenting. Think about it; is there a perfect way to raise a child? Anything we do falls short of what we expect and it one way or another effects the child. You give your child freedom and don’t enforce your principles on them & they would spend quality time with you and respect you or they could go wild, doing everything that is wrong. You establish rules and enforce them & they may be brought up disciplined, responsible, spic and span or they may be irritated and resentful and want to run away from you.
Maintaining the perfect balance is not easy. But the best part is our parents try. They always put their blood, sweat and tears to raise us, feed us, clothe us, give us education, knowledge, a life, give us hope, love and respect which is a lot! And I think, if this is not so, the most important thing parents should offer their child is self-realization or self-evaluation. Children should be able to think for themselves. They should know the capacity of right and wrong. If they are lacking in something which is not offered to them by parents, they will search for it themselves. If they face troubles, they will find a way to solve it. Parenting is very hard; my own parents tell me this, as you start becoming a parent when you have a child. You didn’t have parenting experience before that. In addition, children also tend to turn out to be opposite of their parents or one parent. For example, Mama raised my siblings and I but apart from my brother having a couple of traits from Mama, he, my sister and I have almost all the traits of my father. While my mother is sharp and critical, my father is calm, relaxed, patient and content. So yeah, it is difficult to determine the proper style of parenting, though we should love, care, respect and appreciate their parents for all their efforts. May Allah bless all the parents out there in the world and make their jobs easy 😍
While I was on my Eid trip to Kashmir, as mentioned in the previous blog “OBSERVE, PONDER, BELIEVE”, Mama came up with a game for our family. She said one by one, each person was to tell the good traits and bad traits of each person. In that way, we’d know how we all thought of each other. After getting used to the awkward silences of what to say, we managed to share our thoughts openly. It was very interesting and helpful. You all can try it with your families. It may be weird at first but it will help you in having an interactive discussion and to lighten the burden of their thoughts. What we derived from this is that we tend to be more curious about our bad traits rather than our good traits; because you think people are being too modest and are lying just to be caring so you feel like going straight to the point. I have that too, because I tend to hear many compliments about me (not to brag but that happens) but it seems too good to be true and I wish to know where my imperfections lie because I can’t be 100% perfect. I must’ve done something wrong.
Recently, we played this game with a close friend, excluding Baba and my brother. While discussing all our good and bad points, we began discussing about her life because she has difficulty in her life, especially in college. She feels everyone is judging her, they make wrong assumptions of her, she doesn’t feel properly treated and appreciated, and people in her college are strange and hard to talk to. But Mama would ask her questions like “Why do you assume they are judging you? They could be complimenting you.” And we were convincing her that if she was worried about what society will say, well then society will always be there. There is no running away from it and she should not bother about what others think. But it was difficult for her. We were giving her tips such as this, especially Mama, but my friend would say that she was so accustomed to being in her zone of being upset and angry that she had gotten used to it. If she ever felt optimistic, she would think something was wrong and pushed it aside. Mama said:
“You can show the horse the water but you cannot force it to drink it.”
To that, she said:
“I know the water is there, but I just wave at it as I pass by.”
This conversation was actually funny 😂😂
So I wonder, what can you say to that? Someone who wishes to change yet doesn’t want to change because it is a big risk going into an unknown and uncomfortable territory? In the end, we can only do our best to explain to people what they can do. The rest is up to them whether they do what’s best for themselves or not. God doesn’t help those who don’t help themselves. But I have faith that she will find a bright light in the darkness and that she does not fear the light. May Allah keep her happy, peaceful and content always.
One thing Mama tells me is that psychology teaches us that we cannot tell people exactly what to do, but we must guide them so that they discover and realize themselves what needs to be done. That is what therapists do. They make sure the client is able to decide himself what needs to be done and that no one will spoon-feed him. If we spoon-feed people, they will either get annoyed that you are involving yourself into their personal matters or they will ask your opinion about every problem they have because they are unable to make decisions themselves.
Mama has had experience of the latter, and she says that it is not your duty to save others but just be there for them. I agree to a lot of what she says but we must act in some way to help them when they are troubled. We cannot only be involved in our own lives otherwise that would be selfish. We should help others when we see them in need, give our input and help out. If we feel it’s a lost cause then we must leave them be. But we should make an effort in others’ lives. Who knows, maybe the person they were waiting to help them is you?
I’ll sum up this extremely long blog to say that life can bring you down many times. But you are not alone. It is a phase a lot of people go through only to realize their true potential. I feel like by studying subjects such as psychology, sociology, philosophy, etc. we realize our capabilities and study the complex and beautiful specimen of mankind, how they are broken yet wonderful beings, especially our enemies. This can help us create a more inclusive, caring, honorable and united society.
Do share your thoughts about what I said 😊
- Andale Seaworne out! ✌