A certain degree of worry and anxiety exists in everyone and is completely normal. Everyone worries at times. However, for some people, worries can take over their lives. Every instance and situation is viewed in the direst way possible, which can lead to a multitude of physical and mental health issues. Constant worry and anxiety can impact our productivity and can also be taxing on the people in our lives, which can strain relationships.
The Prophet Muhammad (sala Allahu ‘alayhi wa salam) taught us the importance of offering assistance to both those who are being oppressed and those who are the oppressors by ending the cycle of abuse. In the case of both the victims and the bullies, it is important to acknowledge that anger is a natural emotion and to help your child to use healthy ways to express this anger.
Noora runs into the house and slams the door behind her. She bounds up the stairs and her mother hears her bedroom door slam. She audibly sighs sadly thinking to herself, “She had another bad day at school. I wish she would talk to me about it.” Noora curls up on her bed and cries quietly wondering what she did to deserve what she goes through at school everyday. Sometimes she even finds herself wishing she could just get a physical “beat down” rather than suffer through the daily emotional torment of being teased, ostracized and singled out for abuse. She feels as though her mother won’t understand what she’s going through and she also doesn’t want to disappoint her by confessing that she just doesn’t know how to handle the bullies. She feels hopeless and she doesn’t know to whom to turn so she cries quietly in her room, and each day holds in more and more of the torment she faces.
I recently read something profound: “There are people who would love to have your bad days.” Consider the fact that for many, your worst day would be their best day. In Surah ar-Rahman, Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) asks us 31 times, “Then which of the favors of your Lord will you deny?” This verse demands us to be continuously aware of and grateful for the blessings we have been granted. Yet, it is so easy to lose sight of all the blessings that surround us in our daily lives. Opening a refrigerator packed with food, walking into an air-conditioned home on a hot day, or picking up your children from school are all daily rituals that we often don’t give a second thought.
The simple fact that we, as human beings, are fallible dictates that you and I are going to make mistakes. These mistakes can and often times hurt people around us, causing a rift in relationships that lead up, sometimes, to unwanted consequences. And so, we have all been there when someone does something that appears to be inconsiderate causing us to be hurt and leaving us wondering how to pick up the pieces and move on.
Accusations like these are often thrown around during family and marital arguments. People often lash out at their loved ones when they feel angry, sad or offended. When our defenses come up, we often think the worst of the person sitting across from us and view anything they say or do through a negative lens. When parents don’t grant permission to their child to attend an event due to worries about possible unsafe or inappropriate activities, a teen may see this as an attempt to stifle his independence or as an indication that her parents don’t trust her. When a husband leaves his dirty socks on the floor, his wife may view this as an attempt to purposely give her more work or as a sign of disrespect.
When we remember that Allah created each and everyone of us with this capability to change, we will realize that we’ve been given the means and we have to strive toward betterment of ourselves for His sake. With the will of Allah, nothing is impossible… no change is too huge of a leap… and there is no better time to choose a goal to work on than this very moment.
We all face challenges on a daily basis- some of us may be currently facing more difficult ones than others. You may be the mother of several young children, feeling lost in the seemingly never-ending daily struggles of caring for your family. You may be unhappy in your marriage, feeling as though you and your spouse are on different wavelengths and unable to fix it. You may be struggling with feeling attracted to the same gender and unsure of what your future will look like without the possibility of having a partner to spend your life with. Why are you going through this? What is the point of the challenges we face? Why can’t we all just be happy all the time?