Despite Another Looming Lockdown, You Have the Power to Be Happy in Abundance!21 Sep 2020
Since Covid, so much has changed for all of us. It appears that people are more emotionally vulnerable than ever before. People are fearing death and dying not only for themselves but their loved ones.
People are becoming more irritated and angrier with each other and those who were already suffering from underlying psychological issues are reporting more abuse and violence.
Domestic violence, child abuse, mental health issues have risen significantly in certain parts of the country.
Most of us are trying to change or numb our feelings as fear has overtaken our lives to some extent. Even when the first lockdown was lifted, some people decided not to leave the house as if they had become paralysed with fear.
Others have resorted to blaming the ‘other’ for the spread of the virus, and now reporting on the ‘other’ – what next? People are concerned about a disease they are unable to understand or control, and to worsen matters the government is not easing these fears with their constant u-turns.
A minority of people believe one of many conspiracy theories, such as the use of G5 masts or chips in vaccines to control us in preparation for a new world order. While most people don’t believe these, such conversations contribute to the levels of anxiety and fear. Despite this, we must remember that we cannot control anything outside of ourselves, but we can control what we feel about what we hear.
So, what about Muslim communities? It appears we are we suffering in the same way as the rest of society.
Fearmongering by governments, news media and public commentary has entered the psyche of most people and it is having a significant affect in their day to day lives.
Since March there has been a huge increase in divorce cases coming before sharia councils and other Muslim mediation services. Anecdotally I also know that within Muslim communities, there has been an increase in people suffering from mental health issues, depression, anxiety, general malaise, relationship problems not only between spouses, but intergenerational too.
In my work, I am sometimes flabbergasted by the descriptions that husbands give about their wives and vice versa. How is it that two people misunderstand each other to such a degree that one feels as though they are talking about a completely different person?
Two issues that are important: the first is knowing that we can get out of this fear mentality if we understand ourselves better. The second is knowing how: we need to develop ourselves, spiritually and psychologically through our faith and personal development.
A few years ago, I learnt about an understanding called the ‘paradigm shift’ or the ‘inside out paradigm’, which really helped to change not only my own understanding of the relationship between feelings and thoughts but my understanding of fundamental psychological truths and how to apply this with my clients, both individuals and organisations.
A key understanding is that we only ever feel our thinking. I want you to repeat this several times, because most of the time we believe that we feel other people’s thinking and that we are affected by everything outside of ourselves – that is not the case. This is not a simple statement but something very profound if you can understand the depth of its meaning.
Ponder on this: if we stopped thinking or feeling, we would be dead – correct? So that means that our mind processes everything and gives meaning to feelings. Feelings rise to thoughts and thoughts to feelings, and all of this happens inside of us, not outside of us.
Once you understand this psychological truth you will view thoughts and feelings in a completely new way.
We can either hold on to crazy and fearful thoughts, creating more and more fear in the process and make the situation dire and intense, or realise that we are only feeling our thinking and have the power to let it go.
Once you understand this it can make life a lot easier and even the fear of Covid will simply resort to a feeling or a thought. Fear will come and pass and you will also be filled with other thoughts and other feelings and you can carry on with life.
We can only experience the present, the now. We cannot experience the future or the past so do not be stuck in thoughts of the past or the future, otherwise we are wasting our lives away. The reason why Khushu in Salah is so important is because it is about being present with Allah.
So, I invite you all to the journey of self-discovery, a journey that is quite beautiful, and we can expand ourselves in our internal universe without being restricted by our external one.
Be happy and adundent!