I’ve thought about blogging for a long time. I’ve had a first brush years ago — Khana For Sochna. But this year and this day I wanted to go further. I wanted to explore the deeper elements of my mind and soul which I can only access via writing.
2017 brought many wisdoms to my life. The greatest wisdom was realizing how powerful our personal thoughts are in creating our reality. I lived through many self-fulfilling prophecies in 2017. In other words, I lived through many of my fears coming true. I was confused because I thought that having those fears would equip me mentally to avoid them. Yet the opposite happened – my fear created those very realities I was afraid of. And it snowballed. The fears coming true led to more negativity – and that negativity created more fears that created worse realities. I dealt with this by distracting myself in whatever way possible. I was glued to my phone, to social media, to Netflix. I began losing strong anchors of my own personality and instead constantly found myself engrained in superficial realities via TV shows or status updates to avoid my negative mindset.
I was reminded of a powerful verse in the Quran,
Translating to, “If you are grateful, I will surely increase you.” [14:7]
A deeper understanding of this verse grammatically entails that the gratitude mentioned doesn’t only mean gratitude to God All-Mighty. It’s gratitude towards anyone and anything including God. I always understood gratitude as an objective act of worship. After I reflected on this verse and my self-fulfilling prophecies, I realized this verse was talking about something much greater. Gratitude wasn’t an action, but a way of life. A way to see the good in something or someone rather than the inevitable bad.
Like the water that drowns, water also gives life.
Negativity and fear will play an important part in your life. On one hand, they can consume you and your mind, or they can propel you in a way positivity can’t. Only in deep darkness can one truly be grateful for light. As 2018 opens, I plan to practice gratitude in large doses. I encourage you all to do the same. Not because the unresolved problems we may have in our lives aren’t important, but because gratitude brings God into the equation. Notice in the verse above that God says “I will surely increase you.” Increase us in what?
Anything. Everything. The nuance of this verse is that God doesn’t limit what we will be increased in if we practice gratitude. Gratitude then naturally brings about more positive emotions – love, hope, joy, kindness, etc.
The smallest thoughts have the most powerful impact long term. Let your small thoughts be good ones.
I’ll end with a powerful Cherokee Legend,
“An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life:
“A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.
”It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil–he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.”
He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you–and inside every other person, too.”
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: “Which wolf will win?”
The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”