Better Left Unsaid

I used to hate it when people would advise me to take my problems to my Lord. I was a bit confounded when a friend told me that my problems would work themselves out if I prayed tahajjud some more. Muslims aren’t the only ones who give that advice; Christians and even New Agey folks do it too. Christians take it to Jesus and if you’ve read the Secret basically everything is your fault because you attract negative energy. The pop psychology approach tells us that we fall into certain patterns due to some past trauma. There is some lesson in our problems, one that we fail to see. So, read the right self help book and reflect on your poor choices because the solution lies within.

Perhaps my spiritual journey is tied to my self-critical and sensitive nature. Growing up sensitive was not easy, as I was surrounded by critical people. And I tended to draw people near me who were no-holds-barred, tell-’em-like-it-is folks. On top of that, I have an emotive face. Some people call that wearing your heart on your sleeve. Without the mask, I’ve had to be honest and up front rather than let people feel smug for reading me like a book. So that means that I’ve often disclosed what’s going on with me because it was already apparent that something was boiling under the surface.

I have to admit that I’ve always been impatient with flippant responses to my complicated problems. An empathetic ear has always been important because I’ve always been hard on myself. I’ve always been hard on myself, wanting to be a good person by spending a great deal of energy pleasing others. I would want some person who was sympathetic, who could understand what I was experiencing. This was especially the case if I was going through something that was alienating. When I first got the “pray on it” advice from friends and family, I’d get frustrated because I wanted instant feedback or a kind word letting me know that I wasn’t a terrible person, something I experienced was unjust, or that my perception of reality wasn’t off.

By sharing your problems, you may get the instant gratification of feedback. There may even be some commiseration. And misery does love company. But often, sharing your problems with other people often doesn’t fix them. Some things are best left unsaid. I can say that after being hurt by friends and loved ones who have used some information I’ve shared with them in a hurtful way. It’s another thing if you are looking for strategies to deal with a situation. In that case, by all means talk to a trusted advisor, a counselor, or true friend. I suggest an advisor or counselor because the nature of your relationship is unlikely to change. God willing, you have a confidentiality agreement so they won’t share your personal information.

Things aren’t so bad, alhumdulillah, you’re still living. There’s nothing to worry about. If you have your health alhumdulillah. If you don’t, then there is some expiation in your hardship and you’re not dead yet. Once you’re dead, then there’s no need to worry because it is a done deal and your fate is sealed. My mentor was right, pray the istikhara and find that answer within yourself. More often than not, we want advice from somebody who will support us in doing something we planned to do anyway. Only the masochistic take criticism from friends, family, and advisors. Otherwise, deflect….deflect…deflect. Ultimately, you have to live with your own decisions and their repercussions in this life and the next.

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2 thoughts on “Better Left Unsaid

  1. Hi, I read this post forwarded to me by a friend. I agree. It would be nice to have someone to talk with and someone to understand. When ppl give you flippant answers, not only does it seem as if they have never experienced what you have: but they don’t care either. Yes, I have had friends make things worse by gossip. I have to ask myself when I am quite emotional (which I admit that I am some of the time), Am I over reacting? Should I be feeling this way? What options do I have to help me feel better? Are they ones that I would entertain — consequences, etc? I still pray and ask for guideance because when I am caught up in a situation, I often don’t think of the most obvious thing. But, when people give those flippant responses, it is like saying to a hungry man: “I’ll pray for you to get food,” and not offering any of your own to him.

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  2. May God continue to bless you, Margari, with His perfect love which cleanses us of our needless frustrations.

    You truly have a very beautiful reflective side to you.

    I myself am a Christian believer who loves the character and name and teachings of Jesus Christ.

    Margari, It is a blessing from God that you are sensitve! I am also very sensitive!

    God Himself is critical of certain thinking and certain behavior,
    so once again it is His blessing to you when you remind yourself that something that is obviously wrong is wrong.

    The person who can consistently and correctly understand what we are experiencing is God, the Creator of life Himself.

    How we react is our choice. I have learnt that to react patiently is much more productive for us compared with reacting
    frustrated.

    In our life the more we grow as a loving person the less frustrated we will become!

    God invented prayer for us to understand Him and praise Him.

    He heals our hurts when we pray selflessly to Him.

    As growth in understanding and wisdom is God’s gracious gift to us, we should pray to God with as much patience as possible, because He himself is patience.

    Encouragingly, when we behave patiently we honor Him!

    Always remember, thoughtful Margari, that God, the Author of the Bible, loves you so very very much!

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