Not Our Problem…Right?

Assalaamu Alaykum dearest sisters,
Don’t we often wonder why we let things get to us so bad? If a person hurts us (verbally for example), why does it hurt? (I don’t mean abuse and chronic mistreatment at all) We should sit back and reflect on this.
Are the words that person spoke true…at least a little? If so, then we don’t have to get offended, we can improve ourselves. Yes it might sting..but those stings can make us better. This is a sign of a strong person who can reflect and appreciate a chance to improve. We can learn to love that because that’s our golden ticket for improvement – letting go of the ego and growing.     Maybe the person’s tone was stingy…but we just ignore that and hear the message. Not everyone knows how to deliver criticism….like…very few of us actually know. So we don’t have to worry about delivery issues (maybe the person actually tried). We can cling to the message if there is truth in there or any possibility to develop better in that way anyway.
Are the words that person spoke not true at all? Like, it’s a flat out lie about us or our character either to us or to someone else? If yes, then just know that person has serious issues and don’t even care what he or she said. But how do we not care? How do we split off the care part like it never happened? It’s not easy. It takes practice. First thing we can do is realize he or she is a person with fallible human traits like not being perfect…just like us. Maybe that person is having a tough time in life, so we can assume this. It’s really ok to assume that person is having a tough time and not take the ‘mistake’ to heart. We could be in that person’s shoes at some point. If not having a bad day…maybe that person is just having a really hard life – whether we can understand it or see it or not.
Once a woman in the grocery store just pushed my cart and me out of the way so she could go ahead of me. I was just about to put my items on the belt when she thought she should go first.    How do we even process such a strange behavior?  I mean, the nerve, right?? But, we see that there is life and a lot of things can be going on inside a person’s mind.  Maybe the lady got a call and has to really rush out of there. Maybe she has to go to the restroom really badly. Maybe she suddenly started feeling ill and decided to skip all of us in line to go first.  Well, who am I to try to guess what’s wrong with her? Yes, it was not a nice thing to do but did she hurt me? No…  she made me a little later than I would have been— which by the way could have been a way that I was saved from some tragedy.… I digress, but it’s true.  But I have some choices here. I can be angry, yell in the store, cause a scene, bottle up then yell at my kids when I go home…OR I can just think she has some problem and don’t mind it. Even in the worst case scenario I can just think that she doesn’t know better or know that she should care about things like that…either way her action is not my problem. My problem is ‘how’ I personally react to her skipping me.  She has her own test. I have my own test. I don’t want to fail mine due to extrinsic reasons for sure. What’s the point?  How do we shrug that off?  Just laugh it off inside. Why? Because if we were up in the air somewhere staring down at the lady, it would have been funny. Come on, a little bit funny because it was just so unexpected that someone would do something like that. Who does that.  Things like this don’t bother people and the reason is because we have to take life a bit lighter and not be like people waiting to ignite when a tiny flame comes along.
Not an excuse to harm, but we go as far as we can to make excuses for someone and imagine that we have probably done a million rude things and if we got verbally smacked around we’d be…awfully sore because we are … human and we don’t even realize we’ve made mistakes or hurt someone sometimes.
Besides this, sometimes people just fall into a ditch for a while, you know off the path. Just we leave people alone to their issues and focus on ours if we’re not in a place to handle it.
We each have different tests in life. We fail and fail until we start succeeding. It’s not a free ticket for negative expression, but this is just the way it is. All of us are falling short somewhere. Maybe controlling our tongue isn’t our biggest issue. Maybe we have deeper issues than that. Maybe our heart is hard and we have a hard time letting go and forgiving. Maybe we have a tough time having mercy on people who make mistakes. Maybe we nail people to unreasonable standards that we ourselves are far from..because if we were near them we’d know better than to do that.
The bottom line is this: we all have our issues so we can just let things go and not take things personally..even if they are meant personally towards us. It is that person’s problem, not ours. As far as repairing the damage in our hearts… we really have to learn to let it go and just forget it. Really. Talk shows on day time or night time tv telling us to let it out, talk about it, tell them how you feel… to some extent yes (time and place), but that has to be done with wisdom and love…. not a yelling match because we want to lay down the rein of terror on them and let them know how awful they are. We have to be calm and collected and know what our goal is. Are we wishing to hurt them because they hurt us or do we wish to patch up? They just want drama on tv. Our fragile lives can’t bear that in reality. We have to handle people with care, not brawling on a stage somewhere or even in our homes – the place that is supposed to be a fortress of love and protection for our families, place of retreat from the hard life out there – and not a place we just want to run away from.
We can imagine that our whole life purpose is to help ourselves and each other become better….deeni better. So with every word and every action we should think how can this help me or my friend, my child, my spouse, my ___, become better. and closer to the ideal Muslims we are striving for. We don’t want to tear each other down trying to become better — it doesn’t work that way. Help them out of the ditch and back on to the path.
(for abusive situations, these words do not apply. If you are in an abusive situation, please find someone you trust to help you)
(a bit informal, but with love none the less <3)
with duas, needy of yours