Mental Imprisonment

Sometimes a prisoner is so used to the prison and the shackles that he may not want to leave it. His enthusiasm and need for liberation is replaced by this need of false security. Either he’s forgotten how it feels like to be liberated or he’s got this fear for lack of security. Or maybe the need for acceptance amongst the people within him is greater than his right of freedom. Allahu ‘Alam. It can be a challenge to help such people make their transition through changing paradigms in their environment and thus life in general. Like vaccine boosters, you have to keep giving them ‘Tawakul-boosters’…but it is important to detach yourself from them lest you become infected with the same pathogen…because it is contagious. 

Quran and Seerah will definitely have answers and possible strategies to deal with such lot but due to my lack of knowledge and ignorance I can’t seem to be able to find out where to look for information. Behaviour modification therapy and using effective communication skills could work but some people’s minds are like hardened clay…to change them, the helper would be required to demolish the foundation and build a new one. Something like what Ibrahim AS did. Just be blunt and demolish the idols. Possibly make them think analytically about their (over the years worn down) ideology? Allahu ‘Alam.

I personally don’t like to work with people who are not motivated. I feed off of energy that people come with. However some people are so close to you and you can’t see them suffering. At the same time they are the least motivated of people…how can one motivate them? How can one make them feel better? How can one change their attitude towards life? I can understand where they’re coming from. Can totally empathize but that’s not going to help them get anywhere. SubhanAllah, it seems like I’m running in circles. Truly Help is only from Allah SWT. One can only do Dawah…Even the Messengers (may Allah SWT be pleased with them all) faced difficulties in this process:

(They were reprieved) until, when the Messengers gave up hope and thought that they were denied (by their people), then came to them Our Help, and whomsoever We willed were rescued. And Our Punishment cannot be warded off from the people who are Mujrimûn (criminals, sinners, disbelievers, polytheists). [Surah Yusuf, 12:110]

What I do in these situations is seek Allah SWT’s help and then ensure that the person I’m listening to feels that I’m actually listening to them actively. That makes them feel understood. I try to be extra careful with the choice of words and try to create this head-space for myself in the conversation so that I can breathe myself as I continue the talk. If you know the person well enough, you can use their weaknesses/fears and convert them into strengths. For example, if a friend of yours has issues with her looks then motivating them to lose weight and/or buying them accessories to look them better won’t make a lasting change. You have to change their belief system…they probably feel that they’d be ‘less loved’ if they don’t look a certain way. Maybe they have a greater need to be loved by community so how about channelize their need towards something more productive? Their weakness is in the need to be loved and that could be made a strength by pushing them to do some social work and help people in need. Naturally, as they give love, they’ll  be given love and that’ll take care of their initial weakness which drove them to be passionate about people in need. That’s a very simple conversion of an individual’s weakness to strength. You’ll notice this weakness-to-strength conversion theory especially in the stories of Sahaba especially as soon as they accepted Islam. SubhanAllah, we as humans try to show the world that we are so complicated but we are in reality very simple beings. One needs to just crack the code with hikmah.

That hikmah can only be learned from the Quraan and Sunnah…so have a lot to learn. I don’t have a solution tonight but I hope to have one very soon inshaa’Allah. Some fears are like huge monsters. One has to not only destroy them but cut off all their sources of nutrition so they never come back again. The route cause of all problems is Shaytan. What a determined enemy…may Allah SWT’s curse be upon him infinitely and may He SWT protect me and all of you from him and his followers.Ameen.

And Allah SWT knows best and to Him we shall always turn to seek Guidance.

Just a feverish write-up. Any advice/suggestions would be greatly appreciated through commenting here or emails. JazakumAllahu khayran, wasalamu alaykum warahmatullah.



2 Responses to “Mental Imprisonment”

  1. Do not get fazed, running in circles will only make you dizzy :p I understand your sentiments, it is easy to sympathise with others and on the otherhand it is difficult to help them get out of it. How do you create the want in someone? Change is hard for everyone, to start of with people tend to get really motivated and then it fazes away. It all starts with that though – what is motivation? How do you sustain it? Perhaps as well as turning to the Qu’ran (which is the best point) you should explore other options as well. What are these one may (or may not) ask – after all everything stems from Allah swt, we are here because of him, our speech derives from the ability he has provided us.

    Have you then perhaps considered those who are professional in motivation? Or motivational speakers rather. See what they do. Just an idea.

    Love R.x

  2. My personal favourite is Les Brown, his enthusiam for life is contagious, and he is spiritual minded too, so that helps. x

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