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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Forgiveness-Part 6- How our actions have a ripple effect

We have to remember that our good actions will give rise to more good actions and this will cause a ripple effect. Just like when we do something bad, then the bad will have a ripple effect.

Let us look at this and try to apply it to our own lives:

Think about a recent event when you decided not to forgive someone for something that they did you.

Now think about what happened when you made that decision. What was the person’s reaction to you? What did the person do after that?

Then consider what your reaction was to the person’s reaction.

Were there any other people that got involved after that? For instance you may have told someone about the situation and the other person also may have told someone.

If there were other people involved, what were their reactions?

What did these additional people do then?

What happened after that?

Did they perhaps tell someone else?



For every action there is a reaction and whatever we do has consequences that are far reaching, even though we may not realise that, or even if we don't see the consequences now.

Let us try to spread positivity through our actions and with our words, for indeed what we give out will come back to us at some point in time.


  Image from here

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Forgiveness-Part 5- The Other perspective

(In the Name of Allah, Most Beneficient, Most Merciful)

The topic for today is a very important one. It's very difficult to forgive people when they have done things to hurt us and sometimes even if we try our hardest to forgive, we may find that this is difficult because of all the hurt and pain that the person/people may have caused us. So this post tries to deal with that in a more open and positive manner...

How do we forgive when we can’t forget the things that people have done to us?

The key to forgiveness and letting go is not to forget the hurtful things, but to try and REMEMBER IT DIFFERENTLY!

 How do we do this?...

…By looking at the same situation from different perspectives. 

This is also called “Re-framing”, in psychological terms.

 Usually we don’t have all the information about things that happen. We hardly ever know both sides of a story and we don’t know people’s motivations and intentions for doing things. We also don’t understand where other people are coming from, we are not empathetic. This means that all we have is our own perspective, the way we perceive something. This is very limited and one-sided. If we try to ‘walk in other peoples shoes’ and if we try and understand their reasons behind doing things and if we see things from their point of view, then we might begin to change the way we see things and then it will become easier for us to forgive others!

Some Essential Steps in Re-framing

1.   Empathy

      Empathy is “walking in the other person’s shoes”.  When you put yourself in someone else’s place and try to see things from their point of view then it becomes easier for you to identify with the person as you can understand them better. This makes it easier for you to forgive them.

2.   Accepting motivations and remaining open-minded

     Empathising with someone is not enough. You have to actively make up your mind that you will remain open-minded and willing to understand their motivations and intentions.  Sometimes we cannot understand why people are doing a certain thing, even if we place ourselves in their shoes. This is because our minds are closed and we can’t see the future consequences. Thus, part of remaining open minded and accepting their motivations means that we have to trust people and truly believe that they want what is best for us.

     (For example; Imagine if there was a deadly spider on your shoulder. Someone then comes and smacks you really hard. You immediately get angry with that person and you’re not willing to listen to their motivation for smacking you. Without knowing about the spider, you intend not to forgive them because the smack they gave you caused you pain. Then afterwards you find out about the spider that may have killed you. Will it be easy for you to forgive the person when you understand that their action was for your own good, even though it caused you pain at the moment. Now imagine if you never got a chance to forgive that person and only afterwards you come to find out about the spider? Thus we have to make an effort to trust that most people are inherently good and they may be acting according to what they think is best for us).

3.   Active listening

     This is about listening on all levels. Listening to what the person is saying to us, with their words, facial expression, and body language. This does not mean that we hear only what we want to hear.

4.   Focus on the positive

      This involves a shift in the way we think and making choices to see thing through a positive lens instead of through a negative lens.

Inshaa-Allah (If Allah wills) in the next post we will focus on the effects that our actions have on people and situations.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Forgiveness- Part 4- How we imprison ourselves

We all put ourselves in a SELF-MADE PRISON. We lock ourselves up and although we hold the key to this prison, we don’t seem to want to use it, or we don’t know where to find it.

How do we do this?

*       By holding on to negative opinions about ourselves and others.

*       By reacting negatively in situations.

*       By dwelling on the negative things that other people say to us.

*       By longing for what we don’t have and for what others do have.

*       By complaining about our lives.

*       By being ungrateful…

*       Most importantly, by not forgiving and letting go of things.

Can you think of more ways that we imprison ourselves?


Think about the prison cell that you have put yourself in.

-          The size of your prison cell, the amount of bars, the size of the lock, the amount of light or darkness in the cell, etc... all this will depend on you.

-          The size, light etc, will represent the amount of negativity in your life.

-          The bars in the cell will be the actual things that are imprisoning you.

-          Write down the all the things that are causing your imprisonment!

TODAY YOU ARE GOING TO TAKE THE KEY AND UNLOCK YOUR PRISON CELL. You may have to look for the key, and you may even need help looking for it, but you are going to end up unlocking the cell somehow. Insha’Allah!!!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Forgiveness-Part 3

I know that this post has been a long time coming, and I apologise for that, but anyway, here it is, a follow up to the posts on Forgiveness.

I thought it would be nice to start off with some insight into how forgiving we are as individuals so if you'd like to take a quick quiz you can follow the link below and have some fun:

Were your results what you thought they were going to be? Well, if they weren't then you have the chance to do something about it.

Now, we'll move on to the next part of our discussion: In understanding forgiveness we need to know the difference between destructive and constructive emotions, because ultimately this is what makes it easy or stops us from forgiving other people:

Constructive Emotions: These are emotions which bring about positivity, within individuals and between people. Basically, it’s emotions which encourages good and which allow people to feel at peace with themselves and others. Emotions such as love, mercy, care, etc would fall into this category.

Destructive Emotions: These are emotions which bring about negativity. They are emotions which cause harm to individuals as well as between people. These emotions help to break ties between people and only allow for enmity and hatred to foster. Emotions such as anger, jealousy, suspiciousness, annoyance, hatred, paranoia, judgemental, etc. would fall into this category.

Look at the list of words below and consider a constructive alternative. For e.g. Judgemental can become non-judgemental, hatred can become love, etc.
Anger                                  Jealousy                             Fear

Guilt                                     Shame                                 Worry

Depression                       Confusion                          Annoyed

Suspiciousness               Hysterical                         Frustrated

Judgemental                    Paranoid                            Hatred

How did you find that? Was it easy or difficult to do this? If it was difficult then it seems you are more prone to using destructive emotions. With practice, our destructive emotions can be change to more positive and constructive ones.
Destructive emotions cause self-harm as well as harm to others. People have control over their emotions and we don’t have to keep all the negative feelings within us. Just how we found constructive alternatives in this exercise, we should practise changing our own destructive emotions to constructive emotions. Destructive emotions only fester and become more destructive if we allow it. We have to actively find our destructive emotions and make earnest efforts to deal with it.
It can be likened to a refrigerator. If something in the fridge is off and it gives off a terrible smell, we have to search for what is causing the smell and then remove it from the fridge. If we leave it then the entire fridge will continue to smell and other things will become rotten as well, thus worsening the smell.  Our destructive emotions give off such a terrible smell that they make everything inside us look bad and our good becomes overpowered.
Can you think of any other destructive emotions?  Look inside of yourself and find your own destructive emotions. Are you going to throw them out or hold on to them? Ultimately this choice will be yours.

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Liebster Award

I've received The Liebster Award:

The Liebster Blog Award is given to bloggers who have less than 200 followers, all in the spirit of fostering new connections.

There are some rules that go with this award:
  1. Show your thanks to the blogger who gave you the award by linking back to them.
  2. Reveal your top 5 picks for the award and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
  3. Post the award on your blog.
  4. Bask in the love from the most supportive people on the blogsphere - other bloggers.
  5. And, best of all - have fun and spread the karma.
1. I'd like to than Inspiring Always for this award. This is a new blog, but it really is inspiring as the name says, with a variety of topics and good casues, this is a blog to keep following, it seems that there will be much more inspiration and important reminders coming from here.

2. My Top 5 picks for this award is:

- Kattona taivas (A Cap on the sky)

3. I've Just done that;-)

4 and 5- I'll just sit back and relax now, having fun and enjoying the support.

Thanks Inspiring Always and Stay well all.