Use Discomfort to Understand Yourself

It’s incredibly simple to lose your temper when ‘that vein’ is touched. 

It’s the easiest thing in the world to say something you’ll totally regret in a moment of rage. Most of all, it almost becomes super fun to vent out about an issue that’s annoying the hell outta you when no one can oppose you.

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Aya, what are you rambling on about? You’re probably wondering. And with good reason. You see, it’s currently 12:30 AM and instead of obeying the sleepy side of my brain and having sweet dreams, I’m obeying the racing of my heart and writing this out instead. Because if I don’t do it now, I might stay awake all night just thinking aimlessly about it.

Why is my heart racing?

It’s this book I’m reading. It’s a novel supposedly based on the history of a very famous woman. However, due to the whims of the author, she has decided to add twists and drama to make a more “intense” plot. And by intense, I mean adding romance where it was never involved, making people cheat on each other, creating enmity between people who were never so… The characters she decides to use are none other than the Prophet Muhammad, his companions, and ultimately his wives. 

I mean… REALLY? The story has been altered altogether. She takes real incidents in history and builds new stories around it. Don’t get me wrong– as a novel, a story, it’s pretty good. But as a “historical” narrative, it’s awful.

Every time I encountered some new frustrating idea, I found myself immediately venting to one of my sisters, or to a friend online on gchat. However, now it’s way past midnight, most people in my house are asleep, so I figured blogging is my only real friend at the moment.

I realized, pondering on my own, just how easy it is to point the finger and say, this is wrong. This is horrific. This is a catastrophe! Something must be done. But you know, what good will complaining do? This book isn’t written by a Muslim author to start with. (Actually, when you look at it from that angle, the book is written with an obvious attempt to portray Muslims as positively as possible.)

So why does it bother us so much when we read something false? What is it that makes us want to pull our hair? Is it anger that the truth is being manipulated with, or is it anger that our beliefs are being challenged?

Sneering at a work of literature when the author is not around to hear it doesn’t prove very beneficial, somehow. If anything, the more I roll my eyes, and get others’ eyes rolling with me, the more self-righteous I begin feeling to the extent that I suddenly begin wondering: Hmm. If it’s pissing me off so badly, why don’t I just stop reading? Why am I continuing? What am I trying to accomplish?

It took me a while to realize that I didn’t actually have a set goal. I’m simply the type of person that must finish something if I start it. (I mean, I read Twilight and gave myself no choice but to finish the trilogy.) Having begun reading The Jewel of Medinah, I really can’t see why I should stop reading it. But, still, why continue?

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Because it takes an extraordinary amount of patience to read about something you totally disagree with. And do nothing but contemplate it. It’s frustrating, irritating, and makes me want to flip over tables sometimes– but none of that is helpful. When you can face your discomfort and really come to terms with why you’re feeling that way, you come to a sort of self-knowledge about yourself. You make yourself more confident in your beliefs by investigating if what you’re presented with is actually the real stuff, and if you don’t know, you ask and find out. It teaches you that life isn’t perfect & people aren’t perfect & things won’t always go the way you want, so deal with it. Use discomfort to your advantage. Enhance others’ awareness, but above all, enhance yours. Don’t assume. Learn to understand before being understood. Learn to act before reacting. Turn something negative into something positive.

Oh wow, it’s 1:07 AM now.

I have a feeling I’m going to wake up in the morning, re-read this and wonder what the heck I was on. But I’ll worry about that when I wake up. (I feel quite at peace now. *Ah, the magic of blogging.*)

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Good night, world! 🙂

–A.S.

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2 comments on “Use Discomfort to Understand Yourself

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