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Why Is it So Hard For Us To Accept Ourselves (And Others?)

Updated: Jun 13, 2020

A few days ago, I got a comment that said: "I can't believe racism still exists!" and it got me thinking why is it hard for us to accept ourselves and to accept others?

With all that's happening with the world and with the sad death of George Floyd, I've doing a lot of thinking trying to understand.

The two Quranic verses that keep coming to my mind are:

  1. أَنَا خَيْرٌ مِّنْهُ ۖ خَلَقْتَنِي مِن نَّارٍ وَخَلَقْتَهُ مِن طِينٍ

And the devil said to God about Adam when he was created: "I am better than him. You made me out of fire and made him out of clay."

 2وَمِنْ آيَاتِهِ خَلْقُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَاخْتِلَافُ أَلْسِنَتِكُمْ وَأَلْوَانِكُمْ ۚ إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَآيَاتٍ لِّلْعَالِمِينَ

"And from His signs is the creation of the skies and earth and the difference in your tongues and colors and in that are signs for the world.

Here are three lessons I learn:

  1. Racism/ ego always existed 

Even from the time of Adam, the first creation, racism/ ego existed and will always exist. It's sad, but it's true. People will always look for ways to assert themselves and their self-worth and one of those ways will be by putting others down or making them feel less for whatever reason.

This is the strategy that the devil used with Adam.

How can you and I build our worth and build our value without the need to put others down?

Coz when our worth and value is built around others. It's not in our control. Your worth and my worth is connected to them and their choices and thoughts. And thats' unbalanced. And it's scary.

I mean OF COURSE we need to oppress them and try to control them to feel good about ourselves! WE NEED THEM!

Your worth and value is too important to leave it to things we can't control nor can we dictate what happens with it. It's too important to put it in others' hands.

I'd even encourage you and me to give our self-worth back to God, where it's safe and connected to things that are bigger than you and I and doesn't change. Where our worth is safe and isn't always going through a roller coster ride of our our emotions and thoughts or others.

 2. God DID create us differently

People are MENT and MADE to be different.

We are different. People are different. Languages are different. Colors are different. Cultures are different. Personalities are different. Strengths are different. Challenges are different.

Let's take an example on a small scale. If you're into personality types, I'm an INFJ (if you don't know what that means, no worries you can take a free assessment here). It basically means I'm really good at big picture abstract thinking. This makes me really good at helping people, teams, and culture figure out their patterns and then create needed shifts. This also means I'm not really good at day to day observation. I don't remember names or numbers easily (coz I'm too busy trying to connect the dots in the unseen abstract world between us that I miss a lot of details). You may ask me what happened, and I may not be able to tell you exactly what happened or who said what in the exact words or sequences, but I can tell you why it happened and what lead people to it.

It's easy to beat myself up about it and think I'm not good enough or that I should be more this or that!

But here's the thing, God made us different for a reason. Development and growth are good. But learning who we are, how we were made, and what our unique capabilities are is good too. In fact, it's a virtue.

3. God used the word "أية/ There are miracles signs"

وَمِنْ آيَاتِهِ خَلْقُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَاخْتِلَافُ أَلْسِنَتِكُمْ وَأَلْوَانِكُمْ ۚ إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَآيَاتٍ لِّلْعَالِمِينَ

"And from His signs is the creation of the skies and earth and the difference in your tongues and colors and in that are signs for the world.

In the Arabic language, the word أية/ miraculous signs has many meanings. Some of them are:

  • Value

  • Purpose 

  • A path to ponder over that will remind us of The Creator and will lead us back to Him

If we went back to our smaller lens, differences in personality types, God created us with different personality types, some of us get angry and anxious really fast while others it takes a lot for them to get worked up. Some of us prefer thinking out loud, others prefer thinking alone.

  • These differences have a purpose.

  • These differences are meant to send us back to The Maker

  • And there is value in every difference.

Now, let's take a look through a wider lens again; Our tongues are different, our languages and slangs are different, and our colors are different. There is value in those differences, there is purpose, and it should lead us back to God.

There's no shame in differences, not as individuals nor as cultures.

And there's no type, language, race or color better than the other.

We ARE different.
And that difference has value and purpose.

Our goal in life is as individuals is to:

  1. Figure out how God made you and I; what our unique abilities and challenges are

  2. Put your unique map of abilities to work

As countries or cultures, with our team or families our goal is to:

  1. Figure out our differences and the different value we each add

  2. Connect with our difference because my challenges are your strengths, and your strengths are my challenges, and that's true on every scale

Your fan, ☀️



PS- if you enjoy this content (Psychology in The Quran), I have a whole podcast on the subject you can check it out here.

And to listen to an audio of this episode, you can find that here.

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