Channel: Yasmin Mogahed
When you talk about the soul, and when you talk about the heart, the heart and the soul have needs, they have essential needs just like the body has needs. And one of the essential needs of the heart and of the soul is to be to have oxygen to have food and water, just like the body needs food and water. Just like the body needs oxygen, the heart and the soul need its oxygen to stay alive. And the oxygen of the heart and the soul is the remembrance of Allah subhanaw taala that what that does, it's literally Food for the Soul, you've heard this expression, but it's, it's literally feeds the soul. And so one of the things that sometimes we do that starves us spiritually, is that we, we
deprive our hearts and souls of oxygen. Simple as that. And and what are some of the ways we do that we do that, number one, the most extreme way in which we deprive our hearts and souls of spiritual oxygen is when we're not praying, when we don't pray, or we don't pray, as we're told to pray five times a day, it's like depriving the heart of its oxygen of the spiritual oxygen that it needs to just be okay and stay alive. This is just to stay alive, just as the body it needs, it requires oxygen, right just to stay alive. And then beyond that, it needs other it has other needs. But the most essential need of the body is oxygen. And it's the same thing with the heart, that that that
the remembrance of Allah subhanaw taala. First and foremost, our Salah is what is keeping our heart spiritually oxygenated. The second point I want to make is this is mentally. So there are ways that we feed our hearts and souls, there are ways that we feed our bodies. And there are ways that we feed our mind and one of the ways to keep our mind healthy. And this is a principle that you will just take home with you. And that is that what you focus on grows, psychologically, the things that we focus on, tend to become bigger and bigger. And so one thing that a person can do, is shifting the focus of what it is that you focus on in your life each day. See the thing that Allah subhanaw
taala tells us in the hood and his inner man or three ostra What does it mean to say in my last video, and of the mistranslations that people have have this verse is after every hardship comes ease, after every hardship comes ease, but this area doesn't say in the bat, the word is Ma. Now the word ma means alongside with, with the hardship comes ease, this is a profound point, what it means is that at any given point in time, any hardship that you are given Allah subhanaw taala gives you ease at the same time. And if you look at linguistically, the A, A, the hardship is singular, and the ease is plural. And that's also a very profound point. Because what it means is that Allah never
only gives us difficulty, Allah never only gives us struggle a lot at the same time gives us your and this is the plural of ease, the plural of ease, and then and then again, it is repeated in nema alassio. So the idea here is that at any given point, there is no one in their life that only has difficulty or only has ease. It's always a mix. And so what does shifting your focus mean? shifting your focus is a mental exercise where it's about what is your focal point. See there are people whose focal point is for example, what is missing now what is this alluding to this is alluding to the practice of gratitude. And the reason I'm mentioning this is because it has been shown not just
in in the quarter end where Allah subhanaw taala says, What is the SNR Bukola in Shackleton as either Naco Allah says that, that your Lord your Lord is telling you this that if you are grateful, I will increase you. But interestingly enough in psychological research, they're finding the power of gratitude. That gratitude, the practice of gratitude daily has been shown to alleviate physical as well as psychological symptoms. And so this is something that we already have in our Deen. The other thing I want to mention when it comes to focus is how we cope and deal with our past. Now the past is something that can be very painful. Many of us may have trauma, even in our past to extremes
and dealing with difficult or painful pasts. On the one hand you have the people who tell you to put a bandaid on it, you know, just just just suck it up, you know, get over it. Yeah, get over it could be worse. These kinds of terrible things that people say that are not helpful, right. And and sometimes even culture is kind of
This type of put your happy face on type of attitude, right? namit just appear happy and everything will be okay. And this is a little bit like getting a gunshot wound and putting a bandaid on it. You can't say Time heals all wounds if you didn't address the wound. Does that make sense? And so there's that there's that side of the extreme, where we're wounds are not being addressed, and they cannot heal if they're not addressed. So part of healing is addressing the wound itself. And now how do you address it? Well, it depends on the situation, sometimes it involves getting professional help, it cannot be ignored, and you expect that it's going to go away, because again, a bandaid on a
gunshot wound, it doesn't make it go. In fact, time is in fact going to it's going to become infected. And then that infection could lead to an amputation. And so so emotionally, it's the same thing with wounds, we have to address them, we have to heal them, we have to treat them, and then time can heal them. Does that make sense? But then there's another extreme. And that is what I call picking the scab. Yeah. And that's that when something is trying to heal, but what happens is, sometimes we get stuck in it, we can also get stuck in our past. And that's another unhealthy pattern, where a person is not able to move forward. Because of this being stuck in the past. And
again, that's something that's part of addressing it is so that one can can address it and then can move on, we need to be more compassionate with ourselves. This is something I've recently noticed, especially in speaking with a lot of women. And that is that we are so hard on ourselves. And we that this negative self talk, I've picked up on this, that there is within our community, and actually women in general, and men as well, we have a lot of very, very negative self talk, we beat ourselves up to an extent that if we ever spoke to anyone else in the way we speak to ourselves, we would basically sabotage our relationships. Number four, is, in order to keep our hearts healthy,
just like keeping the body healthy, we have to be mindful of what we're taking in intake. Now, sometimes we do this to ourselves spiritually and psychologically, by the kinds of things we surround ourselves with, right? When we surround ourselves with a lot of negativity, when we surround ourselves with things that are not healthy for us, for example, there are things on social media that aren't necessarily healthy, psychologically, they're not healthy spiritually, it's a little bit like sipping poison. So keeping your environment healthy as much as you can. That's a huge part of being healthy internally, just like you're not going to have poison in your fridge and
then expect that you're going to be healthy. Right? That's, that's something you're taking it. So be mindful of what you look at being mindful of what you're listening to being mindful of the type of talk, not just self talk, but what's coming out of your mouth. What's, what's the kind of what kind of conversations are you having, just be mindful of these things, this is all intake into your heart. And so so be mindful that, you know, your your news feed on social media, whatever type of social media that is, think of that, like your fridge, okay, you open up your fridge, that's what you're going to eat that day. And it's the same thing with your news feed. That's what you're going
to eat that day, but you're going to eat it spiritually and psychologically, does that make sense? Because everything you read everything you were exposed to, it's like it's intake, and that that all goes in, into the heart. And that affects you. So be trying to maybe make it more healthy. And that's, that's something that you guys can do. I always remind people, there's this amazing thing on social media called unfollow, you know, and it's, no one's got to know, that's the beauty of it. Right? There's nothing necessarily wrong about having every single thing you're following being a hijab tutorial, and a makeup tutorial and a fashion east and all that kind of stuff. I'm gonna talk
about how I'm headed, I just want to remind you about what matters most. That's all. That's all just a reminder that what you focus on grows, when the only thing you're exposed to is how people are looking and dressing and fashion. Then what happens is your mindset shifts, and that becomes your focal point, it becomes the most important thing to you and that's not necessarily healthy, because then that shifts your focus to to
an almost an obsession with the superficial. That's it That's the problem and that I think that that that's my biggest concern when it comes to the social media craze that we have right now. Is that just what's what's happened is it's pushed us to be so focused on the surface, so focused on how we appear how we look right? If you are perfect, put a filter on it. Yeah, there's a filter for
Everything. And so it's like, but what it's done is it's pushed us towards this obsession with appearances. And that's concerning, of course, that then leads to other types of psychological issues, right, you have the issues of eating disorders, and you have the issues of body image, you know, that you don't ever feel like you're good enough. But this is this, this is affected by what we're exposed to number five,
one of the most effective ways they found in psychological studies, to increase someone's own happiness, and their own well being, is to be in the service of others. This is just this is something that studies have found, it's it's, you know, in now in in positive psychology, they're looking at, they're moving away from just disorder, looking at disorders, but looking at how can we improve our well being? How can we improve the the quality of our lives, and they call it flourishing. And one of the things I found the one of the most effective ways is service, social debt, that being involved in in in,
they call it pro social behaviors. So things that help others, this is something that we can do. And not only are you going to help someone else, but ultimately actually help yourself, one of the fastest ways to pick yourself up when you're down, is to help another person who's down, you know, just so being in the service of others.
Number six, sometimes the pain that we feel,
is an indication that there's something we need to change in our life circumstances. For example, we are in an unhealthy relationship,
perhaps an abusive relationship. And the pain that we're feeling is because we need to get out of that unhealthy relationship, where that unhealthy or that abusive relationship. So sometimes we have to also look at our lives, and see what are the things in our lives because our our hearts and our minds and our body, they give us indications about things that are going wrong, and we have to go and make a change. Number seven, let go of the myth of perfection.
Especially us women, we are taught that we're supposed to be perfect. And this myth is actually crippling us. It's and I'm just going to come from just even from a spiritual perspective, when we believe that we're supposed to be perfect. What happens is that when we slip or we commit a sin, many people fall into despair. And the reason they fall into despair is because they had the myth of perfection, when in fact, a line is messenger never taught us that we're supposed to be perfect. Human beings, by definition, are human in this in that they are not perfect, we are not perfect, and we will slip and we will commit sins. And we're told that the best of us are not those who don't
commit sins, but those who repent and get back up when they slip. And so keeping in mind that you're not supposed to be perfect, but what Allah subhanaw taala wants us to do is to not give up hope, and to continue to go forward. And and when we fall, because everyone falls sometimes everyone slips sometimes. And when you do having that not falling into despair spiritually, but but knowing that we're not meant to be perfect, and getting back up, that those who repent are those who are most beloved to Allah subhanaw taala. Finally, number eight is making sure we have the right center of gravity. Sometimes we take things and we put them at the center of our lives. This is called an ILA.
And the law is something not just that you pray to, but something that you revolve your entire existence around. Now, what happens to a human being when they take the wrong things and revolve their existence around it? It causes excruciating suffering, right? What do I mean by that? When people take things for example, like money, and they put it at the center of their existence, they will suffer. When people take something like even if it's another person, sometimes it's your own children. A lot of us fall into that, especially as mothers yet
even your own children, if you put them at the center of your existence, where only God should be, it will cause an excruciating amount of suffering. If you take status, or power, or what other people think of you. Yeah, these are things that sometimes we take and put them at the center of our existence, and that place is only intended for God. And when it is replaced with something else. It causes excruciating pain.