أَلَمْ تَرَ كَيْفَ ضَرَبَ اللَّهُ مَثَلًا كَلِمَةً طَيِّبَةً كَشَجَرَةٍ طَيِّبَةٍ أَصْلُهَا ثَابِتٌ وَفَرْعُهَا فِي السَّمَاءِ
تُؤْتِي أُكُلَهَا كُلَّ حِينٍ بِإِذْنِ رَبِّهَا وَيَضْرِبُ اللّهُ الأَمْثَالَ لِلنَّاسِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَذَكَّرُونَ
وَمَثلُ كَلِمَةٍ خَبِيثَةٍ كَشَجَرَةٍ خَبِيثَةٍ اجْتُثَّتْ مِن فَوْقِ الأَرْضِ مَا لَهَا مِن قَرَارٍ
Haven’t you seen how Allah gives an example, a pure word similar to a pure tree, with a solid foundation, and its branches reaching up to the sky; it provides fruit all the time by permission of it’s Lord; and Allah gives examples to people so they can remember. And the example of an ugly word is like a ugly tree uprooted on the ground with no stability whatsoever.
Surah Ibrahim: 24-26
Consider these two trees. Drastically different. The Quran puts our minds into imagination mode and we are encouraged to picture things being described.
The difference between the two trees go back to their roots. The pure tree was based on a pure and wholesome foundation, and it was planted properly. And because of it’s foundation, it built on that and became a healthy tree from every aspect, from it’s height, to it’s fruits, to it’s beauty and grandeur. The fruits are beautiful, delicious, and sweet, coming off in multitudes all throughout the year, feeding everybody who approaches it.
Now look at the ugly tree. It never had a solid foundation to begin with. It’s foundation was corrupted, and everything about it turned sour as a result. It never grew or developed properly. It doesn’t have any aesthetic value, or more bluntly put, it’s quite UGLY! It doesn’t give any fruits that are edible; they are only harmful and will hurt you if you try to eat it. The fruits probably taste disgusting on top of that. The tree never got taller, it stayed put flat on the ground and didn’t progress and develop properly, to the point where even the roots have come out of the ground and it has absolutely no stability. It’s all over the place with no rhyme or reason to it’s growth.
Now when i was thinking to myself with anxiety disorder, this parable came to mind. How? Well so many times I am so ashamed of myself, with all my negative emotions that I am so embarrassed about. My simple fears of things I shouldn’t be afraid of. My memory loss, getting sick so easily and feeling insomnia and always drowsy, stomach problems, frustration and anger problems, lack of contentment, and always dealing with some negative emotion, shaitan’s whispers all day long, always feeling that people think I’m a loser and worthless, never feeling happy and calm, and etc. etc. etc. etc.!
Most times, thinking about how awful and volatile my emotional state is right now, it gets me down and it makes me feel like the most terrible person in the world. It makes me feel so worthless and makes me hate myself more, and makes it harder to believe that Allah would care about somebody like me. And these feelings make me feel worse. And the domino effect continues.
But only if i realised that the ENTIRE REASON why I have become the way I am is because of that bad foundation that I was established on was wrong? That as a child, I believed something completely wrong about myself, and because of that wrong belief I mistakenly believed, all my future interactions and what I did and believed and occurred to me was based and built off that one bad seed planted inside me?
What is that seed? The seed of “worthlessness.” The belief and idea that you are not worthy of respect for who you are.
If I was told that I am worth something because I was honoured by my Creator like it says in the Quran, and that people around me are affected by shaitan, which is why they treat other people bad and with disrespect, would I have concluded that I’m a loser? Would I believe the bullies were making fun of me because I really am what they say I am, or maybe shaitan influenced all of them too?
So the trick here, is we tend to look at how our lives played out and how we turn out to conclude that we are not worth anything. But rather, we need to look at the root that was planted as children that we bought into, and that seed we believed in is what made us do and behave and act upon for the rest of our lives until now. If that seed was changed, all the feelings and beliefs built upon it would be drastically different. And Allah knows best and has perfect knowledge.