Thursday, September 03, 2015


It's true, isn't it? Social media has the powerful ability to incite envy and make us feel inadequate. I think we can all relate to the above punch line: "I can't handle anymore fake displays of perfection!"

Of course the displays are fake as no one's life is perfect. We carefully curate our Facebook profiles, Instagram pictures and our presence on other social media platforms so that we only display ourselves in the most flattering light (literally & figuratively). We only share our happiest memories, most successful occasions and when we're having the time of our lives. We don't share the moments when we feel broken, sad, lonely and empty, though we all experience them.

I once read that the source of envy is when you can only see other people's blessings and not their trials, whereas you only focus on your trials and not your blessings. 

I also love this quote by Lillian Schneider that drives this message home:
"Single people want relationships, settled people wonder if they're missing out on something, traveling types miss stability, stable ones are restless, old friends want new friends, new friends miss old friends, and basically almost everyone my age has some dangling worry trailing around after them everywhere that they're somehow not doing everything, that what they're doing is not altogether the right thing, that they are missing out.
A million lessons can be taken from this. All I want to say is, don't for a second convince yourself that you are the only who knows this doubt. Do not be ashamed. The doubt is natural, and everyone you know -- yes, even that person -- carries it sometimes too. Allow yourself to be peaceful. Allow yourself satisfaction in what you have. If you really don't like it, allow yourself permission to make changes."
The truth is everyone struggles. And everyone has their dark moments. And all of us are on a quest for that elusive and ephemeral thing called happiness.

I think as one grows older, one realises that it's okay to be sad sometimes. That life will never be perfect and can never be devoid of pain, but that's okay too.

For me, faith plays an important part when dealing with life's trials and curveballs. One of my favourite hadiths is:
“How wonderful is the affair of the believer, for his affairs are all good, and this applies to no one but the believer. If something good happens to him, he is thankful for it and that is good for him. If something bad happens to him, he bears it with patience and that is good for him.” (Narrated by Muslim)
Imam Ibn Al-Qayyim said something profound:
“Truly in the heart there is a void that can not be removed except with the company of Allah. And in it there is a sadness that can not be removed except with the happiness of knowing Allah and being true to Him. And in it there is an emptiness that can not be filled except with love for Him and by turning to Him and always remembering Him. And if a person were given all of the world and what is in it, it would not fill this emptiness.”
I think this post is getting quite incoherent now but what I'm trying to get at is this: Though everyone seems to lead a perfect existence on social media, the truth is, no one is. Everyone is familiar with that void in one's heart, that sadness, and that emptiness. As a Muslim, I believe that "verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest" and that sabr (patience) and shukr (thankfulness) should be an essential part of our character, so that we can weather life's ups and downs, with contentment.