When I was young, I had memorized a Surat (chapter) in the Quran. Surat Ya-Seen is one of the most revered Surats considered as the heart of the Quran. It took me months to memorize the 89 verses since I could only read but not speak or understand Arabic. For many years afterwards, I held the Surat close to my heart and recited it almost every day. It made me feel peaceful, safe and connected to God in my own way. As time went on, my dedication to reciting the Surat slowly started to wean off. I had become too busy in my life’s happenings and before I knew days had turned into years that I did not think about reciting Surat Ya-Seen again.
A few days ago, I had a longing to open the Quran and read this Surat. I could barely remember anything past the first verse. Obviously, years of not practicing had faded my memory. I found myself struggling to read Arabic and could not recite the Surat even with the words in front of me. I felt disappointed and tried to focus on each word to recall how to recite it. In this struggle, something strange happened that gave me great perspective. I had momentarily shifted my focus from carefully reading each word to looking at the whole page in front of me, almost from a distance. All of a sudden, the words started flowing from my mouth naturally. I had tapped the little part of my brain that still held the memory of the Surat.
This experience made me think of a lesson that could be applied to dealing with problems in life. When faced with a problem, we often tend to analyze every single detail of the problem and make sense of it rationally. We repeat the words and run through all the details of events bothering us in our heads over and over again. In the end, we just feel more frustrated similar to how I felt when trying so hard to focus on the words in the Surat and analyze them. Perhaps, a better way to deal with the problem is actually to disconnect ourselves slightly from it and take a step back from the details. It is possible that the answer to the problem is already right there in front of us and all we have to do is shift our perspective to tap into a different, more intuitive part of our brains. Trying less could actually do more for us sometimes.