According to Merriam Webster dictionary self image has the following meaning ” : the way you think about yourself and your abilities or appearance” When we think of ourselves, we paint ourselves in different colors. Sometimes we paint with white or black stain. When we are successful, we paint ourselves in white stain while we fail we paint by black color/stain.
Self image doesn’t only mean thinking of ourselves, but it is also thinking of others with respect to us. When we think of ourselves, we may be boastful or lowered. If self image doesn’t take right path, it may harm the owner and lead to destruction. How many people have fallen to pit of destruction while they are thinking of themselves higher than anyone on the earth. Inversely, how many people while thinking of themselves lower than anyone humiliate their soul in every step of life. So self image should be in balance to lead a happy life and achieve success.
Self image shouldn’t go beyond the limit in such extent that it makes the person boastful and the oppressor. Such person always looks himself as airplane and looks others as a fly. Out of his self image magnification, he doesn’t know his own limits and other’s. Always he thinks of himself I am greater than anyone in all respects. When such person sees some other’s achievement and success, he envies and becomes sad. When he achieves some success, he wants to be heard by everyone on the earth. Self image is very important both in religion and worldly affairs. When self magnifier thinks of himself more obedient and devotee than any other worshipers, he steps up the level of extremism and lead himself astray from the straight path. He always thinks of himself perfect and without faults.
When we come to worldly affairs, he thinks of his wealth and lineage as means of greatness and high status. He thinks that the wealth he possesses came by only his efforts and knowledge while the truth is far from this. We do find a likeness of such person in the Qur’an who became boastful of his wealth and at the end either himself or his wealth was destroyed. Such as Qarun and a person who is mentioned in Sura Al-Kahf verse 32-42. These are very great lessons for us.
When self image is lower than its limit, the person becomes misery and humiliated. Such person doesn’t have great goals and ambition. He leads a life of cattle. He becomes fond of laziness and lowness. He thinks always downward. He has no ambition to achieve great things. Life becomes dark for him. He becomes pessimistic out of the very low self image. He has no courage,self esteem and determination. He lives in the cage humiliation and difficulty. When someone criticizes him and correct his faults, he can’t carry on his goal. Such person sells his religion and nation to the enemy and becomes their servant. He can’t carry out his religious and worldly duties correctly. He lives a life of doubt and fear.
When self image is balanced, the gates of success open. The person whose self image is balanced doesn’t look down upon others, nor looks himself very lower than anyone. He doesn’t give ear for unreasonable criticism from people. He knows his level and walks in that manner. He knows that the blessings and graces he has owned didn’t come by his only efforts and knowledge. Rather, they have come with the permission and decree of Allah(swt).
When making some errors and mistakes,we wrap undissolved problems. Rather than directing ourselves to correcting our mistakes,we create more thorn and friction to ourselves. When someone corrects us, we feel very ashamed and downward. When our self image out of limit, we look down upon that person and reproach him rather than thanking and correcting our mistakes.
As conclusion everyone has his own camera in which he looks himself and others. We should cleanse our camera to look at the thousand good side of others and our thousand faults. When we do this self image is erected and leveled. We will have a heart of forgiving and looking over trivial things. Our unity becomes strong. When our self image is erected, we begin to think great things to achieve. We start planning and programing our life. We wouldn’t live a life of cattle without goals.