“But I’m a strong individual with a healthy state-of-mind, I obviously can deal with stress and any other psychological challenge the world may throw at me.” Unfortunately, no, you can’t. Besides the contention that Allah created us social creatures for a reason, of which the implications are many – indeed, entire fields of research such as anthropology, sociology, psychology, etc. developed as a consequence – I argue that it is theoretically impossible to have the capacity to deal with all psychological issues by ourselves. To illustrate, my clinical supervisor once provided me with this great analogy, which I’d like to share with everyone.
He said that if you were to look at yourself right now (without the use of mirrors), all you’d see of yourself are your arms, torso, and legs. In fact, you’re basically only seeing that which you need to get by for most of the day; we walk forward with our legs and we interact with object with our arms. However, if I would ask you to describe your back at this very moment, you’d probably be stumped. Indeed, there are parts of us we can’t see without the help of others. "But what about our internal mirror," you reply, "is it not called ‘self-reflection’ precisely because we reflect unto ourselves?" This solution may sound intuitive, but just think about it for a moment; clearly, our internal mirror isn’t perfect. Without a doubt, our experiences over the years blur, bend and even break the mirror we have inside. Perhaps an extreme example, but just imagine a rather thin individual who, gazing at their own reflection, sincerely see themselves as fat despite everyone telling them otherwise; the mirror here isn’t part of the previous analogy anymore, people actually perceive themselves differently than how others see them in real life. Returning to the analogy then, our internal mirror obviously may not reflect reality as much as we’d like it to. Thus, the importance of others who can help us self-reflect cannot be understated, nor can it be neglected without significant repercussions. If not, a little psychological boo-boo may develop into a full-fledged issue when left unattended.
I don’t necessarily like discussing theory without perhaps reflecting on some action points we can derive from it. In this case, it’s plain and simple: if you don’t have somebody in your life you can use to self-reflect, then find them. The Prophet (salallah alaihi wa sallem) understood this better than anyone else:
"A believer is a mirror to his brother. A believer is a brother of a believer: he protects him against any danger and guards him from behind” (Related in Al Bukhari).
Find that person.