Assalam Aleykum Warahmatullahy
As I write this post, it will be my third attempt at trying to make something out of my words. Not that the previous posts weren’t good enough, on the contrary, they just didn’t feel complete. The emotions they evoked and the messages they portrayed weren’t in unison with the direction I had in mind. I wanted to write something that was heartfelt but still beneficial to you guys. Normally, I write posts that speak to me first and foremost. My basic misanthropic rants (that we all enjoy, I know), are mostly written to help me put things into perspective, to speak from my heart and let the negative stuff go. However I wanted this post to really be for you guys…but also ultimately for me because I’m the one looking through my experiences and conveying my thoughts; not forgetting that I’m also subconsciously a self- serving narcissistic Primadonna who can’t help it.
Lol just kidding!
No really though.
Eventually all the brain racking resulted in a light bulb going off and I thought, well what did I learn from 2015 that would help me become a better sailor for the rough waters of 2016? Then I thought, hey, these are some really great lessons (the narcissist in me, I told you I can’t help it), I should share them because you never know whose heart may be softened by this. So that’s what this is. My most important lessons from 2015 that will help mould me and you into better sailors, not only for 2016 but also for the future in shaa Allah.
Ps. this post turned out to be fairly long, so I decided to break it up. Hence I’m sharing my first two lessons today and then tomorrow I’ll share the rest in shaa Allah. I hope they help!
Oh and Happy New Year!
Do you boo. Seriously.
I know, this is an extreme cliché. However, words as important as these need to be repeated constantly because we don’t get enough of this. We need this in our lives, at least I do. Today’s society bombards us with so many identities and so many idols we ‘need’ to look up to and strive to be like, because otherwise our lives have no worth. And even though we’re onto their mind control games and strategies to defame our true selves, we can’t help but fall into their trap.
Just recently I caught myself. I caught myself allowing all these social media sites to dictate how I feel and live my life. My mom keeps telling me I’m addicted to my phone and I can’t help but hate her for saying that. But there is some truth to it, and not in the good kind. I allowed a number to infiltrate the eerie parts of my head and coerce me into feeling worthless against my own will. Paying close attention to what everyone else was doing and forgetting that I was not them. That I was me.
That my writing was like me and my art was like me. Not like the one who’s writing I wanted to mimic. Or the one whose art made me feel inadequate. And certainly not like the one whose number of followers and likes and amazing pictorial composition made my life seem utterly mundane, that I couldn’t help but wonder what I was doing with myself. I felt like every second of my life was meant to be spent doing something extraordinary, that anything otherwise, would be me wasting my life away. But aren’t these humdrum moments what make the extraordinary part of life so extraordinary in the first place? I seem to have to constantly remind myself that there’s a big difference between being inspired and being obsessed.
However I caught myself red handed trying to sabotage my truth and I decided no more. Because where’s the fun in trying to transform yourself into a carbon copy of someone else? That only leads to misery and don’t we all ultimately just want to be happy? I realized that all this unnecessary pressure is only going to rain on my parade. So take my advice and just be you. We really don’t appreciate ourselves enough and its time we start doing that.
Pray about everything.
I had to get sick for me to realize that I needed to relax and chill out. A lot of you probably know by now that anxiety is not pretty. I used to think most people were like me, that they would think extensively about ongoing or imminent events to the point of a nervous breakdown. I thought that was normal. Everyone does that right?
Wrong. Actually, that is something that is quite bizarre to the rest of the world. I don’t know about where you guys come from, but here in Kenya mental disorders are still not considered as ‘legitimate’ illnesses by the society at large. Things like anxiety, depression, and eating disorders are seen more as ways of seeking attention, and unless you are surrounded by adequately informed people, you are blatantly expected to just…get over it. Finding someone who genuinely understands you, and wants to help you, especially one whom you feel comfortable enough to open up to, can be quite difficult at times. Acknowledging that keeping things bottled up inside is definitely an unhealthy way to go, I find that it really helps to pray. There’s a sense of relief that comes with knowing that there’s a higher power behind everything that happens. That everything happens for a reason and everything will eventually be ok.
I know that most of us turn to Allah (sw) when there’s something huge weighing down on us. But why not pray about the small stuff too? Like praying to have a good walk to the bus stop or asking Allah (sw) to bless you as you clean your house, or cook breakfast or make an art project. I practiced a little bit of this in 2015 and it impacted my life immensely. Having that positive consciousness that Allah (sw) is ever present in your life, guiding you, protecting you and blessing you constantly, helps put things in perspective especially when that anxiety bug kicks in and tries to drive you to dementia.
So as you eagerly anticipate the next three lessons that I’m going to share, think about and internalize what I just said ok? Ok. Happy 2016!