Moving On

My best friend was a huge part of my life. We used to talk to each other like nearly every day. I guess it wasn’t sustainable. Eventhough our contact is a lot more limited these days, I think about her quite a lot. I wonder what she’s doing, whether she is happy or sad, whether she thinks about me at all? I don’t know.

I feel it is now time for me to have empathy towards her and just accept that we have different approaches to conflict resolution. I like to get things out to the surface, whereas she is more passive and likes to just leave things and see how they span out. I don’t think her approach is great to be honest but it’s probably because she cannot emotionally withstand difficult discussions. She finds it too painful. As much as I want to challenge her and get her to see the error of her ways, I need to realise that I can’t change her. She is who she is. She had a whole lot of strengths but recently I have been exposed to her weaknesses.

Anyway, that’s for her to deal with and maybe I shouldn’t see the world’s problems as my own problems, eventhough I usually do…sometimes. I like to help people and fix things. Like the other day, my flatmate was complaining to me about her money problems and I tried to give her some options for things she could do, like get a job, but she said “i don’t want you to try and fix my problems. I’m only telling you because you asked me how I was”. I was trying to be nice I guess, but I now realise that people don’t necessarily want you to try and fix their lives (eventhough that is the approach i usually take). They just want to rant sometimes for the sake of ranting, without wanting a solution.

So basically, sometimes I just need to let things go and offer sympathy/empathy. I could tell them “i know how it feels and it sucks” or “I hope that things improve soon inshaAllah” or even “no state in life is permanent. Everything is temporary and all the pain will end one day because everything in the dunya will end”. 

Maybe I can focus my mind on what unites me and my friends as Muslims, rather than become transfixed on where we differ or what drives us apart.

Sometimes I feel that life is like one big obstacle course. You overcome one obstacle and then you bumble along for a short while, trying to reach the end, when you are faced with another obstacle. 

Relationships will never be perfect. I thought this friendship of mine was pretty close to being free from the defects that I observed around me in other friendships – where they used to hang around each other and be all smiley but talk negatively about each other behind their backs. I would feel grateful that I had a decent friend who had good values and morals.

She says she still respects me and thinks I am a good person and Muslim, so maybe I should treasure that and trust her when she says that, rather than trying to work out what she meant by certain statements that upset me but she wasn’t prepared to elaborate upon. It just seemed a little unfair.

This is all easy to say but will be difficult to put into practice. It can’t really be ideal to tell myself not to think about something because that would be exactly what I thought about.

I need to be more active and maybe do other things that divert me from this. I have planned a few nice things with my family but maybe I should find other interests or practice mindfulness. I know I have issues with being in the moment as my mind is always a hundred miles away. I am constantly analysing things or making judgements based on my preconceived ideas which means I don’t think I am fully taking in what is happening around me, so I probably miss out on vital clues around me.

I’m also procrastinating about something in my life which I should really get onto. This isn’t the easiest thing to deal with but I need to get onto it inshaAllah. Maybe I can find an easier way to deal with it inshaAllah.

Life is hard but I need to be active. Lying in bed and thinking and thinking without moving or taking active steps is likely to leave me feeling depleted of energy without even having done anything. I need to move on and embrace what is going on around me!

A Nice Break

I have time off from uni and I feel a little bit bored. I get used to that hustle and bustle and business of life. However, I know that it is vital that I have a break and try to recover from it all. I shouldn’t exert myself too much. I should just try and relax and have a nice time.

The silence in my life gives me more space and time to think about other areas of my life – the aspects that I usually end up neglecting during term-time when my studies take over.

I should ensure that I make the most of this spare time and be a better version of myself.

The World Betrayed Me

I was betrayed by the world. It promised me happiness, excitement and adventure. I watched tv shows and movies where people looked happy and joyful. They seemed to have the best lives in the world. And so I imagined that world inside my head and felt that that was the ideal world. Those were my expectations of how my life should be, based on what I thought the people I saw on tv and some of my peers around me experienced.

However, I was fooled as people only portray one side of the story. The actors and celebrities I witnessed suffered huge public break-ups, losses in wealth, drug addictions and mental health problems – those weren’t talked about or displayed. And the people around me, well, they had/have struggles of their own which they did not display.

I had this delusion that I should be happy. I saw people laughing and smiling around me, but then I came back to my empty room in my flat – shared with some strangers or people I did not really connect with. I felt lonely and empty.

I’m so bored of this life that I lead. I feel bad saying that because I feel I am meant to cherish what I have and be content. But the truth is, I am not living a life that is in tune with my values. I am trying to please the world around me, to conform, to keep the peace.

I must strive to develop myself, even if this is against my nafs. I have to challenge my fears or else I will not get anywhere. I need to put my desire to please people aside and do what I think will please Allah. 

I feel so alone right now. I think of having a spouse, imagining a better life with him, but these things don’t come easily and the reality probably won’t match up with my fantasies anyway.

Instead Allah, please rid me of all the dark/sinful thoughts/feelings within me and allow me to do what is right to save my soul and for the good of the society around me.

I’m just numbing myself with food, movies, tv and work again. This isn’t the life I ought to be living. I make excuses to myself and say I have no choice. But the truth is, I’ve always had a choice and I still do but my fears and my need to conform stop me from moving forward. I feel stuck. 

I need to do what I can to be unstuck inshaAllah. It’s not going to be easy. I can’t fool myself into thinking so. Or maybe thinking that way makes it easier.

Ya Allah, please help me and grant me your support and assistance. You gifted me but I felt unable to bear that gift and I feel so bad about it. I feel like I have left your path so please bring me back to it, Ameen.

This is It

I reminded myself earlier on today that I must find ways to spread the true message of islam, the one that the Prophet (saw) came with.

I prayed to Allah that He provides those opportunities for me. I am living in a country which is predominantly non-Muslim so this is the responsibility I have.

I feel a bit more relieved now that I have brought this issue to the surface of my mind as I have been feeling a little lost lately and as if I had not been living a life that is in line with my values.

I want to be able to teach people tawheed, to remind them to go back to the earliest sources and live a life in accordance with that.

I’ve been feeling a little bit miserable lately and I couldn’t really figure out why. I just knew that I was spending too much time on medicine when it wasn’t right to as there are lots of other things which I deem to be important – like my family and my faith. 

I tried to do a goal-setting exercise earlier but I didn’t find it very helpful and it did not give me any greater clarity. However, I listened to a lecture later about living like the companions (of the prophet pbuh) as a minority (in Makkah), and it reminded me of the intrinsic importance of spreading the holy message – and this is what I must do.

I have been grieving over a lost friendship these past few months, and it took away some of my confidence and my self-esteem. I questioned who I was and wondered what feature it was about me that made such a beautiful person in my life turn away from me. But I have to be truly honest with myself and that is that all people have flaws and they have their own struggles, so I should try not to take it personally as the break-up was probably more about them than it was about me.

I want to use my time in better ways now and here are some of my ideas for what to do:

Active Learning

  • Learn about the etiquettes of giving da’wah (I can look for some good books on this and make some good notes so it is an active learning process).
  • I want to look up the islamic view on key issues and try to write scripts on how I can teach this to people.

Into Action

  • Find a platform and a way I can convey this message to people I know including family and friends. This could be face to face and through other mediums.

    Maintenance

    • Continue reciting Qur’an and translation everyday. Of course, in order to convey the message, it would be good if I was as close to Allah’s message as much as possible. This requires me to be knowledgeable on the text.

    Two years ago, I had a eureka moment in my life where I felt like I understood what my place in it was. Since then, I have had an emotional rollercoaster of a ride.

    Life has changed for me and I need to adapt. I’m not always good at adapting so this is my new aim inshaAllah. 

    I hope Allah blesses this for me inshaAllah. I will try to get started with Step 1 now, and that is to find some good resources/books on da’wah inshaAllah.

    I must Spread Allah’s Message

    Why do I feel sad, I ask myself?

    Is it because I’m not the person I want to be? Is it because I’m not living a life that is fully in tune with my values? What can I do to combat this?

    There are things that are not within my control. However, there are things that ARE within my control so maybe those are the things I should manouvre towards.

    Why am I here and what is my purpose? I am here to worship Allah and please Him. So the most important thing I must do is to educate myself re. Allah’s message and then spread that to the people I love and adore. What is stopping me from doing that? It is my low confidence and my fear of being hurt, called names, being frowned at and viewed as stupid or deficient in my rationale? 

    Maybe that is what I am truly supposed to do? To live a life that is fully in line with my values. I need to spread the message of islam. That is what is important and I haven’t done that for a long time. I need to make d’ua that Allah gives me the courage and ability to do this, so that I am unafraid of the consequences.

    The prophets and the sahabah were harmed. That was what they had to endure but they have been promised Paradise. If it’s paradise that I seek, then I need to follow in their footsteps. Do I really want the fun and games of this dunya whilst sacrificing my akhirah? No, of course it isn’t.

    So this is what I must do. I must speak to people about islam and tawheed inshaAllah.

    Am I Too Shy?

    So I get told quite a lot that I need to be more confident but I wonder how seriously I should take this. And I wonder, what does it mean to be more confident? Does it mean that you talk more? Is it in the way you come across? Is it in the tone and volume of your voice?

    Surely true confidence comes when you are competent? As in it is natural to feel less confident when you are in a new environment for the first time, around new people and don’t really know a great deal much. You’re like an apprentice as a medical student so surely it is acceptable to be a little bit nervous. However, I understand that some people look more confortable and more confident even when they do not know something. They are braver and bolder in the way they come across.

    Do I really want to come across that way when I am still learning? I want to be humble and approachable. If I look like I know everything, then who will be willing to teach me? I don’t want to be arrogant as I know some medical students do come across that way and the nurses/other staff don’t like it. 

    I begin to think that there is something wrong with me or I should be different when people say that about me. Confidence isn’t something that happens overnight. It fluctuates and the roots of one’s confidence can emerge from so many different factors like their upbringing, which are things that can’t easily be corrected.

    I already feel deficient often as a result of experiences in my life which I perceived to be negative, so it can be a little worrying when other people point out things that are perceived as flaws for them.

    I was reading a little bit about confidence today. I have a tendency to want to read about things or look things up when I feel there is an issue with me. However, this isn’t always productive. It just makes me analyse and ruminate more. So perhaps I should just let some comments pass over me, or I don’t know.

    Like take yesterday for instance – I was worried about something that isn’t even an issue today as Allah resolved it overnight. So maybe that can put things into perspective inshaAllah. Not everything needs to be zoomed into on a microscopic level. There are some things that won’t be able to be seen with the naked eye. And maybe I just need to accept that, rather than try to diagnose everything. I am super analytical and critical by nature. Viewing myself through that lens can often be very painful. However, it’s just a habit.

    Maybe I need to turn to Allah more instead and ask Him for guidance on how to be. I did make some d’ua for this today. I want to be a humble (non arrogant) Muslimah. I want to have hayah and I want to please Allah. But a part of me also wants to be seen as a competent medical student who will one day (inshaAllah) be a doctor. That part of me wants to have the approval and the acceptance of other doctors in the profession, though I am aware that many of them are so different to me in terms of their culture, religion and values. However, I am pretty sure and I do hope that there are doctors out there who have similar views to me and want to be as islamic as they can, but it’s so hard when you have conflicting messages/expectations of what is good.

    Maybe I shouldn’t let the views of a few doctors get to me. They come from a society that has different views/expectations of how people should act/behave, so clearly they are not so trustworthy when it comes to judging me.

    I should only judge myself through the lens of the Qur’an and the sunnah.

    General Life/Personal Reflections

    I’ve just been generally feeling quite low today. There’s a few different things on my mind and one of these things I have tried to avoid tackling and put off until I had more time and was feeling better. And now I have to deal with it and I’m not sure how I feel about it. I have mixed feelings and definitely a few worries/concerns. 

    I don’t like it when people might be hurt as a result of my stance on issues. However, I do not want to make any assumptions as I could be wrong. I am praying that Allah fixes things.

    I also had a dream and it seems trivial but it was based around things that had already happened to me during the day so it felt a little too realistic. It’s not nice to have unpleasant feelings towards the people you care about and want in your life. Maybe it begs the question, are these people good for you? 

    Or maybe it is just me being OTT. Everyone in life is living through their own wants and desires. It might not make sense to me but it doesn’t have to.

    I just have to continue pursuing my own life, doing what I think is best and pursuing what is important to me. What is important will be different to different people and I don’t need to go along with the crowd and feel like I need to follow my peers. It’s a weird position to be in when you feel concerned about the welfare of others but they don’t want you to pry into their lives or question them. And you don’t want to risk making an already rocky relationship worse.

    I’m just a bit annoyed and a little bit reflective also about how much to trust the feedback that is given to me by other doctors about my approach to clinical medicine. I could say that different students bring out different sides of me but when you have had the same feedback after being with two very different types of students, then you just wonder how seriously to take that feedback. It feels like it’s a criticism of who I am as a person and how I come across to others. Being quiet and reflective certainly isn’t valued in the society we’re living in. 

    But maybe I should just give this all a rest and just try to enjoy myself inshaAllah. I need happy and positive distractions. 

    My life, islam and nifaaq

    Recently I have been writing about my awareness of the fact that I am spending too much time on Medicine and not enough time is being devoted to the other things that are actually in many ways more important than my career – and that is my deen (religion) and my loved ones.

    I don’t think I’m living a life that is in line with my values and I am struggling to do so as medicine demands so much from me and I feel like I need to perform well. My prayers are suffering, I don’t recite my daily adhkar like I used to and same with my daily Quran recitation. So things are slipping and I can’t let that happen inshaAllah!

    I woke up just before fajr today and I browsed the net aimlessly again (need to stop doing that, but need to find a better replacement). I felt saddened at the news that the lead singer of linkin park had taken his life on the birthday of his close friend who had taken his own life a few months prior to that. I came across a very emotive letter that he had written about a friend and it contained triggers that just set me off a little. I knew I had to do something to fix it, so I prayed and I opened up the Qur’an.

    I was on surah al ankaboot and it reminded me that there will be trials in our lives – that is to be expected. It won’t be smooth sailing and Allah already warned the believers about this. He will test us to see and prove which ones of us are upon the truth, as there are some people who believe only based upon their whims and desires, i.e. if islam serves their personal interests/circumstances, they will follow the deen but these people are munaafiqeen (hypocrites). They’re not in it for the sake of Allah. They are in it for the sake of their own nafs. (Ya Allah, please save us from nifaaq/hypocrisy). These are the types of people who rejected islam when it meant that they’d have to give up what was near and dear to them. However, when the people of islam began to prosper, that is when they ran to embrace islam. We should strive to be like the Muslims who embraced islam even during the days when islam was unpopular.

    It seems like it would be easy to fall into nifaaq as humans are drawn to things that make them happy and if islam brings them pain and they are struggling with it, there would be a temptation to turn away from it, but the challenge is to hold on. It will be worth it in the end.

    Reading the Quran made me feel so much calmer and better. It made me feel reassured as sometimes I feel like I am not worth very much and am not a very good Muslim, but that sometimes makes me turn away from Allah as I feel so bad about myself when it’s the shaytan making me feel this way.

    So I just wanted to remind myself, that I need to continue pursuing what is good and what is true. And that needs to start with me consulting and making d’ua to Allah.

    The Quest for Self Improvement and Change

    There’s this sin that I keep on doing. I find it difficult to stop myself. It doesn’t happen all the time, only when I’m bored or feeling rubbish. It makes me feel better but the joy is very short-lasting as I’m left with guilt afterwards and feel even more rubbish. That after-feeling should be a deterrent for me, and I need to remind myself that my abstinence from sinful activity is so that I can have a greater reward with Allah. 

    I am definitely being sucked into medicine so I could really do with a break. I find it difficult to strike a balance between wanting to be successful in my career and also preserving my physical and emotional wellbeing. And it is usually the latter that takes a bashing as it is what I compromise on the most.

    But I need to remind myself that if I look after my health, then inshaAllah that will benefit my career as well. I can sit down here and list my flaws and can identify what I could do to try and improve but the truth is, I feel quite unmotivated to change. What is the point? What am I doing it for? Who am I doing it for? It is clear that my motivation for medicine has decreased a little bit. I feel I am enjoying it less and it feels like a bit of a chore at times. Which is why I definitely need to start doing things in between to enjoy myself as it is very tempting to just want to pull away from the world and focus on one thing, when in reality, it isn’t that one thing that will grant me the ultimate success and happiness that I crave for.

    What am I craving for? That is another question. The answer is probably different to what I should be craving for and that is to earn the pleasure of Allah and attain jannah. But the truth is, often my actions don’t really fit with that model. The struggles are ongoing to become a better me and a better Muslimah inshaAllah.

    May Allah make it easy for us all. Ameen.

    I need a Break

    I feel tired and exhausted after a pretty intensive few weeks of Medicine. I’ve been trying to take advantage of what happens on the ward and am trying to learn from everything that happens around me. This type of learning is different to my usual approach of trying to do a lot of pre-reading and then expecting myself to have all the relevant knowledge when faced with a patient/scenario.

    The truth is, there is so much uncertainty in Medicine and I will always be faced with things I don’t know. I need to learn to become comfortable with it.

    I also really feel like I need a break. My head is hurting and my mind just feels like it is full of medicine. I need to break free from the grip that medicine has over me. I want to be the one regulating my life and giving each item in my life the time and care that it/they deserve, rather than me just being pulled along with whatever comes my way. However, this isn’t always possible as there will be times when I am under external pressure and this external pressure comes into conflict with my own views/beliefs about how my life should be. 

    (Sigh)

    I need to also do the things that make me happy – socialise, see friends, go shopping (but only buy useful things or else I will find myself being money depleted pretty quickly which will make me more unhappy), go for walks into town, find some grass and lie down on it and stare up at the night sky. 

    Thinking about these things makes me happy as recently I have been mainly thinking about medicine. And even when I am trying to do other things like enjoying a tv programme or watching a movie, I can’t even focus on that.

    Maybe I should try to just get past this week and then use the weekend to reflect and recuperate inshaAllah.