The Ever-Present Grief

What happens when you can’t move on? When you keep on questioning in your mind why things happened? That you keep on looking at your messages and hoping for some sort of feedback or positivity, but you don’t receive it?

It’s sad…very sad šŸ˜¦ I think about the heart-break every day and I wonder if she thinks about it too. I very much doubt she does as she is stronger than me and maybe she doesn’t hold onto painful feelings like I do. She was the one who initiated the break up so she wasn’t the one to be hurt, she brought about the hurt. She said it was just “irrelevant water under the bridge” for her. That hurted. You make another human being and their life a priority, but you now feel as if you’re just nothing to them.

I can’t let go and Allah knows why. There is too much that can’t be avoided and that we can’t run away from. We can’t run away from our ambitions and the reality of life. Grief is hard to overcome and maybe in many ways it can’t. It feels that some things and some people were so deeply ingrained within your life that the departure of them leaves a hole and leaves you feeling empty. You then search around like a headless chicken for the next best thing to fill that space with, but are never quite satisfied with what you get as you’re still mourning over what you lost.

I will still pray and hope that Allah will fix things. I hope Allah repairs our relationship for His sake. I can’t move on and I don’t want to. However, it isn’t right for me to ruminate about this all the time either.

We are taught that Allah’s plan is the best plan. I wasn’t prepared for this painful break-up and I didn’t plan for it to happen. But I’m required to trust Allah in that it was for the best. When I think about it, yes, I did rely on her too much so maybe I am being taught the hard way how to cope with life on my own, how to turn to Allah (instead of other human beings), how to complain to Allah (instead of other human beings) and how to make my own decisions based on what I think is important rather than what someone else thinks is important.

We had things in common (many things) but there were things we differed on too, like our approaches to life, what we wanted, our thinking patterns and our strategies.

This really must be the time for me to learn true tawaqqul. That Allah is in control of my rizq and I shouldn’t depend too much on my own actions, which I feel I currently do.

I am a lazy human being who wastes too much time thinking and ruminating. It is my comfort zone – I am a thinker. But I need to become more active and extrovert myself. I should get up and about and move around – do things that would be useful inshaAllah. There’s too much procrastination happening now. I can’t be bothered to do a lot. I need to seize the day.

I’m worrying and thinking a lot about things that I can’t really control, so I should start focussing on what I can control but still continue making d’ua for those things that I would like and that I value but can’t have right now for whatever reason.

Lessons from Moses

Musa/Moses (may Allah be pleased with him) was given the mighty task of conveying the message to the biggest and most evil oppressor of the time – and that was Fir’aun.

Musa (as) had a speech impediment so if we can try to imagine how he was today, maybe he would have come across as being a shy person with a stutter, so in the eyes of other human beings, maybe he wasn’t the ideal person for conveying a big message. However, Allah chose him and that makes him more than ideal – it makes him perfect. 

I think this should inspire confidence in the rest of us, that the loudest voices aren’t necessarily the most able. They may come across as being competent and perhaps in many ways it is easier for them to assert their views, however, quiet people can be just as good a leader/messenger. They should be able to speak up against evil and tyranny when the situation requires, even if it means people will not take them seriously. Being quiet or introverted does not mean that one is relieved of the duty to stand up for good. 

I think there are so many beautiful lessons in Surah ash-shuara. The example of Musa (as) should inspire and motivate us because it shows us that he also felt fear and worry. These are normal human emotions. However, we are required to act in ways that defy what we are feeling or thinking inside. At the end of the day, Allah is judging us for what we do and not how we think or feel. At least, that’s what I think is the case. Of course, I have a lot to learn and the journey continues inshaAllah.

The Wrong Search For Happiness

I sat around my family, the people who I love and adore and I just felt sad. Sometimes I just think, what is the point of all this? I feel really bored.

I always struggle with free time because that’s when I start to think negatively or ruminate.

I feel distant from Allah so I know I want to navigate my life back to Him. I want to seek more of His help and guidance. I want more khushu (concentration) in my salah (prayers). I really should be reciting my adhkar every day as that helps to protect me from evil.

I have definitely improved as the last two days, I have been reciting my adhkar and recited the Qur’an so that is definitely a start.

I have just emerged from a very low period in my life and looking into the past, I know that Allah granted me good things after hardship. He granted me nice things such as nice people, nice gifts, a nice environment, general happiness. 

I think I mistakenly search for happiness or want my life to be happy when it is actually normal and ok to have bad days or disagreements with people, or be made to feel rubbish by other human beings. These are normal human experiences. They suck, but everyone goes through it and everything in this dunya is temporary.

We’re required to have sabr. Sabr is translated as patience which can sometimes come across as being passive. Maybe I need to remind myself of sabr again and what it means inshaAllah.

Feeling Rubbish

I just feel so rubbish today which is the opposite of how I felt yesterday. I had an argument with my mum and it has triggered so many other suppressed feelings that haven’t really been dealt with. 

I have strong values and my mother is very argumentative. When I challenge her very fixed beliefs which don’t seem right to her, she gets angry at me and shouts at me, not listening to anything I say which makes me go away feeling quite horrible. It’s really not nice to be spoken to like that. 

It makes me worry about my future and I feel concerned about how my mother is in some ways the gatekeeper for a lot of things in my life, i.e. I usually seek her permission before doing things.

I don’t know how to live my life sometimes. I have this passion to convey what is true and challenge people, but when the reaction is so harsh, I can stay upset at people for so long. A counsellor commented on my thought processes once and she mentioned that I seemed to have been adding more pain on top of the pain I was already dealing with.

And this probably happens because I over-analyse and catastrophise. I ask questions about things but things don’t really make sense to me. That’s what emotions do to you. They are probably not there to be made sense of. They just are what they are. They alert you to the fact that something isn’t right. 

Life is hard and I’m not sure what to do. 

Stopping ProcrastinationĀ 

I feel sad that I’m being so lazy. There are things I have made the intention to do, like clear out my wardrobe and make more space for my belongings, as currently I am running out of space and opening my wardrobe isn’t a very pleasant experience. There is just far too much stuffed inside it.

I’ve just been lying in bed for far too long. I wondered earlier today how productive my life might have been if I didn’t have a smartphone. Smartphones and ipads have good productivity uses, like with research for example, but it can truly zap you of your productivity if you are spending too long on your gadgets.

It is far too easy and tempting for me to turn to my phone in order to procrastinate from doing things that are way more important for me and my life.

It’s something that really needs to change inshaAllah. So right now, I will put my phone away inshaAllah, pray zuhr, have lunch and then get started with emptying my wardrobe.

Me with Other People

It is the shaytan that makes me focus on the flaws of other believers. He wants to disunite the Muslims because together, we can be a much stronger force against evil. 

I must try to remind myself of that each time I’m thinking of the flaws of a believer or questioning why certain things happened to me. They happened by the decree of Allah and that is what needs to be accepted. Everything that happened, happened because Allah thought it would be good. I have no control over the actions of others. I just need to try and respond in the appropriate manner.

I need to think of my time these days. Time is ticking along as death approaches and there are things that are way more important that requires my focus. These are things like da’wah, developing my relationship with Allah, connecting with my family and of course Medicine. All of these are overarching aims of my life and I must not forget my main priorities.

I do not know where my life is heading. I tried to take control of it in the past but my actions did not always lead to the desired response. Sometimes you just need to submit yourself to Allah’s plan which is the best plan. We cannot know in advance what this plan is, but we are told in the Qur’an that His plan is better than our own. 

I met with a friend today and it was nice to be pulled away from my own life. Our discussions helped me to reflect on my own life and I’m hoping that I’ll continue to reflect on things.

It’s nice to know that there are other human beings who are similar to you out there. It seems that we can share some of our experiences and understand each other. We can also talk about how we dealt with a situation ourselves which can give each of us a different insight into a similar situation. We can learn from each other, advise each other, etc, etc.

One thing I’m reflecting on right now is whether I judge people too harshly. But perhaps that is ok because as Muslims, we should perceive the world through the same lens as the Qur’an and sunnah. As long as we don’t let people know that we’re judging them inside our heads and try our best to be kind and act oppositely to the harsh and condemning way we feel towards other believers, then maybe that would be a better strategy to take inshaAllah.

I’m just thinking about everything right now but the truth is, I have lots of flaws and I need to work on those immediately. I’ve really started to neglect worship – stuff that is both fardh and sunnah so I need to get back on it, as the consequences of this could be very severe in the next life.

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.