“And be not like those who have forgot Allah, so He made them forget themselves…”
What does it mean to be the best version of yourself? A question that we all ponder upon. As she struggled to find the best version of herself, she forgot the one who has already made her best. Though she did her very best to be a good human being, a good friend, a good sister with a good and positive attitude; there were moments when weakness hovers over her. All she needed was to remember Allah and He will make her among those who remember themselves.
Ever wondered how it felt to be the best version of yourself? Ever felt like no matter what you did you weren’t your best yet? That is okay, because to be the best version of yourself is to accept who you are, flaws and all. Looking in the mirror she pondered on the idea of being the best. Then it came to her that she is best when she is being herself. “I am who I am when I am myself!” a ringing quote in every moment of her day. She may have just searched high and low to find out how to be the best version of herself but forgot to recognize it when she was being her best.
First and foremost is to remember you are your best when you have love for yourself for the sake of Allah. Allah created you and He, The All-knowing has already blessed you with all your needs and wants. Yet we are always told with the right Dua you can always change the things in your life. She never stopped praying and making Dua because Dua has the power to change a life, a situation, an outlook and even the fate.As a believer she knew it is the most potent weapon that she has against the world. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) passed by a people who were suffering from some affliction. “Why don’t they make dua (prayer) to Allah for protection?” he (peace be upon him) said.
Remembering your purpose is a great start to finding your best version. It may take time to achieve this but we are not at lose as Allah will always show the right path to those seeking it. She started by recognizing that the best version of herself already existed deep within; she just needed to remember that it should be her version of being her very best and not anybody else’s. She needed to recognize that she was only required to be the best for Allah.
There’s no secret, no miracle or trick to being your best version, you just have to believe that you are good for you and you will be better for Allah. Acknowledge the idea that all you have to do is follow the guidelines given to you by the one who created you because He knows you better than you know yourself. Stop trying to find out what others define best; just look within and follow your heart.
With time she learned to celebrate the small achievements in her life, she started to embrace the flaws and in due time she had the blessing to appreciate what gave her motivation to succeed in this life and the next. Knowing that she is her best when those around her no longer defined her was a mere win. She focused more on her Dua as she asked for all of her needs from The Most Merciful, Most Gracious; those related to this world as well as those related to the Hereafter.
You don’t need to search far to find your best version; just remember Allah and He will show you the way.
And rely upon Allah; and sufficient is Allah as Disposer of affairs.
In search of who we are the most scariest thing is not knowing what the future holds. We walk on the earth like we own it but deep down we are scared. The way to beat the fear is not by knowing what tomorrow bring but what we can do today. Live your life like it’s your last because truthfully every second could be your last; do not fear death as it’s inevitable, be afraid of “HOW” you will go.
Allah promises in Quran Ch 94:5-6 to His mankind that He will surely relief you from hardships very soon if you put your trust in Him. I am not saying it will be easy to trust the process but it is reality. Once you put your trust in The All-Knowing, The All-Seeing, your worries will slowly start to vanish and your heart will learn to be at peace. When we live in fear, we live in the idea of not trying to succeed. Each challenge is a stepping stone to fighting our fear so we can succeed in life of this world and the next.
As a believer she has struggled a lot with her faith due to fear. She may have gone through a lot but has not lost hope. She knows it will take time to find constant peace, and it will require a lot of hard work and determination. This fight is just the beginning of a new journey. She must believe in herself and keep fighting her inner voice that blocks her from reaching out. She has to find a way to push and to focus on the positive side of all she has faced. She may not understand it all but she sure knows that The Giver, her Creator of all is bound to give her what she needs when the time is right. As she prayed for success she faced challenges that build her up. Then she prayed for joy and peace resulting in more trials that taught her patience and virtue. Every trial sent to her has evolved her into something, someone better. “Failure is success if we learn from it.” Malcolm Forbes. Though the world continued to create a fear in her heart, she knew that she must keep going. She wont fail if she keeps on learning from her mistakes, her flaws etc. The fear isn’t going to stop her from moving forward. It will eventually disappear when she learns to completely trust in the plan of the best of planners Allah s.w. “Everything you want is on the other side of fear.” Jack Canfield. Remember that it will get darker before it gets brighter and that is okay because at the end of the rope fear will not intimidate her any more. It will be that same fear that actually helps her grow, helps her fight, helps her achieve and succeed.
“He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.” Muhammad Ali. With each challenge she found herself more confused and in search of answers. Yet the heart learns to trust as it waits for those answers. She steps forward knowing that Allah is with her every step of the journey and she knows that by trusting Allah. She follows a process that helps her stay closer to Allah and so should you. When you know the one who created the life you have why would you worry so much. Depend on Him because he knows you best. Allah will not place you where you do not belong; so trust in His process.
At the end of the day, the sun will set, the wind will blow, and the stars will shine. Just remind yourself as she continues to remember that failure is not permanent. It is only created by our minds to prevent us from learning. But when we push ourselves to accept failure, analyze its causes, learn from mistakes and press on, we overcome our fear. We can reshape how we think of it and fight it. At the end we can stop it from preventing us to reach for success and from achieving what we truly want to achieve in life.
“I am so annoyed,” She said “Flip the switch!” echoed the voice “I am really tired!” She replied “Flip the switch!” echoed the voice ” I am drained and can’t seem to catch a break.” She replied “Flip the switch!” the voice echoed once more “I feel so broken and lost….” She cried “JUST FLIP THE SWITCH!!!” the echo yelled out.
Her mind did one thing and her heart did another; no matter what the mind thought of, it was her heart that she continued to follow. So strange how humans were created, so frail yet so strong. The mind and the heart, both stranded in one body pulling and pushing, fighting against one another. Both organs in the human body working with a different purpose yet together are stronger and apart they wander. The heart seems to have its own reasons that the mind will never know, and that’s okay too because at the end together they conquer the blow.
Her mind didn’t seem to understand what the her heart felt what needed to feel. Her thoughts have given up yet her heart has not. She knew when the time came it was her mind that took her out of the hole and it was her heart that gave her light in the darkness. Her mind built the stairs to climb out and her heart gave her the strength to start climbing. Her mind was a mysterious place filled with confusion; her heart was a vessel that continued to believe. Her mind filled with hope and her heart filled with prayers. Together there was no room for disbelieve.
When you just think that this is it, the end, I have had enough, or the thought of you not being able to do it any more – there’s that voice at the back of your head that keeps whispering “Flip the switch” – It’s your heart that always holds on to the rope even when your mind wants to let go. So what does it mean to “Flip the switch”??? It’s as simple as 1, 2, 3, change your thought is flipping the switch. Yes, it may seem impossible right now, but you ca change the no to a yes, the yes to a no, the now to later and the later to now.
I explained to her what was taught to me as a young woman by my great grandmother (May her soul rest in peace) who used to tell me, “Kila shimo lina mwanzo wake na mwisho wake. Ukitaka, angalia juu kuona mwanganza au angalia chini kuona giza” – this swahili phrase which states, “every hole has a beginning and end; if you choose, look up there’s light and look down there’s darkness.” I know it’s not making sense right now but believe it when I say I too never understood this phrase till now that I am older. I get the meaning because in life, we have two choice, we either see the glass half empty or we see it half full. Which choice you make will determine how you view your own journey.
She understood that the human heart and mind processed information in different ways. It was okay if her mind sometimes refused and rejected an idea because the heart on the other hand, may be impressed by a sudden sensation that can cause change in ones whole life choices. Her journey is not over yet. It just beginning!
“Ya Allah, I know this is your plan just help me through it.”
The Qur’an describes how Allah created Adam: “We created man from sounding clay, from mud molded into shape…” (15:26). And, “He began the creation of man from clay, and made his progeny from a quintessence of fluid” (32:7-8). Thus, human beings have a fundamental attachment to the earth. Take this in for a second, you were created by clay; therefore, with every trial and tribulation Allah is molding you, reshaping you, recreating you, and redefining everything about you. She spent day and night in search of herself worth but she found that she was regaining control of her life. She started reaching out to her loved one for guidance, and she was given the best advice. She was told, that sometimes people are able to help themselves reach their destinations; while others need extra help to get there. Even though some of us give up on ourselves but it’s not because we want to, it’s just that life tends to push you in that direction. Again, remember this doesn’t mean that things are over, or impossible to change – it just means you need more time or help to get there. You have to trust yourself that you will get where you are meant to be. When you don’t understand what’s happening in your life, Just close your eyes, take a moment and a deep breath then say, “Ya Allah, I know this is your plan just help me through it.” – We are not burdened by our Creator what we cannot bare, he gives and takes knowing that you can handle the challenge. She may not have been able to see this when going through so much, but those challenges are actually milestones needed for her to blossom into the best version of herself. When she was in doubt, she stopped and asked Allah by performing Salatul Istikhara [prayer for guidance]. She may have not gotten her answer the way she wanted but it was answered in the way she needed it; because Allah is The All-knowing and The All-seeing. This time as she searched she found something better!
Life as we know it, is a mysterious gift from the Almighty above. We do not choose where we are born, when we are born nor to whom. It’s a blessing and one must be grateful for it. This gift has been given to us in various ways; some have it all and some have none. Nonetheless, life comes in various ways but one thing is for sure; life helps build who you are and who you are meant to be. Your life is just a journey and not a race against anyone but your health and time. Time and good health is the only thing that is not guaranteed to us, “There are two blessings in which most people are in great loss: 1) Good health and 2) Free time.” (Bukhari) She wanted to understand the struggles in her life, but she would be wasting time and energy trying to figure this out. At the end of the day, your story is written by the Greastest of writters, The All-knowing Allah; then why do you not trust his plans? Life is change and change is part of life, she cannot escape this reality. Change is part of our daily experience, how many things change every second? how many things change every minute of every day? You change your clothes, your diet, your schedule, your goals, so why not change your perspective of things? As a believing creation, she needed the time to acknowledge that through change do we grow and learn new methods, new tricks, and new ways to deal with everyday issues. Through change do we become wiser and do we discover our own abilities and disabilities. Change is part of everyone’s life; even the dead change.
Be grateful for change as it is the hope that keeps up going and pushing forward. Just like the summer change into fall and winter into spring so does our daily life challenges. Smiles change to frowns and tears into cheers!
Be optimistic, even if you are in the eye of the storm.
Dr. ‘A’id Al-Qarni
“You’ll live to see another day,” something she heard a lot recently. She seemed to have forgotten that with each situation, good and bad works together in a mysterious way to form a greater ending. Every ending is the beginning of another story and every beginning is an end of one story! — Even though she was unable to see the ending as the beginning of a new phase; she believed that things were going to be better. She was overwhelmed by her present situation. Her mind clouded by life’s bitterness but it was her heart that she needed to trust. She knew that in time she would get back up and everything will be okay again; yet her mind seemed so far from making this true. Little did she know that the worst was coming her way. After everything she has been going through in the past few weeks; she couldn’t seem to find a break. The pain just kept creeping in through the cracks desperately wanting to tear her apart. No matter how much she got back up the next morning, she still felt the pain in her heart. Unfortunately, this was just the beginning of the journey that will change her life forever!
In a heart beat her soul was at the edge of giving up on life and all the hope that was left was stolen by the tears that never stopped streaming. Every night she would struggle to find sleep as she walked through her memories to find joy that no longer exists. She was alive in her mind, yet felt dead in the world; she existed just because. She would watch the sun set with no regrets; yet it rises with another storm to face; this was the journey written by her Creator above, a journey that she stumbled upon and has accepted it all. The storms arrived one after another, with no time to process them. “Do people think they will be left alone after saying ‘We believe’ without being put to the test?” – [Qur’an 29:2] What was meant to happen is happening, there is no way to control the situation but to remain calm. The trials and tribulations came together in synced in a rhythm of pain meant only for her; the purpose was not to break her. Her trials were meant to push her in a position where her head would bow down to the ground. She felt the weight pushing on her shoulders that she finally realized that it was a gift from Allah (God) sent to her to guide her back to the right path. Indeed, (Oh Muhammad), you do not guide whom you like, but Allah guides whom He wills. And He is most knowing of the [rightly] guided – [Qur’an 28:56] Allah (God) chose her at this moment to find guidance. She may have not realized this right now because she was going through so much but in time she will see the blessing behind this trial. As she continued to fight with herself, she found a moment of silence. In the depth of her silence she found the voice she thought was lost; in the mist of all her pain she found her strength. Her inner voice whispered a reminder, “Be optimistic, even if you are in the eye of the storm” and that she was!
Her story is a recovery journey of a woman who has been fighting with her self to find her inner peace and voice. Through this journey she has learned to listen and follow her heart. It will not be easy to help yourself heal nor will it be a one path jorney; but at the end of this journey – you will succeed!
Life as we know it, is a gift from the Almighty – a gift that offers so much to you and those around you. As humans we stumble from one milestone to another, from one challenge to the next, we keep going and we pray for the best. Life as we know it, is a mysterious expedition that never cease to amaze you. It’s a journey that comes and goes; special enough for those who take the time to understand their purpose. Life as we know it, is not knowing where you are headed as you take on different paths. It is a long roller coaster ride from which there is no turning back. Life as we know it, is just a box full of surprises!