By Sumaiyah Mohamed
Today I woke up, drank Teh Susu (tea with milk) during breakfast, looked into the mirror and I thought to myself, “Today is a good day. This Teh Susu is the bomb. This home is a haven. This family is a gift. This job I am getting ready to go to is a blessing. And this body and soul I live in – is beautiful.”
Yes! I told myself this very morning that I have had enough of feeling that I am not good enough. I may have many flaws and things I cannot quite seem capable enough to do – but I am not unworthy. I have gifts, and I can try, and I can learn, and I contribute to make my life, and this world, better, inshaAllah. May God give us strength!
I used to think I was too quiet, too awkward, too lazy, too chubby, and the list could go on! I had really low self-confidence. I remember not being fully present in social situations because I feared what people thought of me. I remember not trying my best at work because what would be the point – I was doomed to fail. Woah! Let us exit my pity party. Today, I am breaking up with my low self-confidence!
These are some of what I have learnt to make me say this.
ACCEPT THAT I AM WEAK. WE ARE ALL WEAK.
“Allah is He Who created you in (a state of) weakness, then gave you strength after weakness, then after strength gave (you) weakness and grey hair. He creates what He wills. And it is He Who is the All-Knowing, the All-Powerful (i.e. Able to do all things).”[30:54]
A dear sister shared this verse with me, mashaAllah. What a verse.. We are not created to be perfect or good in everything. We were created weak! Perhaps so that we would realise our need for God, the One whom is the source of all help, of all comforts, of all greatness, Allahu Akbar! Also perhaps so we would stumble and grow and learn and then be appreciative and humble of the progress we have made. Perhaps it would help us empathise with others who are also having a hard time.
We are weak yet what makes us strong and beautiful despite that is how we try to rise above our challenges and put in our best effort, realising that God will grant us His divine assistance. InsyaAllah.
BE IN A CONSTANT STATE OF MOVEMENT
Keep moving – do not indulge in the paralysis that are thoughts whispering that you are awful. Do something that help myself and others, instead. Grab a pen. Write a to-do list. Make some Teh Susu. And then perform the tasks needed for me to be beautifully productive slowly but surely.
As Martin Luther King Jr said,
“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”
FIND THE SACREDLY BEAUTIFUL IN THE SIMPLE
Be consciously beautiful in everything I do, even the simplest things. Find the joy and meaning in them. Make a lot of good intentions for the things I do.
FROM “THE FRAGRANCE OF FAITH” BY JAMAL RAHMAN:
“Make your day-to-day activities part of a larger story. What is commonplace becomes sacred and meaningful.
* For instance, every time Prophet Muhammad (saw) passed through any door, he paused to say, “Open to me the doors of Thy Mercy.”
* When removing your clothing, you can say, “I am peeling off layers of my ego.
* When showering: “These waters are cleansing and healing me physically, emotionally and mentally.”
* When talking on the phone: “The telephone is connecting me soul to soul to the other person.”
* When shaking hands: “Through these hands, I transmit God’s love and blessing.”
* When driving a car: “May God’s will steer me in the right direction in life.”
* When falling asleep: “I surrender into the embrace of angels who transport me into celestial dimensions that nourish and nurture me.””
Being beautiful may not be in the big things we achieve – it may be doing things simply, but wholeheartedly.
So as I say “Assalaamualaikum, Bye!” to my previously low sense of self worth, I seek comfort that God is always Greater. God is greater than my failures. God is greater than my flaws. God is greater than all the seemingly insurmountable challenges I face. Trust in His Grand Plan for us. Trust that He would never put our efforts, what we have gone through and all we have striven to become, to waste.