Self-Sabotage.

Why do I always do this to myself? Just when things seem to be going good, I pull the rug out from under me. I don’t know if it’s because I’m afraid of success–so I pile on an insurmountable load of work onto my shoulders–or because I’m just a glutton for punishment.

Either way, I’ve made the decision to dedicate myself to the life of a student. I’m killing myself for no reason, and fracturing my focus between far too many disparate goals.

It’s going to be hard to face the facts when I talk to my supervisors on Monday, but this is no way for anyone to live.

I need to own up to my one responsibility now: finishing school. Everything else can wait.

I need to rediscover who I used to be. The girl who craved the company of books, who wasn’t running 24/7. I used to spend every lunch hour in high school just reading, reading, reading. The best company was that of books.

I want to find that girl again, that girl I used to be. There is nothing wrong with being close to people, but people inevitably disappoint and hurt us.

I remember one day, long ago in high school, I ditched the bus and spent all day in a playground reading the final book in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. After I read the last line I closed the book and cried. I cried because I was moved, I cried because I was scared to go to school, I cried because I was awed at what the human mind can produce when motivated.

I need to find that girl again, the one who loved books and not people. The one who cried everyday when she got home because she didn’t think about Allah for one second that day, and curled up with the Quran and read until the pain dulled. The girl who couldn’t sleep until she read the Quran and prayed with all her heart because it was all she had.

I was miserable in high school, but the one thing I knew was that there was only one way out: through the remembrance of God. Nothing else.

When things ameliorated for me and my family, I slowly became cocky and arrogant. I wasn’t alone anymore, I wasn’t miserable anymore. For the first time in my life I was surrounded by other Muslims in college. I slowly lost my connection to seeking solitude, and refuge in the remembrance of God and solace through prayer. My actions migrated from the inward to the outward, because for the first time in my life, my outward life was something I actually looked forward to.

Insha Allah I will find that balance. The balance between my inner spiritual life and my outward life. I can’t cultivate the outside without focusing on the inside.

I know that girl is in here somewhere. I’m gonna find her, insha Allah. She’ll step out into the sunlight, smile, sigh contentedly and murmur, “Well, I’m back.”

Then she’ll pick up a book, curl up, and rediscover the true meaning of solitude.

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7 thoughts on “Self-Sabotage.

  1. “People are like camels, out of a hundred one can hardly find one suitable to ride.” Hadith from Sahih al-Bukhari. Me and my husband are losers pretty much. We have a few friends that we hang with every now and then but in day to day life? We just gotta do our thing and focus. People distract from the focus–texting, emailing, calling, hanging out…and then in the end, all that happens is that you get burned. When I realized that life was best as a loser I “stepped out into the sunlight” as you said. Of course good companionship has its place, because otherwise “Shaytaan attacks the lone sheep” (hadith). But people are overrated.

    Of course, feel free to chill w/me over a latte sometime 🙂 But we will remember Allah together so our company will be blessed.

    • ameen! so true. “just gotta do our thing and focus.” <– right on.

      I would love to chill with you over chai sometime. Now that I know where you are 🙂 Insha Allah we will be in blessed company.

  2. When things seem to be going good, just stay quiet. One thing I learned when it came to Abu Bakr radiyalahu anhu, was that he used to keep a pebble in his mouth to seek refuge from his tongue. Yes, I get those up-and down slopes of “times being good” and then “times being bad.” It feels like an economy to me. The main thing to remember is to be humble to Allaah. Meaning, don’t get cocky or arrogant when your life is going good. There’s always something better we could be doing in our worship or in our daily lives. My weakness that I do like to be alone a LOT of the time. But like the above comment, people are overrated.. Meaning that yes, we should not be alone.. Pray with people, laugh with people, and share good, clean times with people. But when it comes down to it. Go to Allaah for everything else. don’t depend on people to make you feel better, because they cannot without the help of Allaah. Reading books, especially the book of Allaah with authentic tafseer, is a vital weapon which will fill the void of emptiness. Just make sure when someone does you wrong (because they will once they see you seeking knowledge) you don’t say a word, and just let it all out to the All-Seer and All-Knower, so that He may relieve your pain. There’s not a tear that goes by that Allaah is not aware of.

  3. Asalaam u alaikum

    well i just jumped from your very early blogs to this one to see how much you had accomplished in all this time …. in a way it was sad I could relate to it I use to be someone else to but I never had the courage to admit that that girl is lost somewhere … but all i can say to you is that I have felt your determination and I know when you are done with rediscovering that girl you will be onto something else until then May Allah help you with your goal ameen 🙂
    asalaam u alaikum

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