Turning 23 was a very odd but normal feeling, I didn’t expect it to really change me or create an impact but to my surprise it actually made a big difference. I woke up in tears the morning after my birthday unable to grasp reality. I had a horrible flashback and was reliving a memory from the past… I jumped out of bed to find my husband drinking his morning tea before work and scrolling through his fb newsfeed. I leaned over and hugged his head as he patted me saying “it was just a dream … You’re okay now”. Most days his strong whole hearted gestures bring me back to reality but that day was different. I needed something stronger, something more powerful, and something more ‘real’ to me than everything I have ever known. So I rushed into the bathroom to make Wudu and I poured my heart out to Allah (swt). Nothing is more real to me than my creator; so I prayed the most heartfelt prayer of my life and filled my cold hands with tears as I begged Allah to take away this evil memory. For me to be gifted the ability to run back to Allah was probably all I needed to realize how much I have grown in the past 23 years. I am no longer the person I once hated but rather I am now proud of who I am. I no longer let my past take control of me: rather I take control of my past and present.
As much as I would like to share with you what I saw in my dream that day I cannot. It is far too personal and painful for me to even reiterate. But what I can share with you is the essence of my dream and what it comes down to… which is “she had made a choice and it wasn’t me”. In gym class when our team leaders were given the responsibility to choose teammates for the dodgeball tournament it was like being selected for the Olympics. We were desperate to be on a team and fearful of not being chosen .The worst part of being selected last was being put into a team that didn’t acknowledge your strength or value. You were put on the team by default and usually assigned roles that no one really ever wanted. As a an elementary school going child it was one of the biggest failures of my life to be chosen last for the dodgeball team, but as years passed it was just one of many failures and hopeless situations I would go through in life to realize my actual worth. One particular incident has made me realize how painful it is not to be chosen, in a way it’s like the adult version of not being chosen for the team in gym class.
We all have family, friends and relatives that hold a great place in our hearts and we are almost always certain that when things come down they’ll always choose us over everyone else… but in many cases we’re not chosen. People we care about parents, children, spouses, friends, siblings might just choose something or someone else even if we desperately need them to choose us. When I woke up that morning I was heartbroken all over again because my heart , mind, soul and body was reminding me that someone I loved and still love so dearly decided not to choose me. This person has, was and continues to be the only person I have ever chosen over everyone else and she decided not to choose me. It takes a lot of strength to deal with this kind of heartbreak, and I’ve come a long way in coming to terms with this failure but the wounds are still open and the scab is still building. When someone decides to overlook your importance, your value and love it’s a very personal attack. Your entire entity, ego and dignity is shattered, it’s so painful that it feels unreal. But you survive it! And realizing that I survived this pain, and that I am able to still stand even after being completely torn inside is Allah’s way of telling me that I am greater than my pain. That I am stronger than my weakness and that my priorities need to be set straight. When we over prioritise others regardless of who they are, we give them the power and ability to completely tear us apart. But when we hold our hearts and give people just enough priority they deserve and need in life then we protect ourselves from heartbreak. As easy as it is to say, it is just as difficult to do. When your heart wants to pour itself out to someone it does so without thinking and without rationalizing, hence why we are constantly the last ones chosen or chosen by default in different aspects of life. But that morning, after making Dua’a to Allah (swt), I realized that my priorities and energy need to focus on someone who will always choose me. Someone who will love me even when I am at fault, someone who will see past my mistakes and accept me for who I am. Someone who will respond when I need them the most and someone who will never fail me … and that someone can only be Allah (swt). No one is capable of giving to me what I need than the one who created me. When we assume or think that creations of Allah can give to us our emotional, mental, financial and physical needs we are mistaken because only our CREATOR can do that for us. I came to realize that my heartbreak wasn’t because someone failed me, but because I failed to put my heart where it belongs and that is in the hands of our Creator. My heart break was the result of me hoping to get love and affection from the creation not the Creator. My heart break was because my priorities were not in place.
To ensure that I understand where my faults were, Allah has blessed me with this unexplainable pain. He swt has put me in a dilemma that I can only share with Him, and He has put me in a position where I am only able to find peace in Him so that I am less likely to go astray from His path.
Regardless of how far I go from Allah (swt), He will always choose me regardless of what the situation.
Inna Rabbii Qariboon Mujiboon – “Indeed my Lord is near and responsive”
“The face that praises my soul”
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وَوَجَدَكَ ضَالًّا فَهَدَى
Wa wa jadaka dalaan fahada (& He found you lost and guided you 93:7)