disclaimer: this post contains some profane language.
Every now and then I’m lucky enough to find a safe space to express, reflect and just spout out way too many opinions. I always feel incredibly free then, and I think that’s when truly the most interesting of reflections spill out of me. I’ve recorded some of these cool conversations on here, mostly because I wish to come back to them and perhaps smile at the growth I’ve experienced.
Man, I love retrospect.
Me: Thanks for appreciating so many things about me. I was just reflecting actually about how I value feeling appreciated more than anything else literally like more than any material or words or act. Like if the feeling that something little or big from me is appreciated and I honestly feel it wow it’s such a good feeling. How many times did I just say feeling?
Friend: What is life without appreciation seriously! It would be so bleak and depressing and machine like.
Me: Yeah it’s tough to try and find another source for it or like something to cancel out that need when you don’t have it. But you know what? Recently I’ve been reflecting that with all that I’ve been experiencing I’m realizing a lot of any struggle or trouble has been a result of no appreciation and that I don’t want to have this self sufficiency just to cancel out this need I have but because I want to be my own source of serenity you know?
I don’t want someone else to make me feel good. I wanna feel good about who I am and I wanna love myself and believe I’m good enough even if literally no one around me can see that. Wow, saying something like this a few months ago would have been impossible for me for real. But I’m genuinely saying that. I want to not need anyone in the physical or emotional sense without being too extreme in the sense that like I push people away or I don’t appreciate when good people actually do exist But it’s just like a, I am happy because I am Fatimah living for Allah in the way that makes me happy with Him for Him. Also the idea that my life isn’t a pattern like that I’m gonna live my entire life not being appreciated by people that are close. Like NO Allah is so incredibly merciful and way greater than these fears of mine like man I just sometimes sit by myself and feel like goodness exists but it’s not for ME. Or that good relationships that aren’t toxic exist but not for me. Like shit I just keep thinking I’ve always been in stupid relationships where I sell myself stupidly and I date them back to shit with XXX do you remember how I would belittle myself or like sell myself cheap? Feeling that my relationships carry a pattern forever is a scary thought and I’m trying as hard as I can to believe it doesn’t have to be true and that I can actually have a safe place someday. Ugh I sound like a pity party I’m not tryna be I swear. And the thought of a hereafter really helps me kind of embrace that certainty that if I don’t necessarily see that change or break the toxic patterns now then I’ll have it all in heaven and that feels happy to me and safe. And then I think of how Allah has the power and mercy to give that to me here and in the hereafter. That He’s so much greater than to not help make me happier you know??? Ugh it’s like this whole process.
Friend: See I love this but I wonder if its a realistic goal. We’re ultimately one tiny thing in a web of social interactions. And we were teenagers then! I wonder if you have ever felt like the men youve dated or chosen as partners were a means to an end
Me: I think maybe yeah, and that I couldn’t see beyond it or see the relationship as just another part of who I’m gonna keep being rather than just a goal I reached
Friend: Like you wanted to get married, and you saw your ex husband as a means to the type of marriage you wanted. Your safe place should be you!
Me: Man that’s really hard for me because it’s never been something I was used to you know? Like I was literally raised with the concept that my safety was in my environment and not from me So there’s like this incessant need inside of me to want to create that place again to feel better. And it’s not like a I push people away or don’t appreciate when good people exist, it’s more of like a I don’t wanna wait for that to be the thing that makes me feel good because I can’t depend on it or control it. But at the same time it’s like I WANT that goodness and love and appreciation from a place but I’m starting to appreciate or realize the idea that having that safety or good feels coming from me can hold a place with me too. Like I can start working on that self compassion to help me feel like I can be okay just without chasing something I can’t control that much. I don’t think that mindset is gonna make me quit wanting relationships but some days I do get this feeling that I don’t want anyone or that I just wanna be alone. Never used to get those feelings with that passion before. Or at least not of lately did I have a feeling like that.
Friend: Yea totally. Conditioning is so hard to undo. What do you think are the steps for you to work on that self compassion
Me: Well honestly without breaking it down too much, I just needed to recognize that self compassion has the ability to suffice legit. Like sure I could understand it exists and I don’t think I’ve ever “hated” myself at all at any point but I never like absorbed the concept of being fulfilled by loving myself
Friend: I get it now. I think I never thought about how expansive of a task that is. Theres so much other work and growth you have to do on the way to that goal.
Me: Well I don’t wanna think of it as a goal really. Just a journey I’m on where I’m slowly trying to shift concepts as I go on with the rest of my life you know? It doesn’t have to be overwhelmingly complex it just needs to be recognized within me as something I need to practice more of. That Fatimah you can be ok with just Fatimah. Like just knowing that that can be true is huge for me ! Just realizing that it’s possible. So when I’m bombarded with another moment that hits me and says Fatimah this space doesn’t love you I can look within myself and think ok how can Fatimah help Fatimah right now. Don’t run don’t chase just how can Fatimah be okay right now? She’s brave, loyal, intelligent … I’ve started kind of doing that just straight up talking to myself during a situation and I can’t explain how much better I feel after it. Just to tell myself that I can possess the qualities I’m looking for and that it’s real I’m not making it up like YES I’m legit loyal and legit legit I’m patient and I think of times when I’m patient and tolerant and I’m legit kind. And I calm down. I think eventually I won’t have to like sit by myself for half an hour and talk to myself, I think eventually it’ll be a part of me to have confidence that I’ll be okay. So maybe I won’t have to be so fucking affected by everyone else’s opinions or actions towards me for once.