Be Kind to Yourself
Where are the Super Sisters?
This month, I am praying for order. Order within me – inside my head, in my heart, in my health – and order in my surroundings – my timetable, my family, my work.
Lately, I have started to feel increasingly overwhelmed and frustrated at my inability to be an all-round Super Sister. You know that sister who has five children, homeschools, studies Arabic, runs her own business from home and manages to host dinners and volunteer at the masjid? That’s the Super Sister.
If I had seen this Super Sister advertised on TV or portrayed in a film, or read about her in a book, I would assume that she was a myth, an urban Muslim myth, designed to infect all of us with a sense of inadequacy and insecurity. This permanently busy little Muslim woman buzzing through her to-do list, her headscarf flying, numerous children strapped into car seats and booster seats in the back of her seven seater, memorising Qur’an while she drives to drop off homemade cupcakes at her local orphanage, seems just too good to be true.
But, unfortunately for me, I actually know women like this, women whose time is blessed, whose discipline and energy defy explanation. And, ironically, every time I express my admiration and wonderment at their lifestyle, they in turn admit to feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt.
“Look at you, masha Allah,” they say, “I could never do what you do!”
Isn’t it funny how we tend to downplay our own strengths and long instead for the strengths and successes of another? How we are blind to our own achievements, large and small, yet mesmerised by the feats of others? How we fail to see where we are going right, because we are so focused on where we are going wrong?
Perhaps it is a lack of confidence; perhaps it is part of the female condition that we refuse to give ourselves credit. Whatever it is, I am making an effort to put a stop to it this month. I will be mistress of my own affairs; I will not downplay a single accomplishment; I will not deny Allah (SWT)’s favours upon me.
I invite you this month to be good to yourself, to love yourself and give yourself a break. Cherish the good that you do, that is in you and make that your starting point for change. Don’t allow your perception of yourself to be coloured by comparisons with others, unless in a positive way.
May du’a to Allah (swt) for the strength, patience and perseverance you require to make the changes you need to make in your life – but make the changes because you want to, not because you or your life don’t measure up to someone else’s.
May Allah (SWT) bless your affairs and increase you in success.