Struggling On Your Own
There comes a time in everyone’s lives when they feel alone in their struggles. Don’t be ashamed to admit it because I, too, have felt like this more often than people think. It’s not that I don’t have an amazing family and a bunch of friends who are more precious than jewels. Alhamdullilah, I’ve the best family and friends I could ever ask for.
But as an introvert and someone who has a bit (ok, a lot) of pride when it comes to being vulnerable and asking for help, I don’t like to open up to someone as soon as I feel like I’m struggling. I’m the type to try out a thousand ways to fix a problem myself before even thinking of going to someone I trust to confide in.
A part of me believes that as an adult, we have to learn to be strong on our own and emotionally independent. And the other part of me hates gathering all the energy I’ve to open up to someone only for the person to be unhelpful and make me feel worse. It’s happened to me more times than I’d like to remember so believe me—I’m scarred!
I’ve gotten much better at asking for help but in most cases, I still prefer to reflect on my current situation and figure things out on my own. Being alone is very different than feeling lonely. Loneliness is the sadness that comes with having no one you can connect to; it’s possible to have many friends and feel lonely if you don’t feel loved or visible to them.
Being alone to me is doing something on your own like going shopping alone or studying in the library alone. You don’t have to feel sadness and isolated while doing those things. You get me? Just because there are certain activities you do unaccompanied, doesn’t mean you are lonely.
Either way, choosing to brave the storm on your own isn’t the easiest thing to do even if you are the strongest person in the world. But I want you to know that: no one is really ever ‘alone’.
Help Is Always There
I stumbled upon this quote two years ago when I was reading up on Imam Shafi’i’s life and it still brings me great comfort to this day. There’s something beautiful in knowing that the Lord of the worlds have chosen to give you direct assistance instead of helping you through other mediums. Imagine getting VIP treatment from a king: that’s how it is when Allāh gives you the opportunity to seek Him alone.
Many a time, we find so many other ways to make us feel better before we even think of turning to Allāh. Am I right? We turn to any form of distraction we can find, and some people turn to substances such as smoking, alcohol and drugs, out of desperation because they want an instant fix.
While turning to halal things to relieve stress is not wrong and completely OK, it’s important to acknowledge that ALL relief comes from Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'alā.
It is Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'alā who cures, heals and fixes. People and objects are just instruments which He uses to grant you the relief which you seek. In the end, all peace and happiness is only possible with His Permission.
Struggling in insolation
When you’re going through something difficult, especially if it’s an issue you’ve never dealt with before, it can take a while for you to analyse the situation. It takes a lot of time and energy to reflect what’s going on and how you or your life may be affected.
In the process of figuring everything out, it’s normal to naturally isolate yourself from people so that you can peacefully deal with your emotions and to solve your problems. Even though pushing people away and needing more space to undergo something may make you feel guilty and self-critical—it’s OK. Cut out all the negative self-talk.
There are certain experiences in life that you’ve to go through on your own: struggles which you can’t easily share with people, even those you trust, because they’re so unique to you. We all struggle differently which is why we suffer differently.
I’m sure you’ve come across a time when you asked yourself: WHY ME? Why THIS problem? You try to think of anyone you know who’s going through the same thing and somehow you can’t. People can be going through something similar but it’s just not the same. Their lives are different. The magnitude of their problems are different to yours.
Allah Is A Teacher
There are certain experiences that we have to go through on our own in order for us to learn. We suffer differently because our hardships are tailor-made for us to mature and grow wiser. A teacher knows not all their students are the same and each student has their own strengths and weaknesses.
Trust your Creator to know what YOU need in order to be the best version He intended for you.
Everyone wants an easy life, a life free from pain and heartache, but even if you were given all the riches in the world, life will still come with tests. You’ll be tested with both hardship and ease to see if you’re grateful or if you’re using your God-given blessings for a noble cause.
Your iman will be tested with the people you love, not just your enemies. Your iman will be tested with both gains as well as losses. Your iman will be tested with success and all the challenges that comes with success.
Everyone struggles with something one way or another. The nature of this life is that it’ll come with tests after tests so that it could turn us into a better version of ourselves. Sometimes, it’s also a means for us to turn to Him because it’s easy to forget Him when we have everything.
أَحَسِبَ النَّاسُ أَن يُتْرَكُوا أَن يَقُولُوا آمَنَّا وَهُمْ لَا يُفْتَنُونَ - 29:2
Do the people think that they will be left to say, "We believe" and they will not be tried?
Looking back, there is so much more I can handle now than I could three years ago. Whatever you’re going through now, it’s to prepare you for even bigger challenges in the future. Every hardship has its purpose even if it is not clear now what that purpose is. But in time, things become clearer and you’ll always be surprised with how much you’re capable of overcoming.
You never think you can handle it but you always do.