In case you couldn’t tell from all the pictures of me, SURPRISE! I’m Muslim lol. And my relationship with my religion is very complicated.
Ideally, I tell myself that it shouldn’t be this complicated because Islam is pretty easy in essence and practice. However, it’s still complicated. It’s complicated because life is complicated. The western world is complicated. I’m complicated.
Islam means the world to me and being Muslim is a very core piece of who I am, but that doesn’t make my relationship with my faith any less complicated. Every day is different. Some days are good. Some days are hard. Some days it’s just nothing, but that nothing is always the hardest point because at least when things are hard and you’re struggling, you’re at least still trying; when it’s nothing…well, it’s just that, nothing.
My complicated relationship with my faith is complicated because with every day that I struggle with my iman (faith), it’s as if I’m struggling with myself and who I am (and yes, those are two different thing – we can argue in the comments if you really want to). Am I that young woman that loves and trusts Allah 110% with every inch of my heart, mind, body, and soul? OR Am I lowkey that little heathen that only loves Allah in her head but heart and soul are broken out of enough inconvenience of this world. Regardless, I’m honestly just not sure most days. When my ups are ups, they’re ups, and it feels like there is literally nothing in this world that I couldn’t conquer — like Satan works hard, but I work harder than Kris Jenner type of energy. But when my lows are lows, it feels as though I’m just constantly drowning in a sea in the abyss with zero hopes of ever seeing light again. Until I do.
We’re taught in Islam that faith is a constant battle, and it’ll never be easy or simple because we wouldn’t strive to do and be better if it was just that simple.
I can honestly say that I’m not the same person I was last year. I’m not the same person I was yesterday. I’m not even the same person I was this morning. I can attribute much of that to those lows – even the “feeling of nothing” lows because even when those times got difficult, I did as I was taught and maintained at least a mustard seed of conscious hope (literally the bare minimum of having good faith lol). Even throughout those periods where I thought my life was just a never ending sea of nothingness (yes I’m aware of how melodramatic that sounds), that little conscious drop of hope kept voicing to just turn around and look in a different direction for that light I never thought I’d see again (once again, yes, I’m aware that I’m starting to sound like a Nicholas Sparks novel). Even in the midst of feeling suffocated, something would always tell me to look for light, grab hold of it, and not let go of it until I could breathe again as well as I do about 30 minutes after taking my inhaler. Obviously, I do every time, and things begin to make sense again.
And, well, that ultimately my complicated entanglement with Islam and my mental health. We’ll discuss this more at a later date. Until then.
Keep living, loving, and laughing.