So as soon as I asked you; 'Who's your frenemy' I bet you started going through a mental list of all your friends who you also call enemies or backstabbers, or heart stabbers, or soul stabbers or you even got a mental picture of them and your face all squinted up and you started getting angry and your breathing got fast?
Or you started thinking; 'Am I a frenemy?' Or 'Do my friends think I'm a frenemy?'
Well stop! Because I'm not talking about your human friends here or you!
Oh, and on a side note - betting is haraam! :)
So take a deep breath in - hold - and breathe out...relax...
NOW you're ready for today's post - bismillah!
Today I'm going to talk about two best friends or best buddies who are in fact YOUR frenemies.
They act like YOUR friends - give you a bit of instant soul therapy but in reality all they are doing is making you fall deeper into the ditches of despair.
They may even give you the whole; 'So what, its my life, I do whatever I want' attitude and give you 'false' hope of there's nothing wrong and you're right.
Well today, insha'Allah, you're gona boot them out of your life once and for all because they DO NOT serve YOU but are only here to harm you!
Who are they?
Neglect and Guilt - Your Frenemies.
Take any situation in your life - ANY (if it is safe to do so) - what happens if you neglect to do whatever you were supposed to do? Yes, right, you feel guilty that you didn't do it. And then when you feel guilty, what happens? You fall into a ditch of despair. Your thoughts go crazy. You make mental images of what is, was, should be, will be. You start looking for excuses to back you up and you start making excuses. You continue and continue until you feel really low, depressed and give up.
It could also be about something that we shouldn't do and we did knowing that we shouldn't and once the act is done we feel guilty and now feel there is no way out!
Yet it could also be someone 'making' you feel neglectful about something through their words which makes you feel guilty about that situation.
We all have! And its a nasty place to be in!
Neglect and guilt cause a vicious cycle in our system.
So when we become neglectful in our daily discipline (which could be in our ibaadah, work, study, habits etc) we become guilty - and guilt eats up the soul.
Our conscious will start talking nonsense and those little green gremlins of negativity start telling us how bad we've been and start sneering at us.
Then our subconscious kicks in and brings in ALL of the previous issues we've been through in life and uses them to justify our current thinking which again makes us fall deeper and deeper!
Again its the same for something that we shouldn't do or have done. The same vicious cycle goes round and round making you feel like your a bad person and you feel trapped, alone and you think there is no way out.
Neglect and Guilt are best buddies - the more they work together the more they eat up our soul and the more deeper we fall.
The first thing we need to do to stop these frenemies ruining us is to recognise its happening. Once we do it becomes easier to apply a solution insha'Allah.
"Seek the life to come by means of what God granted you, but do not neglect your rightful share in this world." (Qur'an, 28:77)
Don't allow your thinking to eat you up because you are what YOU think you are.
You can't expect someone else to come and fix you up - you have to take those steps yourself.
You need to recognise if firstly it was neglect - whether it was intentional or unintentional or whether you just forgot.
And for each situation its going to be different. So take your situation, be rational and think which category it falls under.
Was it just plain laziness? Where you preoccupied with something else? Was there something else important at that time? Or did you know it was haraam? Is there something else happening deep in your soul so you're doing this act/behaviour (also known as self-sabotage).
When it comes to our ibaadah - our daily worship - the rule is simple.
Plan your day around your prayers and don't plan your prayers around your day.
Nothing is more important than our prayers - they are compulsory and form a basis for our life on earth.
"Do not deliberately neglect to observe a prescribed prayer for he who neglects the prescribed prayer deliberately will become out of the protection of Allah."
(Hadith - Ahmad)
We know that Allah (swt) is most merciful and that He (swt) is always there for us. We need His protection in all that we say and do. Even when we commit a sin we need to turn back to Allah for protection.
Check out today's tips and action points to help you make a fresh start in your life insha'Allah :)
Tips and Action Points:
a) Realise that positive change is a process - it takes time. Have you recognised it? Good! Now make a step by step plan and take one step at a time. If you fall again. Don't worry. Get back up again and start over. You get reward for that also. You're a human being and humans fall. Its ok to be human.
b) Tauba and istighfar. Do not overlook these - because these are your friends and they are a protection with Allah. These help you get real about your specific situation and help you make that fresh start insha'Allah and then remember to add in dua here - because dua is the weapon of the believer - do not be without it! Become a Dua-Samuri!
c) Talk to friends - get a coach/mentor/counsellor - basically its good to talk to a trusted and 'I've-also-been-there' human. Talk it out and make a plan together insha'Allah. Its important for the new process of change and you'll realise that you're not alone in this world - there's hope.
I hope this post helped you recognise your internal, psychological frenemies. They actually do more harm than you're human frenemies and once you work on your internal state the external will also start to become better insha'Allah.
This post is deep so please read it again and again. I've just covered the surface of it. If you need to seek further and professional help then please do so. Let this post be a reminder for us all insha'Allah.
Nadia Leona Yunis