Finding my identity for me was about discarding my old habits and starting completely new. In my search I had to get rid of my previous misconceptions, ideologies and wipe my slate clean. I had to become willing to accept whatever I found. Someone once told me I was trying to westernise/modernise Islam to fit society and my ideologies. Trust loud mouth NBJ was like "Naah b, what do you know?", but from the bottom of my heart, I thank you! Your words got me thinking, and I truly am grateful.
So here are a few things I did to find my identity and still do to keep my identity in check:
Checking for me, before anyone else.
I always try to remind myself, "Kay NBJ, where did you go wrong? How could you have been better?" Trust me, this can be very very difficult for me!! My Yoruba part would be like "abeg, has this person lost their mind? If they like they should remain useless"
Trying to remain patient and grateful.
Being grateful was easy, being patient now, lawls. I'm hot headed, and driven... what is patience? I'm still struggling.
Forgiving others, as much as i'd like God to forgive me
Luckily, i'm pretty forgiving, I just don't forget. So the challenge has been more learning to forget, let go. Trust me, that one is not easy.
Did I say patience?
So key I have to say it twice! I AM TERRIBLE AT PATIENCE! I'M OF THE INSTANT GRATIFICATION GENERATION *tears*
Talk to God
I'm part of team mumbles to self. I can be on the phone and just start a convo with myself. So I started openly talking to God. I dunno, I feel better praying out loud. I'd just be cooking and be like "ya Rabb, let this meal bang! Y'know I weren't paying attention when adding salt."
Silence saved my life lol. Taking time out and shutting up means I'm less likely to say nonsense, spew hate, or throw shade.
Read more Qu'ran
Reading, reciting, studying Qu'ran is a fave of mine. I'm always learning new things. Plus I've always been a hairbrush and mirror girl, so y'all know I love dragging the harakats with Yahya Hawwa... (e.g. Ya siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiin....)
Reading Seerah, and stories of the Sahaba and Sahabiyat
Where I learnt that there's not a formula for the ideal Muslim. Love learning about all the different people surrounding the Prophet (SAW). Their achievements and character.
Sooo, what happened when I found my identity. Turns out my personality stayed the same. I didn't become this quiet, mute, shy person, which was what I expected would happen to me, and why I never could relate with what I thought represented the "ideal Muslimah". This 'greyscale wallpaper' image I had of what the ideal Muslimah was, did not correlate with my '3d technicolour gif wallpaper' image of myself. However, Alhamdullilah on this journey I've discovered so much, and I continue to learn and grow. I've learnt that there's no carbon copy template of the ideal Muslimah. My motto is "attaining perfection is impossible, striving for it is the motivation". I continue to strive, I continue to learn, I continue to ask for forgiveness, and I accept my flaws and imperfections.
I believe my Lord is most merciful, most forgiving. So although i'm not the best, I know I can always be better, so I refuse to give up.
It's the effort that counts.
kinda like the man who killed 99 people... (click here to read about him)