As someone who spends a lot of time alone and has a ton of time to self-reflect and focus on self development (because I’m a loner), it’s interesting to sit back and see how the outside world has changed over the last decade. To me – the state of society is extremely scary right now, and as a mother – I’m even more worried about how our values and priorities have shifted. I’m not perfect but I am proud that I have built a healthy enough mind that allows me to function in a way where I can protect my mental peace and work towards growth.
There was a time in my life when I welcomed unfulfilling relationships, wasting time and distractions that didn’t allow me to prosper in a direction that was beneficial for me. I stayed in relationships longer than I should have. I fought battles I could have avoided. I gave energy in places that didn’t deserve it. We all have. It’s a part of being human. But now, things are different. I’m extremely selective about how I spend my effort and who has access to me. And THIS – is the key to protecting your peace and in turn, establishing a healthier mindset.
What is a healthy mind anyway? Now I’m no expert, but I’ve seen how I’ve evolved from the surface level spoiled brat with scorpio tendencies I once had, to the strong, unwavering and self-soothing mindset I currently carry. I know this growth shows in my outward confidence. I hear it from people all the time.
How did I get here? Simple but not so simple, at the same time.
Essentially – I made extremely hard decisions that I knew were important for me to grow up.
What did that personally consist of? For me, that meant isolating myself from unhealthy environments. That meant, cutting off situations/people that weren’t on the same trajectory as me. That meant forcing myself to be alone and say no to relationships with men or women that didn’t serve my end goal of who I wanted to be/become. That’s not to say that it was all toxic and bad. It wasn’t. I had written out what I wanted out of life and what I personally needed to do to achieve that.
I wanted a life where the handful of people in my daily life unconditionally supported and cared for me. Pursuing this will help you understand your TRUE value as an individual. Not as a mom, a daughter or a wife. Just as you. Being around people who TRULY want good for you – will build your confidence and allow you to experience that unconditional love. You don’t have to doubt how you’re being perceived or worry about negative judgment because your life will consist of real conversations, interest and purpose. We’re human. Fearing judgment is a natural tendency. But that fear dissipates when you are surrounded by pure intentions and understanding.
Being alone and sitting with your thoughts also brings forth clarity and a healthier state of mind. In the past – I would fill my weekends with social events to distract myself from the happenings of my life. Now – I would rather sit with it and come up with a solution – and honestly? That has alleviated me from so much angst/anxiety that I once voluntarily carried.We are so scared of being alone that we rather stick it out in terrible relationships that serve us nothing positive, just so we don’t have to deal with being alone. If you’re in a relationship, you can still get this very valuable alone time. Having your own interests/hobbies and being intentional about doing things that serve your own individual needs is so underrated. You won’t understand the weight of it till you actually do it. I highly recommend making it a point to prioritize your solo time.
Re-evaluating your attachments is the last thing I would advise to build a strong mental state. Breaking attachment from everything except our creator is a powerful feeling and will help you learn efficient coping mechanisms through all of life’s trials, whether they be the demise of relationships, death, work related tribulations and etc., When we are attached to the performance of others, or expectations of how we anticipate certain things to pan out, we are bound to be faced with disappointment. Again – disappointment is natural, but I strongly believe we can be proactive in minimizing the disappointments we face day in and day out when we expect our spouses or family/friends to behave in certain manners. Accepting that everyone is on their own individual journey with their own uphill battles and limiting beliefs on how others act or how life events will unravel will allow us to let the bad roll of our backs. As we are less attached to the outcomes we think will happen, our days will feel a little lighter, inshAllah.
All in all – this is all not to say that you won’t have bad days. Of course you will. That is all a part of the human experience.Our mental health is so fragile and needs adequate attention and care. Life is unpredictable and so this is just a mild reminder to practice self love where you can. God is the best of planners. Keep your faith in Him and all else will fall in place, inshAllah.
Photography: Preston Neville
FB: Preston Neville Photography