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Combating Fear

Today marks four years since I began my journey of faith and embraced the hijab, and six month since my decision to take off the headscarf. I get out of bed at 5 am this morning. I perform my morning routine before fajr, and walk into the other room to only find my mother reciting Quran in private. I silently kiss her forehead and go on my way to perform my morning prayer. I then sat there for a while in half light, thinking about everything that has happened in the past years. The disappointments, the loss, the heartbreaks, the lessons, the, the, the… I have yet to learn to be grateful. I asked God for forgiveness. For allowing the world's negativity consume me and distort my life's perception. I am still learning. To be accountable for my own life. To acknowledge my own impact on those around me. To change myself into a person I want to meet. To transform the sorrow into lessons. In silence, I hear my mother's Quranic recitation in the background, a verse from the Quran stands out to me:

"Or do you think that you will enter Paradise while such [trial] has not yet come to you as came to those who passed on before you? They were touched by poverty and hardship and were shaken until [even their] messenger and those who believed with him said, "When is the help of Allah ?" Unquestionably, the help of Allah is near." [Baqarah 2: 214]

Every believer will have to go through the tests of faith in order to attain peace in this world and Paradise in the Hereafter. I sat there, contemplating over my decision of covering again. The sunrise peaks through my window. I collect my thoughts and go on my morning walk to the local organic market. I step outside and take a deep breath. I witness the birds chirping on trees, children kissing their mother's goodbye as their school bus arrives, and the good mornings of neighbors as they head to work, it was all too beautiful. My mind was at peace. The universe continues to reveal its beauty through the smallest acts. We can experience bliss by avoiding destructive thinking. Negative thoughts will consume the heart. 'the human mind is like a ship, it can sail around the world many, many times, but just let enough water get into the ship and it will sink. Let enough negative thoughts get into the human mind and the person sinks just like a ship.'

People can only harm you if you allow them. Often times we become our own worst enemy. We stand in the way of our own progress. I am learning to combat my fears. To stop being afraid of losing. To grow thicker skin and embrace my weaknesses. To stop being afraid of loving too hard. To stop being afraid of wearing the headscarf. I need to replace these bad memories and feelings that surface every time I think about wearing it. This is no longer about people, or religion, it is much greater than that, it is about God.

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