Monthly Archives: June 2016

Self-Love and the Muslimah Part 2

Few years back, I read a tweet about how it takes real confidence to go anywhere without makeup, I totally believe I am a very confident lady, but I would hardly go out without makeup. So I decided to challenge myself to 3 months of no makeup, not even powder. Is my level of self-esteem all up in my head if I hardly go out without make-up, I began to wonder?
This might seem easy right? But I absolutely loved make-up (I wore makeup all the time. Light or medium makeup, I would hardly go out without having makeup on), I still love makeup, but I have come to learn it should be worn within the confines of the house after reading an article on the Islamic perspective of makeup Alhamdullilah .
As at that time when people ask if I was making up to look more attractive to men, I would reply saying absolutely not! I makeup because I like it and love how I could give myself different looks. This might seem really simple but our level of self-esteem, self-love, and confidence shows from how we dress, interact with people, see others, view ourselves etc.
At first it wasn’t easy, I had no problem going without makeup to work, market etc. but it was difficult attending social gatherings (the horror of attending a wedding with your friends all made up and you looking like a plain Jane) that was my thought process then, I was wrong, that’s not how a Muslimah should think, however that was part of my struggles. At the end of the third month, my confidence grew, I was literally over makeup, it was like purging it out of my system and I learnt to accept myself natural and all.
Level of self-love also manifest itself in how much we need other people’s validation. I.e. My friends will laugh at me, or call me a very serious person, if I start to use the hijab. What will people say! Some think it’s ugly etc. If you love yourself, you wouldn’t bother so much about getting other peoples validation, giving into peer pressure, committing sins just to feel accepted and loved, feeling intimidated, worthless, ugly, because you know it doesn’t matter, and would learn to stay off knowing fully well what matters the most is pleasing Allah (SWT).
Having confidence to say no and enough when being abused or bullied.
Lack of self-love could lead to low self-esteem and totally drive the Muslim over the edge and into the fire of hell.

Self-love is different from narcissism
Narcissism is the pursuit of gratification from vanity or egotistic admiration of one’s own attributes.
Narcissistic individuals generally believe that the world revolves around them. This condition is characterized by a lack of ability to empathize with others and a desire to keep the focus on themselves at all times. Involves arrogant behavior, a lack of empathy for other people, and a need for admiration-all of which must be consistently evident at work and in relationships. People who are narcissistic are frequently described as cocky, self-centered, manipulative, demanding, and may be convinced that they deserve special treatment. Narcissism involves cockiness, manipulativeness, selfishness, power motives, and vanity.
Narcissists tend to have high self-esteem. However, narcissism is not the same thing as self-esteem; people who have high self-esteem are often humble, whereas narcissists rarely are. It was once thought that narcissists have high self-esteem on the surface, but deep down they are insecure. However, the latest evidence indicates that narcissists are actually secure or grandiose at both levels. Onlookers may infer that insecurity is there because narcissists tend to be defensive when their self-esteem is threatened (e.g., being ridiculed); narcissists can be aggressive.
Love yourself but be conscious of being a narcissist, remember virtue is selfless.
Have confidence but be weary of arrogance

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Self Love and The Muslimah 1

Salam Alaikum
I hear and read stories about women who stay in abusive relationships i.e. marriages, friendship. It sometimes makes me wonder if we truly love ourselves. Why do we accept abuse if we love our-self? Having little or no self-love isn’t uncommon among Muslim women, we might not necessarily talk about it, but this affects us.

Allah says: “And We have certainly honored the children of Adam and carried them on the land and sea and provided for them of the good things and preferred them over much of what We have created, with [definite] preference.” [Qur’an: Chapter 17, Verse 70]

Self-love refers to the act of valuing one’s own happiness and well-being. Self-love is a kind of acceptance that can be described as an unconditional sense of support, caring and a core of compassion for the self. It might also be considered a willingness to meet personal needs, allow non-judgmental thinking, and view the self as essentially worthy, good, valuable, and deserving of happiness.
Some individuals may believe that they are unworthy of love due to a lack of success in their chosen professional field, or certain personal characteristics that they perceive to be negative or flawed. Trouble with relationships (marital, friendship, family) may also lead some to feel as if they may never experience close friendship or love, which can lead to spiraling negative thoughts that have negative effect on the ability to love the self

Why Is Self-Love Important?
Self-love is an important component of self-esteem and overall well-being. It is generally difficult, to feel content without first being able to love and accept the self. Researchers have discovered that the practice of self-love is associated with a multitude of benefits, such as greater life satisfaction, increased happiness, and greater resilience.
People with high levels of self-compassion have been shown to often be able to overcome difficult life events, such as divorce, with more ease than those who are harder on themselves. The ability to affirm oneself has also been associated with improved problem-solving abilities and decreased procrastination
The risk of developing mental health issues such as depression, anxiety can also be decreased through the practice of self-love. This practice can also increase one’s optimism and may be helpful for stress reduction, especially in the face of various life challenges.

Self-love can also lead to improved relationships. And research has shown that practicing self-love and self-compassion is likely to improve well-being in the context of interpersonal relationships. People who have self-compassion and practice self-love generally report feeling happier and more authentic in their relationships, and thus, they may be better able to assert their needs and opinions. Further, those who practice kindness and compassion on a personal level first may be better able to show kindness and compassion to others and are generally more likely to do so, as the ability to care for and love one’s self generally indicates that one will experience a greater capacity to love and care for others.
Self-love is a state of appreciation for oneself that grows from actions that support our physical, psychological and spiritual growth. Self-love is dynamic; it grows by actions that mature us. When we act in ways that expand self-love in us, we begin to accept much better our weaknesses as well as our strengths, have less need to explain away our short-comings, have compassion for ourselves as human beings struggling to find personal meaning, are more centered in our life purpose and values, and expect living fulfilment through our own efforts.

Self-love is not narcissism
Self-confidence is not arrogance
Self-esteem is not pride

As mothers, we are responsible for instilling confidence, self-esteem and self-love in our kids, when we abuse them (emotionally or physically) we are stripping of the fiber of their being and this could lead either to an inferiority or superiority complex or other emotional problems, If you do not love yourself, how then do you instil this concept into your kids?

Reference:
http://www.goodtherapy.com