I’ll admit that when I decided to write for MissMuslim, I didn’t plan to get very personal. I can talk all day about health, mental health, emotional health, and the importance of expressing your feelings. But I really didn’t want to write gratuitous posts about my own life because I didn’t want it to come across that I’m in any way the epitome of anything —because I’m not. I don’t have all the answers. Like most people, I do what I can and try to impart the wisdom that I’ve gained through my own experiences.
The more I do this, though, the more I’ve noticed that what truly resonates with people are those personal stories where they feel a part of themselves being described or find support for one of their own personal struggles.
Don’t be ashamed of your story. It will inspire others.
One such thing that I’ve learned through the experiences where my personal and professional lives intersect is a way to ease the struggle with negative thoughts and self-talk. Positive affirmations can be a helpful tool to overcome the kinds of negative thoughts associated with a particular issue you might be struggling with. I recently found myself needing to use this method to bounce back from my own difficult experience with someone that triggered thoughts of all the excruciatingly painful interactions I’ve had with people whose only purpose seemed to be to make me feel like the most worthless person on earth.
Despite the positive sense of self I have developed over the years (Masha’Allah and Alhamdulillah), even someone with the highest level of self-esteem can’t help but feel the sting when such hurtful statements are directed towards them or even said right to their face. Thankfully, though, even when I thought I was down for the count, the amazing people I have in my life reminded me that it is not acceptable for anyone to tell me these things and more importantly — not to believe them because what they said is not true!
No one deserves to be made to feel this way. So say it with me, “I deserve better!”
Positive affirmations for myself after a man tries to define my worth based on his own subjective (read: bullshit) standards:
- You deserve better than the guy who told you that his ex-fiancé was prettier than you.
- You deserve better than the guy who told you that you’re not worth getting engaged to unless you change at least 10-15 things about yourself.
- You deserve better than the guy who told you to put on or take off your hijab for him.
- You deserve better than the guy who said he was only meeting you because his parents made him do it.
- You deserve better than the guy who currently has a girlfriend but doesn’t plan to marry her because she’s not Arab/Muslim.
- You deserve better than the guy who claimed you think you’re better than him because you have a higher level of education when really – he was intimidated.
- You deserve better than the guy who asked if you can cook before he asked your name (and FYI my maklouba and knafa are better than your mom’s).
- You deserve better than the guy who told you to come down a few notches from the “spoiled” lifestyle you’re accustomed to because of his own inferiority complex about the fact that you earn your own money.
- You deserve better than the guy who told you he wanted an average looking wife because he didn’t want to have to worry about other men looking at her due to his own insecurities.
- You deserve better than the guy who tears you to shreds and crumbles you up like a piece of paper because he’s terrified that you’re too perfect for him and has to sabotage it.
- You deserve better than the guy who told you to that his opinion should be held in higher regard than the word of God.
- You deserve better than the guy who only wants a God-fearing wife because he thinks that means she won’t call him out on his “inappropriate behaviors.”
- You deserve better than the guy who says that with you, he’s settling for good enough because he doesn’t think you fall under traditional beauty standards.
- You deserve better than any guy who doesn’t see you for the phenomenal woman you are and value every part of what makes you just that!
It’s also important to remind myself that not all the guys I have met or will meet are as mean-spirited as some of the ones I’ve had the misfortune of crossing paths with:
- You do deserve to be told you’re the prettiest girl he’s ever seen.
- You do deserve to be told that fireworks went off in his head went he stepped on the same elevator as you the day you met.
- You do deserve the guy who will text you “Good morning, beautiful!”
- You do deserve for him to have been nervous to speak to you because of how highly regarded you were in the circle of professionals you were with.
- You do deserve for him to walk past your table 12 times at wedding in the hopes that one of those times you would smile at him or give him any attention at all.
- You do deserve to be told that he admires your compassion and dedication to the causes you work so hard for even though it’s his work that inspires you.
- You do deserve the words “amazing” and “stunning” and “breathtaking” and “inspiring” to be used when he talks about you.
- You do deserve for him to sit there in awe of you because you tend to light up while talking about the things you’re passionate about.
- You do deserve for him to spend more time highlighting your strengths instead of pointing out your flaws.
- You do deserve for him to wait to approach you until he gets his affairs in order because you’re on another level and he hasn’t earned that yet.
- You do deserve for him to smirk at other guys when he takes you places because he knows they’re jealous that he has you by his side.
- You do deserve the guy who believes that in you, Allah (SWT) sent him someone BETTER than he could have ever prayed for or imagined as his partner.
- You do deserve nothing less than the guy who may have a million accolades and all the prestige in the world yet still shouts for the world to hear that what he is most proud of is that YOU are the girl rockin’ his chain!
More than that, you do deserve for the 28 years of blood, sweat, and tears you’ve put into educating yourself, working in the community, living in service of God, and creating your own happiness — the kind that depends on no other, and in essence forging a path where there wasn’t one before, not only for yourself but for all the girls that come after you, to be acknowledged, appreciated, and celebrated by any man who hopes to earn even an ounce of your attention let alone all of your love and respect.
But most of all, you absolutely deserve for your self-worth to remain firm and intact despite whatever jerk comes along and doesn’t see the blessing standing right in front of him.
And if you ever forget or lose sight of that, do yourself a favor and read these over and over until you remember that his opinion is insignificant and that YOU DESERVE BETTER!
From Me. To Me.