Thursday, January 19, 2012

2011 Reflections

So I’ve been aiming to do this post for a while now, but for some reason or the other I just didn’t get down to it. I guess it’s better late than never right?
Anyway, this is actually part of a project started by three lovely bloggers, Salma, Marie and Wafa. I think this is such a nice idea and indeed there is so much that we can learn from one another.
Time passes by so quickly. I can clearly remember the beginning of 2011 and now we are already more than half way through the first month of 2012. But despite the time passing so quickly, I have learnt some really valuable things last year and perhaps it will inspire someone out there, so here goes:
õ  Change can help you grow- Sometimes we don’t look forward to change because we think that it will be bad for you. But the thing is that change is inevitable and you know what they say; “What does not kill you makes you stronger”.
õ  There is always positive in every situation- This sounds like one of those over clichéd motivational speaker quotes, but it’s true. I’ve found that no situation is entirely negative and it is up to us to look for the positive and focus on that instead. If we focus on the negative we will become bitter and sad people and honestly there’s way too much to look forward to in life to be a bitter and sad person.
õ  Don’t restrict yourself-2011 has taught me that I can do things I never thought I’d be able to do. Simple things like gardening (which I intend writing a post about, Inshaa-Allah). I never thought I could do this, it just seemed like something that wasn’t for me, until I made up my mind to try it, then it turned out to be quite fun. Too often we restrict ourselves by believing that we can’t do certain things but in doing this we forget that human beings have amazing potential (SubhanAllah- Glory be to Allah).
õ  You can never have enough patience- In particular I realised that I really need to have more patience when it comes to working with other people. My sisters and I are working together on an education project for young children. I love that we are able to work together and since we all have very different personalities, the contribution made by each one of us adds so much to what we do-BUT sometimes I can really get frustrated. I’m someone who doesn’t like working under pressure at all. I want time to plan what I’m doing and set out my work so that nothing is left for last minute.  I hate the last minute rush and in my family I’ve always being teased for being “the slow one”. When you’re working with other people you can’t have everything the way you would like to, and even though you may plan your bit and start in advance, somehow you still end up doing things last minute, under pressure. Although I really hate this, I guess I just have to learn how to become more patient because we are all not the same and we can’t control things in life. Also, getting stressed about it just makes it worse.

õ  The grass is never greener on the other side- I think this is a timeless lesson, somehow one that we need to constantly be reminded of. It’s easy to look at other people’s lives and wonder why your life didn’t turn out that way, but that very person may be thinking the same thing about you. No one has the perfect life, we all have challenges to deal with, that’s life, it’s a test, if life were perfect for anyone then I think they’d really need to be worried.

õ  People often misinterpret things- Last year I had a small “incident” with an old friend. She said some stuff to me and I thought that she was being insensitive and a bit mean. I was quite upset with her for a while and a part of me just didn’t want to bother ever calling her again. When I put myself in her shoes though, I had to understand where she came from. Slowly I began talking to her again (okay I mainly texted her), anyway, after speaking to her just recently I realised that I was being over sensitive and I really misinterpreted her intentions at the time. She did not mean to hurt or offend me and if she had realised the offence I would take then I’m sure she would’ve been very sorry. We need to look at ourselves and understand our own faults and misunderstandings of others.

õ   Health should never be taken for granted- I’ve seen and heard of so many sick people in 2011. So many people I know had to deal with illness, whether healing after an accident or fighting cancer, or struggling with heart problems. This has just made me realise that I need to be more thankful for my health and I need to take stock of my life. I have to watch what I eat and cut down on the unhealthy stuff because health is something that we really need and once it’s gone, life can become very difficult.

õ  Allah always knows best so put your trust in Allah always!- For me this is such an important lesson. There have been times and events that I have had to go through last year that were not very easy, but Alhamdullillah (All Praise is for Allah) these things were much easier to deal with when I understood that Allah has a plan for us all. Now don’t get me wrong, I didn’t exactly deal with these things in the best of manners. I became despondent, sad, frustrated etc when things did not go how I hoped they would, but you know what afterwards, with hindsight I was able to understand that if I put my trust in Allah then things will work out perfectly. I can’t see the bigger picture of life right now, and so sometimes things that happen seem negative when in fact they are positive for my life for the future. Since Allah is the one who knows about the Past, Present and Future, my trust is that Inshaa-Allah all will work out well when I rely on Allah. So I beg for forgiveness for all my shortcomings and weaknesses (and I have to admit that I have many), but I pray and hope that I am able to appreciate that no one knows what’s best for me like my Creator does, and Inshaa-Allah all’s well that ends well.
So yeah, I guess if I really think about it I could find more 2011 reflections, but this post is becoming way too long so I won’t bore you.
I have learnt a lot, even when I didn’t think I was learning. The best way to measure whether we are progressing or regressing is to look at what we have learnt and how we have grown as people. One year has passed by quickly, but I am fortunate to say that I was able to grow in that year and I am thankful for all my experiences. I hope and pray that this year (2012 and 1433) brings many positive things for us all, but moreover I hope that this year brings us closer to our Creator, and closer to being people that Our Creator will be pleased with.
A warm thanks goes out to Salma, Marie and Wafa for encouraging us to share what we’ve learnt so that we can all benefit from each other.
Image from here


  1. Dearest Zarina, I too hope this year brings us all closer to our creator.

    Thank you very much for contributing to our little project, I am happy to read about your thoughts and experiences from last year.
    Just this morning, I read an article about how to be a millionaire. Hubby's comment was...there should be an article about how to appreciate our health. I agree with your reflection on this topic.

    Realistically, only numbers separate our experience from one day to the next, and I know that life is all about learning and moving on. I loved your thoughts on that.

    I love you for the sake of Allah, and I pray that your year will be a blessed one, inshaAllah.

    Salam alaikum!

  2. Thank you so much Zarina for joining us. I see you too had an interesting year and many good lessons can benefit us. Many talk to me - be patient and trust Allah's will.
    May we learn even more with this new year & may we grow in our lives and in our relationship with Allah.
    Be blessed always.

  3. Lots of inspiration in the whole post particularly your thoughts about the trust in Allah reminded me the quote of Marty Robin. (He declares himself an atheist):

    "Handing one's troubles over to God makes sense even to an atheist."

    Thanks you so much for sharing.

  4. Salma

    Thanks so much for your positive thoughts. May the One who's sake you love me for, love you in return Inshaa-Allah! All the best for the days to come, truly it is only numbers which define our experiences. The years and days mean nothing when we focus on the lessons.


    Thanks so much, you speak with wisdom. With patience Allah will help us through anything. I wish you even better than what you have wished for me.

    Ibn Hanif

    Thank you, I'm glad you found some inspiration in this. Thanks for sharing the quote, its really good and just goes to show that we all need Allah, no human can absolutely deny that at the end of the day.

    Stay well all and thanks for the constant support;-) May Allah Almighty be with you all.

  5. I enjoyed reading your post. I think of myself as not a good gardener but just because I have never tried! Karima

  6. Karima

    Thank you, I'm glad you enjoyed the post. I also thought that I was a terrible gardener and I never wanted to try. My mother's family lives gardening but I just always thought it wasn't for me, when I tried it I actually really enjoyed it and now I am really getting in to it. Just goes to show that we limit what we can do. You should try whatever you can, you never know how much fun you can have.

  7. Change and patience - how true. :)

  8. Blue Pearl- Hope that you are doing well, like you put it in one of your posts, we learn as we grow, just hope we can practise the lessons we've learnt.