Your Golden Cracks

Jan 12, 2022

Dearest Cherished Readers, 

This month of January marks the start of a new year, a new you. A new healed you. And this month, I want you to see that you are more beautiful and valuable through your hardships and tests. 

I want you to see that your trials and tribulations, even those that break you, are Allah's work, Al-Jabbar, who is The Restorer & Repairer. Al Jabbar is making you through your breaking, and He is transforming you to become an even stronger, more beautiful person. 

Kintsugi - The Art of Repairing with Gold

The art of repairing broken vessels with liquid gold, also known as 'Kintsugi', comes to mind here. This Japanese tradition, meaning 'golden seams', uses lacquer and gold pigment to put broken pottery back together again. 

At Cherished Muslimah, we know that we are becoming stronger, enhanced versions of ourselves through our trials, hardships, knocks, and breaks. 

By embracing your imperfections, you become an enhanced version of yourself, even more you-nique than before, beautiful and resilient. 

Kintsugi reminds us that we aren't victims of our circumstances, but we are continually growing, even as we heal; in fact, we are better and stronger with our golden cracks. 

Here are some ways that you can heal and become stronger through your difficulties by connecting to the Four Merciful Traits:

Merciful Mother Earth 

Connect with your hearth 

During your difficult times, connect with those closest to you, your family and friends that can support you, which we at Cherished Muslimah call the hearth. These are people who you would sacrifice your time, energy and attention for, and they would for you, too. Allow them to nourish you. Take active means to seek them out to nourish you. Call them up, make a date, and be with them. 

Check your hearth is safe

Check to see if you have anyone in your hearth who is harming you, and if they are, take them out of your hearth. This could be a well-meaning friend or a relative who cannot support you during this time and may be making things harder for you than it actually is. You choose who is in your hearth and who you let in. 

Give yourself the mother energy you need

Take out time to give yourself a hug, and talk to yourself with unconditional love and care. Make things warm and cosy, as if you were preparing a room for someone who is poorly. Get yourself all the healing comforts you need, get a nice blanket, hot water bottle, fluffy socks, a nice mug, and look after yourself. 

I saw the apartment almost as a sanatorium, a hospice clinic for my own recovery. I painted the walls in the warmest colors I could find and bought myself flowers every week, as if I were visiting myself in the hospital. My sister gave me a hot water bottle as a house-warming gift (so I wouldn't have to be all alone in a cold bed) and I slept with the thing laid against my heart every night, as though nursing a sports injury. 

Gilbert, Elizabeth. Eat Pray Love (p. 23). 

Warrioress Leadership 

Embrace your imperfection

Know that only Allah is perfect – he is Al Qudus (The Flawless) and Al Salam(The Perfect), and you, my darling, are not. 

And that's okay. 

It's okay to break or not be okay. It's okay to go through moments or even seasons when you can't cope or manage. It's okay for things to fall apart. 

Seek strength and protection in Allah

Remind yourself that Allah is there to give you strength – He is Al Qawi and Al Matin – he is the Strong One you can hand over your worries to, and He can bear it. Pray to Him, cry out to Him. He is listening. He is As-Sami, The One who hears. And know, my dear one, that He doesn't test you more than you can bear. He knows this can take you to something better! 

Allah does not burden a soul with more than it can bear

Al Baqarah (2:286) 

Remind yourself that He has your back. He is Al Wali (He Stands for You) and Al Wakil (He takes responsibility for you). And breathe. Allah has got you. 

This is meant to grow you 

We all know someone amazing who has been through so much and has come out through the other side even stronger. This, my darlings, is how gold is made.

Gold is one of the softest metals of the earth, yet it can be used to craft the finest of jewellery without breaking. It is mined from the earth, cleaned and purified and then it is smelted at 1600 degrees Celcius until all of its impurities are removed and then reheated once again to 1600 decrees until it is ready to be formed into gold bars, and worth just over £40 per gram (that's the weight of a paperclip!) 

Allow your tests to transform you, take in the lessons, allow the changes to take place, and see the new you that emerges from that metamorphosis. 

Oh, butterflies, you are already finding miracles, breaking chrysalises
You have to fly, and you have to find your own future

Two Oruguitas - Sebastián Yatra

Queenly Justice

What boundaries do you need in place to allow you to heal?

Consider what boundaries you need to have in place and what caused you to break in the first place. If it is a certain person's actions, think of what boundaries need to be in place with them; if you need some personal boundaries with yourself, seek support for that by speaking to your doctor, a coach, or a therapist. 

Recognise what led you to this place, and consider how you can prevent it from happening again. 

'The believer should not be bitten from the same hole twice.'

Sunan Ibn Majah 3983 

Stay moderate in your boundary setting

Remember, the queen is serene and dignified. Say what you need to, but steer away from abusive behaviour. When you set boundaries, it shouldn't be coming from the place of drama-queen. You don't have to be cruel or overly harsh when setting boundaries. Keep your words firm, polite and moderate, but if you can't, speak to someone who can help you formulate your words and get clear on what you need to say before you speak to the person you need to set boundaries with.

‘A Muslim is the one from whose hands and tongue other Muslims are safe.’

Tirmidhi (2627)

The Adoring Lover 

Look after yourself

Make sure you replenish well. Each time you feel the strains of your brokenness, allow your Lover archetype to give you all of the TLC you need – it may be taking time out to have a cup of tea with your loved ones, or it could be going for a healing soak/massage with essential oils, or it could be going for a walk and reconnecting with Mother Earth. Use this time to do some serious self-care. 

Allow yourself to grieve the breaking

Some things may never be the same again. Understand grieving is a process, and by honouring all the stages, you will be able to come to a place of peace. Know that the grief cycle can take you through many emotions and allow yourself to feel all the feels till you come to a place of acceptance. 

Allow yourself to release your emotions

Cry, shout, scream them out, do some car/towel screaming, speak to someone and let it all out, breathe it out. Just don't keep those emotions in, lest they take over and go wild. 

Unpleasant feelings are like weeds. They don't go away when we ignore them; they grow wild and take over. Our angry feelings may one day come roaring out. 

Beattie, Melody. Codependent No More (p. 156)

Knowledgeable Wise Woman

Remind yourself about the why

When you feel down, remind yourself about why this is happening, to make you into a Kintsugi Bowl, to show you your rainbows. Remind yourself that Allah knows what you are going through. 

"No fatigue, nor disease, nor sorrow, nor sadness, nor hurt, nor distress befalls a Muslim, even if it were the prick he receives from a thorn, but that Allah expiates some of his sins for that."

Bukhari (5641) 

Be grateful for your trial

That may sound crazy, but it's true. It may not seem like your trial will give you anything to be grateful for, but use this opportunity to be grateful for what you do have. Know that this is going to make you somehow, which may not be apparent right now. You will get through this, even though you can't see any light. Be patient, weather this storm, and know that every little thing is gonna be alright. 

'Strange are the ways of a believer for there is good in every affair of his
and this is not the case with anyone else except in the case of a believer
For if he has an occasion to feel delight, he is thankful, and that is good for him
And if he gets into trouble, he is patient, and that is good for him'

Bukhari (2999) 

This isn't happening to you; it's happening for you

Step into your wise woman energy and really take in and absorb what this hardship has come to teach you. 

Step into your wise woman energy and really take in and absorb what this hardship has come to teach you. As my good friend and life coach Dr Sara Kindon shared when she went through an unfortunate hit-and-run car accident, this was not happening to her, but it was happening for her. Take some time to reflect on what lessons Allah wants you to learn from this and what your unconscious mind wants you to get about this situation. What lessons do you have to learn, and what skills do you have to help you through this time? 

The wise woman chases rainbows. She wisely picks up the gifts that her past leaves behind, taking the skills and life lessons from times of hardship, and utilises them to enrich her life.

The Four Traits of a Cherished Muslimah Workbook 

Once, after sharing some painful troubles with my dear friend and coach Shahida Khan, she replied as a conclusion to what I had shared with her, 'You know, Sara, when you are going through these problems, I always feel so excited.' I stared at her, exhausted, and asked, 'what??!!' and she told me that she knew that I was InshaAllah going to work through it, and have some great personal breakthroughs, and share them with the women I worked with, helping so many women through my issues. Thanks, Shahida, as I said to her that day, dryly, I will let your excitement of my tribulation carry me through it, as I felt totally spent. 

Well, one of those breakthroughs was actually this post, so there you go! 

Reconnect with your purpose 

Remember what you're doing, what you did, and what you will do next; look at your positive intentions behind all of them, and connect them to worship so that you can do things the Cherished Muslimah way – purposefully. If you need to put boundaries down with a loved one so that you can stay within your limits, then make your intention to have mental well-being.   If you are going through a difficult time in your marriage, reconnect with your intention to stand up for injustice or to speak goodly words. Know that when you strive to please Allah through your actions, He will make a way out for you. 

And whosoever is conscious of Allah and keeps his duty to Him,
He will make a way out for him from every difficulty.
And He will provide him from (sources) he never could imagine.

At Talaq (65:2-3) 

Address Your Inner Critic

Finally, if your inner critic gets in the way, have a conversation with her and see what you can agree/disagree with; sometimes, she may be talking a lot of sense! However, see if you need to be your own best friend and defend yourself if she's just not got it right this time. 

And there you have it. The next time you find yourself unable to get through Tough Times, remember this article, reconnect to how much you are going to grow, even if it may not seem like it at the time.

You'll get through this, sister. 
I'll see you on the other side. 
And I see you while you're in it. 
I see you. 

And so does He.

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