We have heard our parents advise us growing up and it all sounded like blah blah blah, can I go out now? Well, one of those times, something actually stood. My father's advise. I can't recall at what age or what moment. The advise? A woman needs to learn to be on her own. I never put attention to it, but I do recall my father making me do things on my own. A little later in life, I did ask him why? He said, woman tend to be dependent. He added, life brings alot of challenges and you will never know when you will have to depend on your ownself to pull yourself through. I think at that moment in life, it made more sense. Ok, enough of history. What does all this have to do with dating yourself? Alot! First, there is a difference between going out for our maintenance(getting your nails done, hair, wax and all the works) and really taking time out to really enjoy the things you like. Hanging out with friends is cool without a doubt! but 'ME' time is very fulfilling aswell. It gives you time to think, to know yourself, refreshen and it strengthens you. Sometimes we get lost in hustle and bustle.
Now, ME time can easily translate to spas and so on. Well, in some situations, yes, it means exactly that because it is needed. So, what do you do on a self-date? You get to know yourself(for those trying) and you have a good time doing it. Some of us are on top of what we like and some of us will learn through our dates. Well, here is a little twist, we are muslimahs and that changes everything. I took my dad's word of advise to a different level after converting/reverting because in Islam we are encourage to stay away from the 'ME' 'ME' and more 'ME' because it feeds our nuff(desires) pulling us more into this dunya(worldly life). We are also encouraged to use the things of this life to help us get to jannah(paradise). InshaAllah(God-Willing). I seen my dad's words now not as the ultimate goal, but a stepping stone. Why? because as a muslimah our ultimate goal is dependency of Allah SWT alone.
So, how do you get all this done? It is not that hard. Here are some suggestions:
1. Make your intention that this time alone that you are taking is to do something to benefit you in this life and hereafter.
2. If you have a dependency problem(you need someone to hold your hand to everything you do) You need to face it, train yourself and start lessening your dependency slowly by doing your daily chores on your own. For example, go to the grocery all by yourself and so on.
3. Plan ahead. Most of us have other people depending on us like a husband, parents, and children. You can plan an all day or just a few hours. Whatever your schedule allows.
4. Learn to relax and this in itself takes some training. One way to learn to relax is to chase out thoughts once your 'ME' time begins.
5. Make a list of the things you want to do. For example, go to a cafe and read a good book, volunteer, catch up on your prayers or spend time doing nafl(voluntary) prayers, listen to a lecture, catch up on reading the Qur'an(this will also motivate you to keep reading on your regular days), learn about a new culture and try out a new restaurant(Allah made us different to know each other), take up a class(knowledge is advised upon muslims). It can be a cooking class, exercise class, or just a relaxation class. The sky is the limit, but keep you guideline to be something that can benefit you in this life and the hereafter. I mean you don't want to go and sign-up for a wine class. Get it? Another idea could be just be to go pray at a certain mosque and sit there reflecting on Allah SWT and clearing your mind. You could also go to a garden, ocean and reflect on Allah SWT signs. One last suggestions is to do your favorite sport or spending the day at the gym(exercise reduces stress and it is also our duty as muslims to care for our body). Some of us our most pleasure 'ME' time is our responsibilities(like caring for our husbands, children, family and friends). If money is an issue, a nice home spa for a few hours can also just do the trick. These are just some ideas to get you going, but you really have to look within you to see what you like and do those things.
6. When taking ME time, please do get off the phone, unless it is to attend an emergency call. Enjoy.
ME time doesn't just mean taking time out to relax, but time to lessen our dependency of others and use that time to increase our connection with Allah SWT. As I am learning from my teachers, to accomplish anything in Islam, it takes practice. Two small ways to practice dependency of Allah SWT, because as I have learned, it is alot easier said then done is by intentionally doing things for people in exchange of nothing except for the reward Allah SWT may give you either in this life or the hereafter. The second ways is to practice giving your complaints to Allah SWT first and then your friends.
And remember, your guideline is to make use of your time(because wasting time is disliked in Islam) to know yourself and your creator along to get closer to Him and gain something that you can take with you when your 'ME' time is over to help you make it to Jannah and make Allah SWT your only dependency. InshaAllah.
I wish you many happy dates!
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