How Leaving a Kickboxing Class Early Taught Me About The Power of Feeling Enough Through God!
Written by Dr. Marwa Assar, PsyD
I always hate being that person that leaves a workout class early. I almost never do because I hate the feeling of being that person that didn't make it till the end. And while a lot of times, this feeling is because I am pretty competitive with myself and want to make sure I am pushing myself farther than what I could do yesterday, I realized that sometimes this feeling has nothing to do with me, but more with the people around me. We can call it shame or fear of the judgement of others, but in essence, it is feeling less about oneself because we didn't fit the standard.
As I say all the time: I am a work in progress, I always will be, and what I am working on more and more is being more connected to what is right and nourishing for my entire being (spiritually, mentally, physically), and less connected to what appears right in front of the people (spiritually or otherwise).
Today, I walked out of my kickboxing class 15 minutes early, and it felt so right within my being. I had worked out almost every day this week and I didn't properly fuel myself before the workout and I knew my body needed to rest. So I left. What my body needed outweighed my own self-criticism and fear of being that hijabi that couldn't finish the work out. (Isn't it amazing how harsh our own self-talk could be? As if being a hijabi and visibly Muslim meant I had to be perfect at kickboxing lol.)
Our own self-talk and perception of our actions play the biggest role in how we treat ourselves. I share this example from my workout class not to focus solely on physical fitness. I am sharing it because this example applies to our spiritual, mental, and emotional fitness as well. It applies to how we can live more wholeheartedly: in a way where we are more driven by what is nourishing for our being in front of God and NOT what is accepted in front of the people.
The fear of the judgement of others, the shame we may feel at times in different settings, and our own self-criticism can keep us in cycles where we are outwardly doing what is right or what fits the "standard" at the expense of what our soul, heart, and entire being need to thrive.
Think about this:
How many times do we disconnect from ourselves so that we can fit a mold created by the people around us?
How many times do we not ask a question in the mosque or an Islamic class because we are afraid someone might think we are not "religious" enough? Maybe we even do the same thing at school so people won't think we are not smart enough.
How many times do we not speak our truth or live by God's truths out of fear of what others might think or how society might judge us?
How many times have we stayed in circles, friendships, or even Whatsapp groups, even though they did not contribute to our inner level of connection, our relationship with God or our spiritual growth, because distancing ourselves would make us look bad, cold, distant, or not social enough
How many times did we not feel ENOUGH because of the people and deprived ourselves of experiencing what it means to be ENOUGH in front of God?
What that means is that we feel sufficed by God. We feel that it is ENOUGH that He knows what is in our heart. It is ENOUGH that He knows our own personal struggles. It is ENOUGH that He knows what our intentions are. It is ENOUGH that He knows my intention when I walk out of a workout class early, or when you decide to ask a question that might make you look odd, weird, not smart enough, or not religious enough. It is ENOUGH that He knows why you are making the choices you are making.
This concept of being ENOUGH through God and being sufficed by Him is so powerful. And it is the essence of what I teach in my online God & Me Psycho-Spiritual Transformation program. That is because when we begin feeling enough and sufficed by God, when our heart is content and at peace with Him knowing, seeing, and hearing all that we go through, we begin living a life that is wholehearted, centered, grounded, and authentic!
We begin experiencing the liberation that comes from prioritizing His view of us over anybody else's view of us. This takes consistent effort and work and an understanding that we will never arrive at a station where we will be perfect at this, but we will get better at it and continue to experience the fruits of this work every step of the way.
This is our test until we return to Him. May God help our hearts be sufficed by Him. May we prioritize Him and His view of us over anyone else's. May we feel more ENOUGH through our relationship with Him.
"God is enough (or sufficient) for me: there is no god but Him; I put my trust in Him; He is the Lord of the Mighty Throne.’" (Qur'an, 9:129)
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About the Author:
Dr. Marwa Assar is a psychologist, educator, writer, and founder of The H.O.M.E Institute. She is dedicated to providing psycho-spiritual education and empowerment through an Islamic psychological lens. Click here to learn more about Dr. Marwa and her work!