On intuition and quasi-goals

I’ve written about the “gift” of insomnia before. I feel somewhat facetious in writing this, because honestly, being awake from 2:30 to 5:30 am this morning certainly did not feel like a gift.

And yet, waking up this morning and writing in my journal as openheartedly as I did this morning was something that I needed.

I used to think my anxiety was tied to people and events, but it goes deeper than that. Anxiety in some sense is so intertwined with who I am, it’s safe to say I am more anxious than not, even when there’s nothing tangible to be anxious about.

I wake up and I can’t even concentrate long enough to follow the sunnah of sleeping or even something as mundane as counting cows — my mind is on full. It explores things I have to repress during the day. Not that letting it out on paper solves things; but it allows me to really sit and live with my fears, instead of letting them unconsciously dictate my actions. That’s not to say that fear is never a reason to act or not act, but we should know when it it is.

This week, a saw a pattern emerging. I don’t know if I can call it my theme of the week, because most weeks I don’t have a theme. Regardless, this week did have one: Not fulfilling goal I had made for myself at one time ended up actually being better for me.

In my moments of indecision, I can now say that Allah (swt) was with me, guiding me. That feels almost perennialist or heterodox to even write that, but that is not my intent at all. I guess another way of putting it is that I should trust my intuition. And what else is intuition than listening to our fitra?

For far too long I have allowed other people’s comments, even the well-meaning ones, to dictate my moods and “goals.” By drowning out my own inclinations, I almost forgot to even consider what it was I wanted. Or felt. Or needed.

Why have I kept on revisiting the PhD, even after I have decided No many times? 

Why do I feel bad for not training for a half-marathon like a “real runner” should be doing? 

Are those benchmarks what I want or what I think I should want? I honestly don’t know what’s in store for me, so I won’t write-off any of these quasi-goals. But right now, I am content that I have decided to listen to my intuition and say No.

It may not be what I “want” (and how can I even begin to unpack this word, as socially-laden as it is?) – but I have this sense it is what I need.

2 thoughts on “On intuition and quasi-goals

  1. I can definitely relate to the anxiety. Wondering about goals, wondering if you are on the right path, if you are making the right decisions, etc….I like how you related this back to our fitra. Indeed, when we make duas and ask for guidance from Allah, that is exactly what we are tapping into.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I guess the hard part for me is not having patience with the process. I want immediate answers, and when I don’t get then, I feel agitated and anxious. But you’re right, making dua is important, even for things that are not short-term.

    Liked by 1 person

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