I Often Punish Myself for My Mistakes

25 September, 2019
Q Assalamu Alaikum,

I am an undergraduate student. In our college, it is prohibited to use the phone. Most of the students do not do this and keep their phones with themselves. If we are caught, we need to pay 200 rupees.

I took my phone to college for no particular reason despite my mother restricting me from taking my phone to college. I still took the phone without her knowing. Today our faculty was searching, and many of us hid their phones somewhere - like me.

As a child, I used to lie a lot. As I became more aware of this bad habit, I have changed a lot. But still, I have little respect at my class for my honesty.

I do accept that I am not at all perfect. I once posted my WhatsApp status saying that "maturity is when you have a chance to lie but still chose the truth no matter if you die". It is this thing that really haunts me. I feel like I no longer have any value. I thought about committing suicide. I am that sensitive about this kind of issues.

I have decided that I won't be posting any kind of nice quotes, but instead, In Sha Allah, I try to make it in my actions.

What should I do? whenever I do any kind of bad things, I punish myself by restricting myself from things I love like no usage of social media for a day. However, unfortunately, I end up breaking everything I promise. Please help me with your advice. Jazakallahu khair

Answer


In this counseling answer:

• Just because you make a mistake does not mean you are no longer a good person. It just means you have made a mistake, you need to admit it. Seek repentance from Allah, and move on with your life.

•  Perhaps you may want to look at articles and research on social media addiction.

•  I encourage you to sister to try to get out more, meet with sisters in person. Perhaps start a club or group on positive affirmations. Your writing skills and personal growth would make it a success!

•  Strengthen your relationship with Allah.


As salamu alaykum sister,

As I understand your situation, you are an undergraduate student. At your college, it is prohibited to use a cell phone. You did make the mistake of bringing your cell phone to school and you got caught.

Getting Caught Lying/Disobeying

You got caught with your cell phone and now you feel very bad. That can be a good thing sister as it is your conscious speaking to you. If you did not care, that would be more worrisome.

Feeling Conflicted

The problem with this situation is that you have grown quite a bit from when you were younger. You used to lie a lot according to you. As you got older and grew out of this habit, you would post positive inspirational quotes such as ’maturity is when you have the chance to lie but still choose the truth no matter if you die’. As a result of the conflict between what you posted and your getting caught with a cell phone, you feel conflicted, and I can imagine embarrassed.

I Often Punish Myself for My Mistakes - About Islam

We all Make Mistakes

Sister, you feel in your heart that it is honorable to be honest. The mistake that you made, makes it seem you don’t believe this when you really do. As a result, you appear to be very upset and depressed about this.

Sister, according to what you have written, you have grown a lot. You have changed. You have stopped lying and deceiving, and you started to become a better person. Sister, just because you make a mistake does not mean you are no longer a good person. It just means you have made a mistake, you need to admit it. Seek repentance from Allah, and move on with your life. Your mistake with a cell phone does not define who you are. What defines who you are related to your actions thoughts and behaviors afterward.

Inspiration

This is a perfect time for an inspirational quote to yourself about how Allah’s mercy and forgiveness is so abundant. Sister, you are human, you are not perfect. True, I understand that you may fear falling back into your old habits. However, this does not need to be the case. You can put this incident behind you after you have repented, and move forward in the new light of Who You Are.

You have come a long way. As you stated, you used to tell lies all the time, and now you do not. That is something to be grateful for and to feel good about. Don’t let one little mistake ruin all of your progress. You are the inspiration!

Essays and Reflections

As you had mentioned social media, I am wondering if you are more embarrassed about posting positive things and then getting caught doing a negative. You may want to think about that.

In the end, all it amounts to is a poor decision. We all make poor decisions and we learn from them. As you appear to like writing quotes and inspirational messages, perhaps this is a time for self-reflection as well as an essay on forgiveness.


Check out this counseling video:


You may want to write an essay to yourself only, or you may want to share it with people who are close to you. In the essay, you could discuss how far you have come, how you have changed, yet how vulnerable we as human beings are to still making mistakes. You may want to discuss Allah’s mercy and how Allah loves to forgive. In looking at our blessings, which include Allah’s love and mercy, we should seek to go on and continue to strive to be better people even after we are caught doing something that is not good.

Social Media

In regards to promising and restricting yourself from social media and then breaking that promise, perhaps you may want to look at articles and research on social media addiction. It rather sounds like that what may be going on.

If you cannot stay off of social media for one day, then you need to look at that sister. Many people are addicted to social media and they don’t even know it. However, if you tell them that they can’t use social media for a day or two they may get very upset! That is the norm of today’s world it seems-social media. Many have lost the art of face to face communications and fun in-person enjoyable times.

I encourage you to sister to try to get out more, meet with sisters in person. Perhaps start a club or group on positive affirmations. Your writing skills and personal growth would make it a success!

Conclusion

Sister, please seek repentance and go on with your life – a bit wiser. You have come so far in your growth. Insha’Allah, hold onto the rope of Allah and realize we all make mistakes. It doesn’t have to equal an avalanche. Try to limit social media and replace it with real time-person to person activities and positive ventures. You have much to offer sister, just realize that you are human like everyone else.

We are all striving. We wish you the best.

***

Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.

Read more:

https://aboutislam.net/reading-islam/living-islam/4-mistakes-many-converts-make/

https://aboutislam.net/spirituality/learning-from-mistakes-tips-and-lessons/

https://aboutislam.net/counseling/ask-about-islam/made-mistake-prayer/

About Aisha Mohammad
Aisha received her PhD in psychology in 2000 and an MS in public health in 2009. Aisha worked as a Counselor/Psychologist for 12 years for Geneva B. Scruggs Community Health Care Center in New York. Aisha specializes in trauma, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, marriage/relationships issues, as well as community-cultural dynamics. She is certified in Restorative Justice/ Healing Circles, Conflict Resolution, Mediation, and is also a certified Life Coach.
Aisha works at a Family Resource Center, and has a part-time practice in which she integrates healing and spirituality using a holistic approach. Aisha plans to open a holistic care counseling center for Muslims and others in the New York area in the future, in sha' Allah. Aisha is also a part of several organizations that advocate for social & food justice. In her spare time she enjoys her family, martial arts classes, Islamic studies as well as working on her book and spoken word projects.