In the lecture series “The Time and What Must Be Done” Part 38 in 2013, the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan states, “But now we recognize, by our ever-worsening condition, that we must be ‘the change’ that we are hoping and looking for.” Today these powerful words sum up the solution that we must seek for survival in this time of trouble.
Everywhere we look, women seem to be searching for change in a changing world, whether knowingly or unknowingly. Fighting for our voices to be heard in American society, we still manage multiple tasks caring for others while oftentimes neglecting ourselves.
This world uses a term commonly known as “self-care” to address the needs that sometimes are ignored. Self-care is defined as the practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, particularly during periods of stress. Another definition is the practice of taking action to preserve or improve one’s own health.
As we juggle life’s ups and downs, dedicating time and attention to pampering or relaxing shows that we do have some value for ourselves. But is there a difference between self-love and self-care? Sister A’ishah Muhammad, a member of the Nation of Islam Executive Shura Council and former mental health specialist, social worker, and counselor says, yes.
“Although self-care and self-love are often conflated, and are thought to be one and the same, they are different,” she said. “Self-care simply means taking care of oneself. Self-love, simply stated, is demonstrating, or practicing kindness to oneself. It means regard for one’s own well-being and happiness by actions that support our overall well-being.”
With many years of experience working in the Black community, Sis. A’ishah is also the Student National Auditing Supervisor of the Nation of Islam and works with men and women throughout the Nation.
She credits the Teachings of the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad, under the divine leadership and unequaled guidance of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan. “My experience has and is showing me, that women have learned how to put up a good façade as a survival technique to cover the trauma we may have experienced. So, to cope, we push it all back and engage in other behaviors, both positive and negative, in order to survive and function. So, what you see isn’t necessarily what is,” she said.
New York City resident and small business owner Sis. Malik’ah Muhammad of Mosque No. 7 in Harlem is familiar with the “life-less” faces on the streets she sees operating in a busy world. “Caring for ourselves requires a deep respect and understanding of your priorities for yourself and those around you.
Incorporating Islam in my business, providing self-care, teaching people how to care for their skin naturally, and how to achieve a useful beauty,” is how she offers self-care to her clients. People are feeling more stress, anxiety, and loneliness, which leads to conditions of depression and maybe even suicide, she said.
Sis. Malik’ah is a licensed aesthetician in holistic skin care with over 20 years of experience including selling her skincare line to a major retailer across the Mid-Atlantic and DMV area. Sis. Malik’ah also works with crystal jewelry and incorporates it into the business as a teaching tool as another way to offer self-care.
In a world that has rejected our valuable role, women continue to survive and thrive but sometimes, we take on these responsibilities as if there is no Higher Power in control.
These two successful and influential sisters offered a few tips to point us in that direction. Some tips include:
- Feed on the pure, unadulterated Teachings of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan.
- When a thought pops up in your mind that is harmful, messy or mischievous, immediately ask Allah (God) to remove the thought. Tell Satan (of self) to get behind you!
- Stop beating yourself up if you make a mistake. Remember, we are obligated to save ourselves before saving others.
- Exercise and eat healthy (One Meal A Day).
- Make Allah (God) sufficient. Really make Him the sole source of strength, not any man or any “thing.” Pray to Him
(Abisayo Muhammad, a former Final Call staffer, is an entrepreneur, a mother and first lady of Benton Harbor, Mich.)