Sorry for keeping you waiting

When They Just Don’t Understand

Read an extract from Hodan Ibrahim’s book, The Ultimate Guide for Practical Solutions to Dealing with Overbearing Parents and Cultural Pressures in Immigrant Communities.

Right about now, you’re just waiting for someone to acknowledge who you are and that it is okay to be who you are after years of being told that your ideas and emotions are secondary. You want people to acknowledge:
• Your need for growth and to experiment.
• Your need to contribute and add something to this world and not just be an observer.
• Your need to follow that voice in your head that can’t stop nagging at you.

Rooted in caring what people think is a need to validate yourself. It is to make yourself reassured that you are indeed supposed to be ‘doing what you’re supposed to be doing’. In other words, you are essentially living another person’s life with no regard to why you matter and why your life is precious. Because on a deeper level you are trying to fulfill the need to be accepted, to be loved and to be understood.


Early last year, I had gone through a bitter taste of what it was to ‘lose yourself’. And as anyone who has suffered a time when they had absolutely no idea who they were, you become insecure right away. Why? Because the solid foundation of someone who knows themselves is a strong sense of self and sense of purpose. They know why they are on earth and they know what they are here to do and anyone who decides they don’t like them can pretty much get lost. At this time, I had started to learn that I couldn’t solely rely on myself. That is there was a higher purpose and greater reason for me to live for if life was to make sense. That essentially the highest truth (God) has given me a specific talent to carry out in the world for a specific reason. How did I find this out?

By being alone

Now, some people are afraid of being alone. And it is totally understandable. No one wants to face themselves. But the beauty of solitude (and I was essentially in my solitude for one year) is that you really come to know how strong your foundation really is. In other words, what are you truly leaning on? Who do you have to fallback on when everything disappears? I only had God… who I called on when I had nothing else to call on. Who nurtured me when I fell deep into my pain and kindly guided me to where I was supposed to go, not where I thought I wanted to go. That higher power was a higher will that took place of my will (since I keep trying to push things into doing what ‘I’ wanted with little regard that things don’t always go the way you want for a reason).


Now, I had to surrender…

To something much greater than myself. And the only way to escape this pain was to submit to what I was being called to do. I could not submit to those false ideas that I leaned on. I could not rely on anything and anyone who was finite and fleeting. So, I was left to build myself back up from nothingness and, foremost, recognize my nothingness… that if I didn’t have a strong foundation, I would keep falling.


When you lose everything, as Tyler Durden from Fight Club says, you are free to do anything. So, in that combination of solitude and relearning who I was, I was given the freedom to discover what foundations could really support my growth. And I couldn’t rely on things that were fleeting… which were rooted in essentially what people thought of me (…and I think about it, what do you do that isn’t for others?) where you shopped, where you spent your free time, what events do you go to, and who do you associate with?
So, I decided to rely on things that didn’t rely on what related to people and what they expected.


I focused on faith and spirituality and goals. I focused on finding my passion and what I wanted to contribute to the world. I focused on what I wanted to give. None of these rely on people and what they expect.


They come from you
The flow and the natural energy power that guide you in your life turn you to the ultimate source, I call the main source God, the Truth, the Most Wise. And from finding myself to be truly alone when everything left me, brought me a sense of humility. I learned that you really can’t survive on your own and that a deeper and much higher force is there for you, to guide you and help you. A natural and pure order guiding you to be your best and see you succeed. And for that, I am ever thankful. Alhamdulilah.



Hodan Ibrahim is an entrepreneur, publisher and marketing consultant who specialises in capacity development for emerging businesses. She is the co-founder of Qurtuba Publishing house and currently holds the position of VP of Marketing. She also runs two other businesses, Think Disrupt, a digital marketing company, and UmmahVenture, a startup providing entrepreneurial development services to help equip entrepreneurs from underrepresented minority communities with the resources they need to start a successful business. You can read more of her writings at hodanibrahim.com
To purchase this book or other interesting titles at Qurtuba Publishing, visit the catalogue: www.qurtubapublishing.com/order