Ramadan always just creeps up on me. The year goes by so fast. In the past I was more excited about it. Not that I’m not excited and happy about it this time, but I’m not as giddy anymore. Everyone always sees Ramadan as a fresh start and a month to recharge your spiritual batteries and reflect on yourself as a whole.
I think I’ve been actively trying to do that for a few months now, so while it doesn’t feel like a fresh start, it feels like a more calm and inviting time continue the self reflection I’ve already been working on.
I’ve been thinking a lot about what I want vs what I’m meant to have. Every time I dont hear back from a job application or see my peers accomplishing things, my mom reminds me that those things aren’t meant for me right now. And what’s meant for me will happen when Allah wills it. She told me once that she always makes dua that our family will always be givers and never takers.
I think it’s hard to watch from the sidelines and see things seemingly get handed to people with ease. Especially things that I want. For a very long time I had this expectation that happiness had to be earned. I thought if I’m over hear struggling through all this anxiety and depressing and working my butt off trying to get a degree then somewhere along the way I will have racked up enough suffering to earn me some reward.
But it doesn’t work like that.
Rewards aren’t always handed out in this life, and nobody owes me anything. I’m arguably now at the best place mentally than I’ve been in years. Thats got to count for something. I think I need to appreciate that more.
Michael Buckley just posted a video today and said something I really needed to hear: “You’re so stressed because you think you’re entitled to more happiness than you have, or you’re dissapointed because you’re not as happy as you think you’re supposed to be.”
I think he hit the nail on the head with that one.
I’ve made as much progress as I have through practicing gratitude. I have nothing to complain about. I have a roof over my head, I have two parents who love love me, we’re all healthy, and I get to spend as much time as I want with my grandfather.
But I think after a certain point I got greedy. I just expected more for some reason. A lot of my anxiety and depression comes from looking at what I don’t have (a job, a husband, opportunities) but only because I see everyone else have them. But I’ve got plenty of things to be grateful for, Alhamdulillah.
I’m still working on not being jealous of other people, but I’m focusing on being more present and enjoying being the person that I am.
I am grateful that Allah has made me self-aware enough that I can not only understand myself and why I behave and feel things the way I do, but also understand what I need to change about myself and work on to be a better Muslim and a better person.
This Ramadan I’m trying to be kinder, and more patient, and more appreciative Insha’Allah.