The best time of year is finally upon us. This is my favorite month of the year. I cannot say I speak for most people but it is truly the only time of the year I fully feel alive – as if my heart isn’t constrained or obstructed by anything.
Battling depression, acute anxiety, and roller coasters of overwhelming stress for much of my life, I have found this month to be a true escape for me. Honestly nothing comes close to it. It is the single best form of counseling and therapy for me.
"Just a dose of Ramadan doctor, that'll do."
The one time of the year I feel less of a traveler and more like someone arriving home. The closest this world has ever felt to paradise for me is this month. The shackles, the barriers, the partition between myself and my Creator doesn't exist as much this month as it does in others.
The month when an angry me naturally stays calmer, the month when my struggles with prayers turn into prayers with Khushoo, the month when loneliness fades away and I feel more fulfilled than ever and the month when the mountains of stress and depression feel as if a fly is on my shoulders.
It wasn't always like this though.
The worst Ramadan I probably ever had was in high school. I tried to count down the months so I could regularly start listening to music without feeling the guilt. I started making plans for Eid early on just so I could feel this month would finish sooner – so many people were praying and I just couldn’t emulate them. With Taraweeh, which I never attended until I turned 19 or so, I never felt like I was missing anything. Even the walk to Jumuah prayer was one I forced myself to go. You know what? I was miserable. It sucked.
I felt I could never match up to the better Muslims so what was the point in trying? And I felt I was going to go back to sinning after Ramadan so what was the point of all this “acting”?
But there is no such thing as Ramadan Muslims. There are only Muslims. Muslims who struggle a lot and Muslims who struggle less. And Ramadan is a time we all maximize our potential.
Don't let anyone make you feel like you're not a good enough Muslim, you let Allah worry about that. Be sincere to Him, open your heart to Him and make this a month of change for yourself.
Wishing you the best this month,