COLLEGE PARK, MD –
We know we should have an affinity for Ramadan. We shouldn’t dread it and try to take a Ramadan epidural to just get through it.
We want to feel it and develop a genuine relationship of love with the holy month.
For me, running around ragged trying to check off worship checklists is a sure way to develop a genuine relationship of anxiety, not love, with Ramadan.
Like any relationship, the one between us and Ramadan requires work, understanding, and compassion.
This work, understanding, and compassion are on and to ourselves.
If we use the month to work on and understand ourselves as well as have compassion for ourselves, we may begin to heal from some of the wounds we’ve all suffered and continue to suffer from.
Developing a love for the time in which that healing takes place is a rather natural process.
If, however, we are not experiencing any healing during the blessed time, it can easily become a marathon of rote worship that we anxiously receive at its onset and can’t wait to dispense with.
The worship at that point amounts to little more than fodder for the flames of our ego – having us think we are making use of the time and gaining in piety when we really aren’t.
In that case, we’ve missed the point.
We usually love those things and people that benefit us.
A good sign that we’re engaging with the month properly is that we love it, or in other words that we benefit from it.
The healing that we can experience in this month is so abundant and manyfold – healing of spirit, mind, and body – that it just takes a bit of reflection and we can develop a natural love for Ramadan.
A way that helps me escape the slippery slope of dry Ramadan worship is to contemplate on how much more productive my time is during the month.
Without many of the daily routines we spend our time on related to our physical appetites, there is much more time at our disposal to use towards goals we’ve had throughout the year but made no progress on.
With the more productive time we gain in Ramadan, we are able to work more on cultivating ourselves; through that work we understand ourselves better, and as a result we are blessed to have more compassion for ourselves in regards to goals we’ve reached and fallen short of – knowing we’ve done all we can.
That recipe is one I call healing, and it is easy to love.
Head over heals,