Ramadan and Post Eid Reflection: Learning to Free Yourself

freedom_by_la_chapeliere_folle-d5k7a56

Freedom by La Chapeliere-Folle

Salam everyone!

I hope you all had a blessed Ramadan and a fun Eid. May Allah (swt) accept from us all.

So I’ve been thinking about what I’m going to write  about for this idea of freeing myself. It came fairly recently, a small little flicker of light among being lost in the dark of things. Not just darkness, but the overall emotional and physical tests that Ramadan has given me. Sometimes ideas come like that, like little flickers of light that even though you may not all have all the words to express them, you have to somehow. This is my feeble attempt at doing just that. I did not learn this lesson yet, but I am learn-ing.

Before Ramadan I felt like I had so much baggage on my shoulders. Maybe it’s due to some events that happened during the year, but there was no escaping them. I felt like there was no way to move on sometimes. Each time I tried, I was bombarded and not reminded of Allah (swt) that He is there to help me, not hurt me. See sometimes we have this perception of God as being this tyrant ruler whom we have to be biting our nails for 24/7, or that He’s just out to get us or waiting for us to mess up. I mess up all the time for sure, yet He as given me nothing but Mercy. Even on some days where I felt like “wow sarah, you should be embarrassed to make duaa now” (anyone else get shy asking Allah for things?) (I hate asking for things in general). The truth is, I constantly feel like there’s someone reading my thoughts, that being is Allah (swt). He reads them before they even come to my imaginary drawing board, doesn’t judge me for them (thank God or else I would be going to hell for the things  I thought but never said because manners 😉 And because of that, I don’t mind being so honest and raw in my duaas. This is what I was told was healthy.

Anyway, life inevitably made me distant from a lot of people. I miss them. I miss being in their close proximity, I miss their concern, I miss their everything. How can you miss people you don’t know? How can you still miss someone even when they’re in the same room? But then when you remember reality and what it presents to you, you have to keep your guard up because it seems as though 9 times out of 10, you will always be the one to expose yourself and give to others who will never do the same for you. Or, you will be the person that enjoys being there for awhile, but then sobering reality. I learned that in both instances, I should be grateful because when I’m off getting carried away or when I lose myself, He still protects me. Reminds me of this Hadith:

  

My Ramadan last year was crap. I wasn’t in the best state of mind and I let people occupy my mind and heart when they didn’t deserve it. I was in school, hot as hell and not motivated. This time is was the same thing, but completely positive and comforting. I had school and an AC in my car lol SubhanAllah how things change from time to time. It matters how you come into things that set your emotions for the rest of the time. If you come into Ramadan reluctant, then you’re not going to make the best of it. This time I really looked forward to it. And not for that cliche Iman high. But because I really need extra mercy and support. I’m lucky I had this Ramadan. Alhamdulilah. I came in with a focused and fragile heart that was (and still is) ready to change for the better. Anytime you’re going into something or going to make a commitment, refresh our attitude going in. Ask yourself “why am I doing this?” “Will this make me happy?” “How can I use this to better myself or my situation?”

Mama always says “start strong and you’ll finish strong.” 

It’s not easy to go in with a completely positive mindset but allow yourself time. I’m way too hard on myself for a lot of things. I’m still like that but this Ramadan had me at ease. I’m only hoping that this lasts and all I did and asked for is accepted. InshAllah. 

The next thing after coming in with a new attitude is learning to free myself from my own chains. I put so many blocks in my way. Maybe I needed some, but the rest were holding back. People would constantly tell me I couldn’t do it or give me vibes of disapproval. Yes, those can be your friends. But your reactions to other people’s thoughts are what hurt or help you. I learned to let them go and let them talk. People are just talk really, they aren’t bad inherently. But it’s good to refrain from excess and useless speculation and talk. I noticed that if someone isn’t reminding you of Allah (swt) or even giving you advice or just being empathic, then the conversation is draining and empty. It’s a two way street so this is a reminder to myself of course. Free yourself from pointless words, not because of people, but for you. Sometimes silence is golden. Other times, you need to stand ground. Give people the benefit of the doubt even when no one agrees with you. You’ll get good deeds for it. 

I need to free myself from this need. I will always have it, but I can’t let it control me. I can’t be blinded to something I once never saw. You can’t let emotions dictate your every move. I was like this last year, and I got better this time. It’s okay to vent and let it out, cry it out even. But you have to free yourself from that pain by not letting it stay in you. I promise it leaves once you put pressure on yourself and make dua that it doesn’t  last. I’m so pain intolerant but I refuse to let myself be take over or become a rock. Most things writers write are emotionally charged. I don’t have all the words. But I can tell you that there are ways to get out of it. Just make sure you do it for YOU. If I means driving with the windows down, listening to a motivational song or sleeping, do it. Have mini escapes from life. You can’t wait for someone to tell you when things are good now, you have to make your own good. You’ll find Baraka in time you thought you never had. Or Baraka in friends you never thought you would make. Take life as it is. Take the good and give credit where it’s due. Assume every day is new. Yesterday is gone and so are the last 6 months. What matters is what you do now. Happiness was never a  goals for me, but I do miss those times and hope for them again. Meanwhile Eid came along and taught me to wake up and smell the roses but to not get caught in the thorns. 
I pray that I reach another Ramadan because this one was God’s gift that I’m too lucky to have. 
-Sarah