Here is a pic of me with an acne covered forehead and it’s time for Ramadan. You are probably thinking why am sharing this and what does it have to do with Ramadan. Keep reading, it will make sense shortly.
It’s almost time for Maghreb and I’m whilst I’menjoying a BBQ, I reflect on this past year. In a few minutes the holy month of fasting will begin.
Last year was overwhelming to say the least. My circumstances were heightened at that point; I was petrified, scared and did not know how I was going to make it through the month. But I did, and want to know how I did it? I got a front row seat in Tawakul (trust in God) and embracing my humanness. It literally saved my life.
You see, I think we as society have forgotten what it means to be human, and that means being imperfect is part of our perfect design. In a world where we are image obsessed and hyper focused on celebrity culture, we are constantly trying to make ourselves more appealing. We tell ourselves once we get ‘there’, we will be happy. But isn’t it interesting how “there” is a never ending road. We build these false ideas of how someone should look and expect them to look great all the time. But we cannot look great all the time. When life is difficult, it’s ok to allow it to show. When you are sad, you feel pain. When you are in pain you are not suppose to look like a GQ cover model. You are supposed to look like you feel. It’s really that simple. The endeavour of perfection is a trap of the devil because it does not exist. You can not attain the impossible.
When I was going through my storm, I would hide it from everyone. Even those closest to me, because I did not want them to see me weak, to see me vulnerable, in pain. I wanted them to see the side that they had always seen, the happy, life of the party, fun brother/friend/son. But I was only making it harder for myself. I realised I was not fully accepting my narrative, my truth. So I let go. And letting go was not as easy as it sounds. But I did. And I let people who cared about me in, I let them see me weak, in pain, a mess and although I felt incredibly uncomfortable I realised I was winning. I was not going to let circumstances be my prison. I could rise if I allowed myself to push. So I pushed away my fears and there found something powerful there: Courage.
So many people are thirsty for love in this harsh world. Nourish them with compassion and drown them in the same mercy you wanted shown to you when you were feeling low. Let your pain allow you to be better, not bitter. Enough kicking someone down, why don’t you offer your hand and raise them up? Next time you see someone who seems sad or looks different to how you normally see them. Why not offer them a smile and a good word.
The picture is an example of me acknowledging every part of me. Breaking out because that’s just life. I made it through the month, and so did the many others who silently overcame.
Keep fighting, and you will too.
Catch you soon,