30 Days of Ramadan, Day 14: A personal reflection on the struggle to improve

girl with plantSo far all that has been mentioned in this blog is what’s to come from us: how are we preparing for our future, the habits we’re forming, the people we plan to keep in touch with, etc. The reason we tend to think of the future during Ramadan is because Ramadan is the perfect month for improvement, so we naturally think about progression.

But let’s take this moment to reflect.

Let’s think about the people we were just a year ago. What were habits we had then that we want to drop now? Why did we form those bad habits in the first place? Were we an active part of our Muslim community last year? Why or why not? It’s time to step up and re-evaluate ourselves from a different angle.

You see, reflecting on our past can help us understand what point we are coming from. We remember what our mind set was, what our spiritual state was, and we’re able to figure out how to grow.

To give a personal example:

A few years ago I had horrible anger problems. If I got any kind of upset it would lead to an angry outburst. Alhamdulillah somewhere in the back of my mind I knew that this was not right. Every year I made it a goal during Ramadan to learn to control my anger, and every year I would fail. I didn’t understand what the problem was. My Iman and heart were in the right place, so why wasn’t I able to correct this issue?

One year after another of failing I finally matured enough to realize that I needed to figure out the root of the problem to solve the problem.

Now I won’t get into the nitty-gritty of explaining the root of my problem but I will share this: I realized that I wasn’t truly angry. When difficult situations arose I would become upset, but because I did not know how to properly express myself as well as gauge a situation, my reaction would be an angry one. After figuring this out I taught myself exercises for reactions. I began journaling when I was upset; I would write out my woes, pray and complain in my Sujood, and then when I felt that I was in control of myself I would go back and address whatever the situation was as a mature person would.

And this is just one of many examples in my own life. With every lesson I have also realized how much our past shapes us, and how we sometimes have to address our past to make our futures better.

So before we stumble and fumble again this year, and blame ourselves for not moving forward, let’s take a few to figure out WHY we have this problem in the first place. It could be the key in finally achieving the big goal this year Inshallah.

The 30 Days of Ramadan series is written by Sobia Siddiqui, CAIR-TX Communications Intern. Enjoy more of her writing on her personal blog, Religion in the Melting Pot.

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