Ramadan Recollections

Perfection is not needed for growth - only reflection and application

I started the month of Ramadan with the intention to clear out some funk in my life through a practice that was upheld by one of my revered ancestors. My maternal great grandfather was a devout Muslim and Imam. I wasn’t raised Muslim but since my ancestor work is a big part of who I am I thought it would be a nice way to pay respect to my bloodline.

Needless to say, I was woefully unprepared for the physical and mental toll of fasting and abstaining from certain things. As someone who has struggled with my relationship with food and my body, I struggled to be compassionate to myself. It was in those moments of struggle that I realized that this is the purpose of fasting for Ramadan - to lay your burden’s down at the feet of The Most High and let Them pick up the slack. To be compassionate is to be of God. To be able to be kind to yourself in the midst of struggle is something we all deal with and this month I was shown all of the ways that I am unkind to myself in the name of perfectionism.

My feelings were hurt a few times during the month and I spent more time that I would’ve liked being sad and feeling sorry for myself. By the end of the month, my outlook had brightened and my productivity was back in effect. One of the things that I will keep with me is the observation of prayer multiple times a day. Taking a quick minute to be present and express gratitude is something that we all can employ in our day to day lives.

In spite of all of my pitfalls, Ramadan was still a success. Next year I’ll be mindful to start fasting a few weeks earlier to prepare my body for the process and I might not perfect it but that’s not the point.

I’m still growing and I’m still learning to accept the path and all its bumps. The road is long but the journey is worth it.


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