Have you ever looked forward to Ramadan so much, gotten excited for the Taraweeh prayers and the programs, kept your first fast and then the next, and then the next, and then you realize – something is missing?
You’ve been hyping yourself up for this month since its completion last year and now that it’s here again, it doesn’t feel the same as it did the last time. You’re doing all the same things, but now there’s not that tingly feeling. You’re not feeling spiritually in the zone, and it’s messing with your Ramadan-mojo. What gives?
Unfortunately, the fact of the matter is that the tingly feeling that we associate with a spiritual high isn’t an automatic factor of Ramadan or any other religious event.
We have to work to get to that point. And every year it takes more work to get that feeling.
This is not a bad thing. This is a phenomenal phenomenon. Because what this means is that you have progressed since last Ramadan. Last Ramadan you might have been newbies. It may have been the first Ramadan you decided to make it to Taraweeh every night, or it could have been the Ramadan when you made it a goal to avoid listening to explicit music – even when there is nothing else playing on the radio. And you know what? Alhamdulillah, you have succeeded in keeping up with this good habit since then. It’s been a year – you’ve kicked the bad habit and are implementing the good habit again – great job, you! But you see that is why that spiritual high hasn’t kicked in yet. You need another challenge.
Go challenge yourself to become an even better you than you were last year. That’s just a part of being Muslim – we never stop getting better; we never stop improving upon ourselves.
You want that tingly feeling that is associated with a spiritual high back?
Sure, you can get it back.
Step 1: Analyze your life. How are you living? Are you making a conscious effort to practice Islam every day, in everything you do?
Step 2: Make goals. If you have accomplished your goals from last Ramadan, good for you! Now you have the opportunity to make new goals and improve in different ways. If you fell short, no worries; you’re not alone. Reinstate those goals.
Step 3: Game plan. Accomplishing goals from last year can give you insight about yourself – what techniques work, what perspective you need to maintain, which people in your life will support you, etc., etc. Learn from the past and take a step in the direction you have had success in. If you fell short, you know what not to do now. You know what people won’t support you, what places you should avoid because the atmosphere is unproductive; you know what perspective can bring you down so try to adopt the opposite. Again, learn from the past and take a step in the direction you have had success in.
Step 4: Baby steps. No one is expecting you to move mountains. You shouldn’t expect to move mountains. You should expect to succeed in your endeavor because you are putting your best foot forward.
Step 5: Don’t make excuses. Repetition Required: Do Not Make Excuses For Yourself. That is a key factor in falling short. Don’t tell yourself you can’t do it. Don’t compare yourself to others and what they are or are not doing. Do not belittle your own ability and will power. You are an amazing individual, and this is the month of success – you are not excluded from this.
That tingly feeling, that spiritual high – that requires effort. But it’s completely worth it. Not just the feeling of being a part of something great, but actually being a part of something great – your own progression. When one Muslim progresses, the entire Ummah progresses, so we’re all rooting for you and we’re all rooting for each other in our duas. Talk about having the best cheerleaders ever!
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.