One lesson that I got from the month of Ramadhan that had just passed is that it’s never about “finishing”. It’s good to have goals that you set to achieve in the month but know that it’s okay if you fall back and your goal is ‘delayed’ a day, two days, or several days short. You know yourself better than others so don’t compare your journey to theirs. What is key is striving for consistency. This is a hard lesson for me to learn because I’m someone who has high expectations of myself and one of my challenges is having consistency or istiqamah.
I’ve been striving to journal down my day reflections but lately, I fall short and I don’t do it but I try to keep to my Gratitude Journal app on my phone every day before I sleep. I’ve learnt not to beat myself up over not being studious enough to keep to certain habits that I’d like to have as I know there are other ways that can still work for me.
I’ve been watching the Faith Revival Ramadhan series by Sh. Omar Suleiman on YouTube and I only discovered it like 2 weeks after Ramadhan and I’ve yet to reach the 10th episode. And that’s fine, the idea is never about “finishing” the whole series by the end of Ramadhan as there’s no point if I do so but I don’t truly gain benefit from it. It’s better that I take it at my own pace, make it a point to really learn and practice what I learnt. The rest of the series will continue this Syawal and perhaps even beyond? Just like how we should sustain the spirit of Ramadhan, the essence of worship itself outside of Ramadhan. The spirit of learning and improving.
Two of my favourite sisters in faith, Aida Azlin & Fadhilah Wahid, who started the Ramadhan Reminders podcast based on a book by Habib Umar al-Hafiz also had their own challenges. Even though they initially mentioned posting a new podcast daily at night, their busy schedules and family commitments had them to change to every alternate day instead and from what I’ve read recently, they are planning to continue on these podcasts for the rest of the year until they finish the whole book! MasyaAllah. May He make it easy for them.
I think the essence of all these is that while we strive toward improvement and our plans, we need to realize that perfection is not a goal. We will never be perfect. Some days easier, some days harder. Other days you feel like zero. But the point of aim is your end in mind. Who are you doing all this for? To please who? For whose benefit? Don’t give up, keep on trying. Keep on striving. Life is not a race of who’s faster. It’s never about “finishing”. Get on at your own pace and have faith.