Today I climbed back into the proverbial saddle. Having spent nine days traveling, followed by another seven sick, I was finally well enough to fast. In spite of having spent more days not fasting than those spent fasting in solidarity for this holy month of Ramadan, I have, nonetheless, experienced some moments of revelation. The biggest one a few days ago. As I remained ill–not desperately, but enough that I know I needed to be careful lest I relapse completely–I recognized that chastising myself as a “failure” for not “finishing what I started” (an age-old tenet of perfectionism syndrome) is not especially useful.
Rather than branding myself as a having failed at fasting, I am pivoting to realize that I have been “successful” at observing the principles, and yes practices, of Ramadan (as I understand them) as best I have been able, given the circumstances. And even though pride is probably as much a sin in Islam as it is in Christianity, I am proud of myself for having pulled myself together enough to fast today. At one point I had thought I would give up. Oh never mind, I would say to myself. Ramadan ends on Thursday. You’ve already failed to complete even half of the month. Heck, you haven’t even blogged. But I didn’t do that. I fasted and I will fast again tomorrow and Wednesday and finish what I started.
I am technically supposed to make up the days I missed, and I suppose I will at some point. For now I will be grateful to get through the next two days. I am going to conk out early this evening with the hopes that I’ll be able to write more tomorrow. But this much I know: I will end this process as I begun it–with hope and good intentions to share this journey with people around me in solidarity with my two very good friends. It doesn’t get much better than that.