Recently, I've heard so many sisters posting their excitement for Ramadan and how they're doing this, this and that to prepare for the blessed month ahead and there I was, next to them, thinking "Why don't I feel it?". "Why am I not as excited as I should be?" "Why don't I feel it too?"
For the past week, I've been trying to find the spirit of Ramadan. How do I find it? I mean, where do you look for it? It's not just by putting up 'Ramadan Mubarak' banners at home. It's not just by intending to fast all month and finish the Quran by the end of the month. It's not just by listening to lectures about Ramadan in order to increase your eman. It's not just by doing all these good deeds like giving charity, staying up at night to pray, making istighfar etc. It's everything you do so long as your heart is in the right place. Having the right intention. Your heart, first and foremost, is the gateway to finding the spirit of Ramadan, to finding Allah. To reconnect with your Creator, the One and Only, after having neglected Him in the last 11 months. To find Him again in your prayer, in sujood, in your dua. To cry to Him, the One who's always listening, and ask for forgiveness. To forgive your shortcomings for failing to do your best, not only as a Muslim but as a wife, a friend, a daughter, a sister. For failing to do your prayers on time. For failing to be patient. For being ungrateful servants. For everything.
Next, you need to have the intention to change. To intend to make this Ramadan different. To do more than what you have done or at least, try to. To make goals (reasonable ones). To become a better person for ourselves and for others, and most importantly, for Allah (swt). To keep it up ever after Ramadan has long gone. It is hard. I'm not going to lie. It will take a lot of self-motivation, self-encouragement, courage, strength and determination to change. Time. It will definitely. take. time.
That, to me, is the spirit of Ramadan.
I'm not the type to plan and follow from a schedule. I won't write up my day's itinerary for Ramadan because I'm probably never going to stick through it for the whole month. I know I should but we all know ourselves pretty well and I know that it just won't work, because I am human. I am weak. We know our own capabilities and each of us are none like the other. So I need simple goals just to get started. My main goals are to stay up for at least two rakaat of tahajud, read Quran during this time and after Fajr, finish at least half of the Quran by end of Ramadan (I like to take my time to read), to read the translation once a day, to keep calm and be patient when I'm tested by kids (tough one), to have khushu in prayer, to read duas before breaking fast, to make Duha prayer when I can, to read adhkar during the morning and evening and to finish Surah Kahf on one Friday, in sha Allah!
May Allah (swt) make it easy for me and accept from all of us our deeds and intentions and to forgive those whom have passed.