By: Elaf Selim
I have a friend who is very pure at heart but she always struggles with many aspects in her life; feeling depressed and sometimes miserable. She wishes to feel peace and happiness. I was talking to her the other day about the happiness we feel every year in Ramadan and I realized that this month is a great opportunity for anyone who wishes to strengthen their gratitude muscles and train their eyes and hearts to see all the blessings that God gave us. This leads certainly to a peaceful and happy heart, something we all hope for.
Since you are reading this article, chances are that you live in more comfort than many people on the planet who have no access to electricity and the internet. You probably have a roof over your head and you probably know what you will eat tomorrow. Going through the day to day business of life, sometimes makes us forget how much we are blessed. I believe that no matter where you are in life and what your struggles are, you can ‘choose’ to see all of God’s blessings in your life. It’s a conscious choice that we can make in our hearts and ask God for strength, support and guidance as we train ourselves to be more content and happy with everything we have regardless of everything we don’t. So, even if your life is tough and full of hardship, you will probably find so many small gifts and blessings here and there to ease the pain and comfort you. And there is no better time than Ramadan to focus on this soulful growth.
So the question is: how can this beautiful state of mind and soul be achieved? The secret to be utterly grateful and happy is to open your heart to God’s help and strive to live in the moment, every single moment. Living in the moment will allow your heart to see and enjoy all the beauty around you. Seize the opportunity whenever you notice little things you love in your life to say ‘Thank you God’ in your heart. You can use Ramadan as a training phase to adopt a more content and happy heart. In Ramadan, our hearts are humble and open and this makes it the best time for adopting positive habits.
Here are some simple examples and you can create thousands more:
- When you wake up in the morning and see the sun, remember to thank God who created your eyes and the sun and gifted you the beautiful view of sunrise. Don’t just say it, but imagine yourself without the blessing of eyesight and feel the gratitude deep within your heart.
- When you dress your kids for school, remember to take a second and look into their eyes. Imagine your life without them for a moment and thank God for the blessing of having your children filling your life, a gift that God gave you so you may experiences, joys and happiness.
- When you see your parents, take a moment to be happy and remember to thank God deep inside your heart for having them in your life. It’s a major blessing.
- When you speak with your best friend, thank God that you have someone to talk to. Loneliness is painful and many people are not so fortunate.
The list goes on and on: the wind on your cheeks, the clean air you breathe, the pure water you drink, the comfort of your home, all the good food you have, each piece of clothing you wear … etc. You will never run out of beautiful things to feel grateful for. It’s a training process but it’s worth it and Allah (swt) has promised to give us more and more if we thank Him. The key is to not to take anything for granted in life and not to fall into the trap of spiral thinking about problems and hardships. Yes, we need to think about them in order to solve them but they should not consume every inch of our mental space. Be steadfast in prayer, they helps a lot. When you think of something painful, consciously remind yourself of something else beautiful in your life; you will never fail to find one. This shift in thought pattern needs practice and patience and dua’a. Ask Allah (swt) for guidance and help so you may reach this beautiful state of happiness and comfort of the heart. Believe me, it is very possible for all of us, and you may be surprised to notice that most of the happy people on this earth own far much less possessions or comforts compared to you. So in summary, I and my friend will be challenging ourselves to count our blessings every day in Ramadan so this may be a habit of our hearts.
What are you thankful for today?
About the Author:
Elaf Selim is a Software Engineer, a Jewelry designer, a blogger and a Mom. She is the owner of SkiesAndSparkles.com, a handmade artisan jewelry shop. She loves photography, writing, historical architectures and nature in all forms.