Sometime Back I slipped a little ditty into a Facebook status where I said I need to call a spade a spade and I really just become vegetarian for a month.
I had read an article on one of my favorite women’s sites xojane titled “Why I Celebrate Ramadan” and it was an ah-hah moment of sorts because I had to admit that the first half of the article was a lot like me but the bottom half..was…not.
As I was riding in the car, I just calmly turned to RG and said “I believe I won’t be participating in Ramadan this year.”
Ramadan (for the followers of the Nation of Islam) is from December 1-31st. The reasoning is that this was a good time for us to fast, pray, repent and do all the first work because it was the Christmas season and since Jesus wasn’t born that day and most Black Folks went IN on all kinds of excess and consuming huge amounts of wine and swine, this was the perfect time for us to abstain and stay on the right path.
It was all cool and dandy, but in recent years, I had begun to not ‘feel’ the spirit behind it. I clung to December as some sort of patron saint for my religion of origin adn for immense fear of rejection.(well that happened anyway, lol so now what?) In even later years, I could not deny the fact that I didn’t feel right pulling this out year after year when the other 11 months there was basically NOTHING in my day to day life that pointed out to anyone that I was of that faith. It was not so easy to get rid of the feeling that I was being hypocritical to who I was by ‘pretending’ to participate in something that was not fulfilling me spiritually because I had lost my spiritual connection for the most part to the religion that it belonged to.
At some other point, I spoke about my realization (because it’s the way I come to actuality on most things) that spirituality for me is like a rock climbing wall. As I attempt to ascend to some sort of favor with God, whatever hand/foot hold presents itself in that climb works for me. I hold on to several of the principals of my religion of origin, but I am comforted and brought to spiritual understanding by much more.
I’m not going to spend a lot of time on the why’s etc. because part of the process is that I don’t owe anyone at this stage in my life explanations as to why I do anything that I do, but because I write and maintain this blog, I like to expound on the purpose of a lot of my thought process.
I will just say that I am not into the business of organized religion, I have found it disappointing, it has not worked for me, I will say that as I stand around a room with almost two dozen folks in one family vibing, eating, drinking and being – that has NOTHING to do with Organized Religion and EVERYTHING to do with FAMILY and thus I can admit that I’m real bitter about that and I have distaste in my mouth because I wish it were less of that and more family in my upbringing and so I don’t do organized religion.
Therefore, beginning this year I won’t be doing Ramadan. If it doesn’t come about and be authentic (yes I’ve been using that word a lot) and embrace the feeling and spiritual release then I feel like I’m abusing the holiness of it and thus blocking my blessings by being a fake.
I know what it looks like because I have a young adult in my home who is spiritually sound and quite at peace with her religious choices. She’s pure in her methods of becoming close with God and if I can achieve any of that, then half the battle is won.
I told my daughter first and it brings tears to my eyes how we could sit down at this point in our relationship and just have a conversation based on respect and each other’s personal choice of truth and it not affect or defect our relationship.
I told my husband and he is proud of me for finally speaking my truth which is a huge sign of courage.
I told my best friend and she just said “I’m proud of you”
And now I’m telling the rest of ya’ll, lol lol