August 13, 2012
Ramadan Reflections: Failure and Growth
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
This Ramadan has been filled with many adventures (both physical and spiritual) for me. One current difficulty I am trying to overcome is a perceived failure in my life. For those of you who may know me, I was working on a project with a couple of people (like, 100s of pages of reading and notes) and it did not work for various reasons. Well, I have to turn in the form of my resignation for my project this week and it really dug up old wounds.
Whenever I am pressed by a hardship like this, I tend to do one of two things: act stupid and complain, or sit and reflect. This time, I leaned to the latter. I realized when I was filling out my resignation form, that it wasn’t the feeling of failure or worthlessness that made me feel so terrible. What is etched in the back of my mind was the look one of the people I was working with gave me. I never forgot the cold look in his eyes and his callous demeanor when we realized things were not going to work out.
For months, I thought I was a failure; I thought I was not qualified or competent. Tonight, I realized in the process of filling out the resignation form and contemplation, that failure or defeat, cannot be defeat unless we accept it. This is the battle of the mind.
Am I allowed to feel somewhat depressed about the situation, yes, for a temporary feeling of time. Feeling is not a sin. Lingering feeling can disrupt our mental thought process though. So there is time to accept it and then move on. Just because this opportunity did not work out does not mean another one (possibly a better one) isn’t out there for me to pursue. The important thing is that I must get back up and keep trying.
But what I want to share with you, reader, is that don’t let a perceived “set back” or “failure” stop you. Don’t let “mere day and night ensnare you” (Iqbal) or others make you believe you are a failure or worthless. Yes, things do not work out and it is okay to be depressed for a little bit, but when you fall, pick yourself up.
You are human.
You are dynamic.
You are strong.
You have the capacity of infinite progress.
Don’t let others stop you.
Keep growing. Keep moving. Keep trying.