The past few months having been nothing short of scary and overwhelming. Countries around the world are under lockdown. People are forced to isolate from one another. It’s no surprise then that we, as social creatures, can begin to feel insurmountable grief as we are forced into a way of life which fundamentally goes against our nature. To make matters a bit more complicated, our holy Eid falls within the confines of this global crisis. Eid is a time for celebration and gatherings as we mark the end of the holiest month, Ramadan. Yet, in a time of crisis, mustering the energy to celebrate and feel alive can feel incredibly difficult or impossible.
The global pandemic has not only robbed me of my Eid celebrations, it has affected my sense of belonging and excitement when it comes to marking this joyous occasion. I no longer have the drive to celebrate. Feelings of happiness are replaced by unwanted feelings of guilt and hopelessness. I think to myself, “How can I live and celebrate when our world is dying?” I often believe that it’s almost morally wrong for me to celebrate when others are suffering and when the world is aching. Not too long after those thoughts begin do I then ponder on what would a celebration even look like without loved ones nearby, or a mosque that will house all my prayers? I have no answers. The pain is real and hard.
I remember what a wise old man (my father) once told me: “Accept your feelings, so you can accept yourself, and heal.” It’s okay to not be okay, it’s okay to feel your feelings, it’s okay to heal from pain.
Before my thoughts become all too consuming, I remember what a wise old man (my father) once told me: “Accept your feelings, so you can accept yourself, and heal.” At first, the concept is difficult to grasp. Yet with time, I began to wrap my mind around accepting one’s own feelings. It took sitting with my thoughts and anguish in order to understand that it’s 100% okay to not feel happy. And it’s absolutely absurd to have anyone or anything tell you how you’re supposed to feel! It’s okay to not be okay, it’s okay to feel your feelings, it’s okay to heal from pain.
Eid is a time for celebration, but no one ever said you can’t be hurting and feel sad for the world. Mark this holy occasion in the way that you have the ability to. Also, for those who are normally isolated on Eid, such as reverts or people who are ill, we’re sorry if we have ever been insensitive to how you experience Eid.
Your feelings are valid. Eid mubarak, however you choose to observe.