Forgiving Yourself And Those Who Have Wronged You

Forgiving Yourself And Those Who Have Wronged You

Why it's important to let go of our anger and forgive.
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The month of Ramadan is coming up this May, and with it comes a time for remembrance of the Quran and charity for Muslims worldwide. Along with food and drink, followers of the Islamic faith are required to let go of their inhibitions and carnal desires in order to fully immerse themselves in spiritual fasting and prayer. In the spirit of this holy month, I decided to write this article to reflect upon one of our most powerful human virtues— forgiveness. Whether we are Muslim or not, we are all human, and so I ask that this month, we (first and foremost myself) learn to forgive.

Forgive yourself, and forgive those who have wronged you.

Forgive yourself for not living up to your own expectations, for falling short of your goals and for not being able to achieve what you were striving for. You are only human, and it is only human for us to fall short sometimes. That does not make us any less of a person, nor does it make you any less likely to continue to succeed— indeed, it is these moments of failure that show us how strong we really are, that we can rise above our own self-doubt and insecurities and conquer that which we would never have thought possible.

Forgive those who have wronged you, because they are human too and they did not think through how much they could hurt you. Of course, this doesn’t apply to everything and everyone (there are some actions that are beyond forgiveness, and that is absolutely okay), but being able to forgive those who wrong us shows us the value of our own hearts and how much love we are capable of. If we cannot forgive, then at least we can make peace with ourselves and try to move forward from the experience as better human beings. Forgiving those who have wronged us proves that better part of our humanity is inherent in our ability to love.

Cover Image Credit: Adeel Azim

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Everything You Will Miss If You Commit Suicide

The world needs you.
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You won't see the sunrise or have your favorite breakfast in the morning.

Instead, your family will mourn the sunrise because it means another day without you.

You will never stay up late talking to your friends or have a bonfire on a summer night.

You won't laugh until you cry again, or dance around and be silly.

You won't go on another adventure. You won't drive around under the moonlight and stars.

They'll miss you. They'll cry.

You won't fight with your siblings only to make up minutes later and laugh about it.

You won't get to interrogate your sister's fiancé when the time comes.

You won't be there to wipe away your mother's tears when she finds out that you're gone.

You won't be able to hug the ones that love you while they're waiting to wake up from the nightmare that had become their reality.

You won't be at your grandparents funeral, speaking about the good things they did in their life.

Instead, they will be at yours.

You won't find your purpose in life, the love of your life, get married or raise a family.

You won't celebrate another Christmas, Easter or birthday.

You won't turn another year older.

You will never see the places you've always dreamed of seeing.

You will not allow yourself the opportunity to get help.

This will be the last sunset you see.

You'll never see the sky change from a bright blue to purples, pinks, oranges, and yellows meshing together over the landscape again.

If the light has left your eyes and all you see is the darkness, know that it can get better. Let yourself get better.

This is what you will miss if you leave the world today.

This is who will care about you when you are gone.

You can change lives. But I hope it's not at the expense of yours.

We care. People care.

Don't let today be the end.

You don't have to live forever sad. You can be happy. It's not wrong to ask for help.

Thank you for staying. Thank you for fighting.

Suicide is a real problem that no one wants to talk about. I'm sure you're no different. But we need to talk about it. There is no difference between being suicidal and committing suicide. If someone tells you they want to kill themselves, do not think they won't do it. Do not just tell them, “Oh you'll be fine." Because when they aren't, you will wonder what you could have done to help. Sit with them however long you need to and tell them it will get better. Talk to them about their problems and tell them there is help. Be the help. Get them assistance. Remind them of all the things they will miss in life.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255

Cover Image Credit: Brittani Norman

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My Body Is Not Your Conversation Topic

I'm not up for public consumption.

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I'm skinny. There is seemingly nothing wrong with that. I'm a bit underweight but I am healthy. My body does everything I need it to do and I take care of it well. There is a privilege in being skinny; I can shop for clothes my size relatively easily, my body type is represented in the media constantly, etc.

There's nothing wrong with having a healthily thin body type — women are beautiful at every size. The only problem with being skinny is that I don't want to be. I have struggled with my weight and body image for a long time and it is my own problem to deal with, but some days people around me make it worse.

Being skinny makes me feel small, insignificant, like a child. People say the weirdest things about my body and act like it's a compliment. In high school, I wore a pencil skirt to school and was with my friends in the office. An administrator came up to talk to us and commented on how skinny my legs were, then proceeded to gesture to her own leg and ask me if she could give some of her "fat" because I "needed it." It's funnier now but at the time, I was so uncomfortable and too shy to do anything but give her a courtesy laugh.

I didn't wear skirts for a while after that. Those kinds of comments make me feel seen in the wrong way; it makes me want to disappear. There have even been people who are bold enough to invade my personal space and touch me, then tell me — in amazement — that I'm "really skin and bones." It's weird and awkward and truly doesn't add anything to a conversation. It's actually the easiest way to get me to end a conversation, as well as a relationship, with you.

In a day and age where we share almost everything online, it's become the norm to discuss and analyze people's bodies. They're the ones putting it out there so we should be able to nitpick them to death, right? Wrong. Commenting on someone's body, size, health, etc. is never okay and should not be considered commonplace. I know I'm skinny so I definitely don't need anyone to remind me. The sky is blue but we don't point it out every day, do we?

Leave people's bodies alone. You truly never know what somebody may be dealing with in terms of their body image. And no, you're not entitled to know. I don't tell everybody who makes a comment about my body that I've struggled with my body image since I was 13 because they simply don't deserve to know. Don't put people in a position where they have to defend their own body.

I'm taking my power back lately and not giving anyone a courtesy laugh when they make a joke or comment about my body. Instead, I'm just telling them to shut up, and I encourage you to do the same.

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