By Yasmin Mogahed
As someone who has struggled with depression my entire life, I'm grateful that it's finally being talked about. It is, of course, tragic that it took the suicide of a famous comedian to make it happen.
In an age of selfies and photoshopped Facebooks, it's hard to resist the impending need to display our false perfection. Pop culture teaches us to dance and sing along to songs that obnoxiously repeat "because I'm happy!" Somewhere along the line we buy into the myth of perpetual worldly happiness and perfection. So we put on our happy masks and photoshop our Facebook. But it's all just a farce. Why can't we admit that we *aren't* perfect? Why can't we admit that our lives aren't perfect? That our relationships aren't perfect? Why can't we admit that we struggle too? That we are human, living a human existence in a painfully imperfect world? If there's anything that this Ramadan did for our ummah around the world, it is this: it has torn away at the veils over our eyes, showing us the Reality of Dunya. So maybe we can stop pretending. It's okay to be broken. If all the horrors and tragedies of this world don't break us, maybe our hearts are already dead.
Maybe it's time to finally put away the false, edited photos, and statuses. Maybe it's time to set aside our masks and just be real. This world isn't perfect. We aren't perfect. Our lives aren't perfect. And that's okay. If all of these things were perfect, how would we know our need for God? How would we see it?
Our utter, desperate need.
But you see, that's just it. It is only through that need, that we are given. It is only through breaking, that we can be made whole. Tears can be like medicine. Tears to God--the only cure. Salvation doesn't come through feigning perfection. It comes through breaking, through humility, through admitting defeat and utter need, to the only One who can save you. To God. And God alone.
Look at the stories of the Prophets and how they were each saved. Look at the duaa of Nuh (AS) and Yunus (AS) and Ayoub (AS). They didn't pretend. They didn't feign strength and ability and perfection. They humbled themselves completely and admit that they had no strength or ability, because they knew that truly, truly, all strength and ability comes from Allah.