Experience suggests that a discussion about contributing to the betterment of society fails to tap the deepest springs of motivation if it excludes exploration of spiritual themes. The importance of “doing”, of arising to serve and to accompany fellow souls, must be harmonized with the notion of “being”, of increasing one’s understanding of the divine teachings and mirroring forth spiritual qualities in one’s life. (Universal House of Justice, to the Conference of the Continental Boards of Counsellors, 29 December 2015)
As a recovering workaholic, I’ve learned that I use “doing” (work, service, activities) as a drug to numb my feelings. When I’m not doing, I feel anxious, flooded with emotions from past trauma that I’d rather not feel or experience. When I’m not using the addiction to “doing”, I numb out with food, reading escape fiction, watching mindless television or playing phone games. None of this is pure hearted work-as-worship.
I’m learning to include the following in my life to help me “be”, so I can feel spiritually centrered, happy and healthy: prayer, meditation, fasting, studying the Baha’i Writings, tutoring study circles, journaling, spending time with other Baha’is, and working on my blog and books. When I take time to “be”, I fill up my bucket and am able to go back to arising to serve and accompany fellow souls, mirroring forth spiritual qualities in a healthy, more God-oriented way.
Knowing that by giving myself permission to just “be”, I am better able to arise to serve and accompany others, I can relax and I am grateful!
What jumped out for you as you read today’s meditation? I’d love it if you would share so we can all expand our knowledge of the Writings!
If you liked this meditation, you might also like my book Fear into Faith: Overcoming Anxiety