We ought to show something more than forgiveness in meeting with the cruelties and strictures of our own lives. To be hurt and to forgive is saintly, but far beyond that is the power to comprehend and not be hurt. This power we may have ‑ acceptance without complaint, and it should become associated with our name ‑ we ought never be known to complain or lament. It is not that we would “make the best of things” but that we may find in everything, even in calamity itself, the germ of enduring wisdom. (Bahiyyih Khánum, Bahá’í World, vol. 5, p.185)
While this quote is not authoritative, it comes from a source I admire and respect, as Bahiyyih Khánum exemplified every standard she asks us to reach. For many years I couldn’t even forgive. The best I could do is to ask God to forgive those who hurt me. Later, I was able to forgive and let go of all the resentment and hurt I was carrying. I made a practice of becoming conscious of every resentment and deal with it as it came up and I thought that was good, but in this quote we see that there are several additional things she wants us to consider:
- to comprehend and not be hurt
- to be known as someone who accepts without complaint
- to never be known to complain or lament
- to find in everything, even in calamity itself, the germ of enduring wisdom
The first and the last have to do with inward adjustments that have to be made. When I remember that we all have a lower nature and are all sinners, struggling to rise above whatever life has given us, then it’s easier to remember that we are all one. When I am spiritually strong and remember these things, I can achieve the first and fourth. The middle two are how we behave in the world. It seems that it might be possible to complain and lament privately, admitting it to ourselves and taking our complaints to God, asking for Him to transform them so that we can find the germ of enduring wisdom and not be hurt, so that we can face the world with the same radiant acquiescence she was known to have.
Knowing I can strive for something that goes beyond forgiveness, 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 Learning How to Forgive