Select Page

Choosing Love and Mercy 

The attributes of God are love and mercy; the attribute of Satan is hate. Therefore, he who is merciful and kind to his fellowmen is manifesting the divine attribute, and he who is hating and hostile toward a fellow creature is satanic.  (Abdu’l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 40)

This quote seems clear – our job is to be loving and forgiving, especially when the world wants us to be hating and hostile.  Sometimes easier said than done!  I’m going through a situation now that I’m trying to deal with in the right way and some of the people around me are so angry at what’s happened that they are taking sides and drawing swords and ready to do battle on my behalf.  I’ve had to talk some of them back from the edge, and do it without gossiping or backbiting at a time when I am hurting from the sting of what happened.  It’s been a day-by-day decision to apply the attributes of God.

When I remember the slogan “hurt people hurt people”, it helps me to be more compassionate and understanding.  When I remember that I can give the problem to God and pray for the one who hurt me, I can love her for the sake of God and not be hypocritical.  In addition to extending love and mercy to others, I also need to remember to show it to myself.

Knowing I have a choice to be loving and merciful to myself and others, 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 Getting to Know Your Lower Nature

 

Help Keep This Site Alive

Avoiding Regret and Loss 

What result is forthcoming from material rest, tranquility, luxury and attachment to this corporeal world! It is evident that the man who pursues these things will in the end become afflicted with regret and loss. (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Tablets of the Divine Plan, p. 42)

As someone recovering from PTSD, adrenal fatigue and burnout, I have to be especially careful when I read this quote, to ask God if it applies to me today.  I need material rest and even tranquility to recover and yes, although this does afflict me with regret and loss, it’s still necessary for my physical and mental well-being.  If I apply it today, it will be like taking antibiotics for diabetes.  It’s an effective remedy under the right conditions, but not the right one for the disease.

I know that ‘Abdu’l-Bahá also achieved great things, even though He was often desperately tired.  When I’m called on by God to rise above myself, I too can pray to be more like ‘Abdu’l-Bahá.  Too often though, I put unrealistic expectations and artificial deadlines on myself.  At those times, I’m in my will and not aligned with God’s will.  I need prayers for wisdom and discernment to know the difference and when I make a mistake, I need to rely on God’s mercy, compassion and forgiveness.

The other things are easier to understand, though.   If I’m attached to all the luxury this material world has to offer, I will be pursuing the wrong things.  I’ll be making my material life more important than my physical one.  I’ll lose the opportunity to draw closer to God and attain the virtues I’ll need in the next world.  And that is definitely an important reminder.

Knowing that attachment to this material world and it’s luxuries and comforts will lead to regret and loss, 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 Getting to Know Your Lower Nature

 

Help Keep This Site Alive

 

 

Idle Thoughts and Vain Imaginings

Consider then how the peoples of the world are circling round their own vain imaginings and worshipping the idols of their own thoughts and fancies, without the least awareness of doing so. They regard these vain imaginings as that Reality which is sanctified above all understanding and exalted beyond every allusion. They consider themselves to be the proponents of the Divine Unity and all others as worshippers of idols, even though idols at least enjoy a mineral existence, whereas the idols of human thoughts and imaginations are sheer illusion and have not even the existence of stones. “Take ye good heed, O people of insight!” (Abdu’l-Baha, Some Answered Questions, 2014 ed., p. 37)

Our thoughts are not our friends.  Where did the thought come from, which led Mírzá Yahyá to betray Bahá’u’lláh?  Where did the thought come from, which led Osama Bin Laden to bomb the World Trade Centre?  Where did the thought come from, which led Hitler to want to exterminate the Jews?  These thoughts all came out of their lower natures.  All idle fancies and vain imaginings that people believed in and acted on, to the detriment of the world.

As someone who lives in her head a great deal of the time, this is an important reminder.  It’s easy to believe the thoughts in my head without even knowing I’m doing it.  This is my drug of choice.  I’m addicted to the thoughts, especially to the ones that tell me I’m unloveable, not measuring up, a bad Bahá’í.  I’m addicted to the thoughts that feed my negativity and self pity.  I know better.  I’ve studied thoughts, written about believing the lies and tried to master my thoughts on my own and discovered all too often that I am powerless over them.  I need the grace of God to turn it around and I need to remember to rely on it every minute of every day.  It’s exhausting!

Knowing I can destroy these false idols by giving them to God, 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 Getting to Know Your Lower Nature

 

Help Keep This Site Alive

 

Choose Service

O Son of Man! Ponder and reflect. Is it thy wish to die upon thy bed, or to shed thy life-blood on the dust, a martyr in My path, and so become the manifestation of My command and the revealer of My light in the highest paradise? Judge thou aright, O servant!  (Bahá’u’lláh, Hidden Words, Arabic 46)

Ouch!  I remember when I first read this quote, I was severely depressed and spent a lot of time in bed and I went from one extreme to another – and burned out from doing too much service, believing in the power of being a living martyr, and ended up back in bed with adrenal exhaustion and more depression.  Somewhere there has to be a happy medium.  Surely this isn’t a false dichotomy.

I think it’s important to understand the role we have in moving the Cause forward towards the Most Great Peace.  That’s why we were chosen by God, to find the Bahá’í Faith in the first place.  We are, after all, the army of God, motley crew though we might be!  If we need to spend time in bed to take care of our spiritual and mental health, we can still pray for the world and we can pray to find the strength to lean on God for the next right action, whatever that might be.

Accepting my limitations and choosing to make service a priority, inside or out of bed, 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 Getting to Know Your Lower Nature

 

Help Keep This Site Alive