Consort with all men, O people of Bahá, in a spirit of friendliness and fellowship. If ye be aware of a certain truth, if ye possess a jewel, of which others are deprived, share it with them in a language of utmost kindliness and good-will. If it be accepted, if it fulfil its purpose, your object is attained. If any one should refuse it, leave him unto himself, and beseech God to guide him. Beware lest ye deal unkindly with him. (Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 289)
When I was confronting my parents about the abuse I sustained as a child, I unfortunately took my examples from the prevailing wisdom of the day, which said, tell them what you remember, what you want from them and what you will do if they don’t comply. Needless to say, this approach got their backs up; they attempted to have me declared crazy and have my son taken away from me, and then when that didn’t work, they put a wedge between my siblings and I and cut me out of their lives. I never saw any of my family after that.
As a good Bahá’í, it always bothered me that this action created so much estrangement in our family. If I couldn’t have unity in my own family, how on earth could I help bring it to the world?
I wish I’d had the awareness and spiritual maturity called for in today’s quote. Inside of coming on strong with threats, I could have approached them from a place of kindness and curiosity. Unfortunately I was so full of hate and resentment and unforgiveness that there was no place in my heart for God, or love or friendliness or fellowship. I have left them to themselves and pray for them. It’s the best I can do for my family, but I have learned from my mistake and take care of the forgiveness first, before talking to anyone about a difficult matter.
Knowing I can talk to people kindly and if I’m rebuffed, I can leave them in God’s hands, I am filled with peace, 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 Violence and Abuse: Reasons and Remedies Kindle