You may be interested to know that, within the limits of their capacity and the uncertain circumstances, Bahá’ís inside and outside Ukraine are responding directly to the crisis. The believers in the country are supporting their compatriots to the extent possible, and the friends in the neighboring countries have arisen to support Bahá’í and other refugees. (Universal House of Justice, to an individual, 1 April 2022)
I have been looking at the effects that incest and childhood sexual, physical, emotional, and ritual abuse have had on me for awhile now. I’m starting to experience a lot of feelings I’ve spent a lifetime trying to stuff down. As a result, I haven’t been as active in my local cluster as I’d like to be, as I think a good Bahá’í “should” be. I’ve been “shouldding” on my self, and this has caused me deep despair.
Somewhere recently I thought I’d remembered that when war broke out in Ukraine, the House of Justice had asked them to carry on with the Plan. I know the Plan is the only salvation for the world, but when your world is being bombed and torn apart, and you’re afraid every day for your life, how on earth are you supposed to have energy to work the Plan? If this wasn’t the advice given to the Ukraine, I’ve seen in given in times of other tragedies (the hurricane that devastated Vanuatu comes to mind).
When I looked at the standard expected of the Ukrainians in this war, I felt deeply ashamed that I wasn’t able to attain that same standard. Bombs aren’t falling on me physically, but they sure are emotionally. I know I have a tendency to beat myself up, and I’m working on reducing the times I do it, but I can only do it when I find Bahá’í Writings that tell me I’m OK. So this letter, which came out last week, really helped. In it, the House of Justice was responding to someone who asked about the events in Ukraine. I was very comforted to read: “within the limits of their capacity” and “to the extent possible”. I can do that.
Knowing I have permission to recognize my capacity in any given day and that I can do what I can, to the extent possible, I am grateful!
If you liked this meditation, you might also like my book Letting Go of Criticizing Others