The barking of dogs is loud on every side . . . Where are the swords of Thy vengeance, O Destroyer of the worlds? (Baha’u’llah, Fire Tablet, Baha’i Prayers, p. 213)
Since the war in Ukraine started, I have been absolutely terrified that World War 3 is about to start, and compulsively checking the news for evidence that the “red phones” have been picked up. I spend hours a day, lost in phone games, totally dissociated. Very little is getting done, especially during the Fast.
Of course, most of us are upset by the war, but a quick poll of my friends leads me to believe that no one shares my paranoia, so I have to accept that something from the past is coming up to be healed. Fortunately, this week’s homework in my survivors of incest group, is to process a trigger, and I decided to use this one. I realized 3 things:
- Because of all the abuse I was going through, I wasn’t safe in my family.
- Because there were 3 bomb threats at school one winter, I wasn’t safe at school.
- Because of the Cuban missile crisis when I was 5 years old, when the USSR put medium to intermediate nuclear missiles in Cuba and the standoff between the USA and USSR came closest the world has ever come to nuclear conflict, and because there was a bomb shelter in the basement of my middle-class suburban western Canadian home, fully stocked with food and water for 2 years so we could survive a “nuclear winter”, the world wasn’t safe either.
All of this is in my face as I relive the terror of those years. It doesn’t help to be a Bahá’í, knowing that the world has to be brought to its knees before it will turn to Bahá’u’lláh, and much though I long for the Most Great Peace, I don’t long for the calamities that will bring us through. It also doesn’t help to know that one of the names of God is the Destroyer of the Worlds. So what does help? This quote gives some clues:
I charge you all that each one of you concentrate all the thoughts of your heart on love and unity. When a thought of war comes, oppose it by a stronger thought of peace. A thought of hatred must be destroyed by a more powerful thought of love. Thoughts of war bring destruction to all harmony, well-being, restfulness and content. Thoughts of love are constructive of brotherhood, peace, friendship, and happiness. (Abdu’l-Baha, Paris Talks, p. 28-30)
It takes discipline to change my thoughts of war to stronger thoughts of peace, but knowing that it will bring me happiness, I am grateful!
If you liked this meditation, you might also like my book Fear into Faith: Overcoming Anxiety