We should not, however, forget that an essential characteristic of this world is hardship and tribulation and that it is by overcoming them that we achieve our moral and spiritual development. As the Master says, sorrow is like furrows, the deeper they go the more plentiful are the fruits we obtain. (From a letter dated 5 November 1931 written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, in Living the Life, p. 7)
Recently someone asked me: “I thought I’d healed from anxiety and depression and I didn’t. I had some tests and difficulties and I got very anxious again with panic attacks. I don’t think I will ever heal. Is it me or is it that God doesn’t want to heal me?”
I replied that whenever I fall back into anxiety, these are the things I remind myself:
- When I let anxiety win, I’m in self-will, believing I have to solve all my problems and do everything by myself.
- When I let anxiety win, I’m living in the future, imagining “what if’s” that may never happen. In this present moment, I have everything I need. I am safe.
- God loves me whether I’m anxious or not, but when I get scared, I am far from God and need to remember He’s way bigger than my problems and standing ready to solve them for me.
I also pull out this checklist, which is a summary of all the things I teach about overcoming anxiety. I use it to see the areas which need strengthening, in order to overcome anxiety again.
It helps to remember that all of us have tests and difficulties. Severe mental tests such as anxiety and depression are the polish God uses to help with my moral and spiritual development, but I often forget, and think I’m the only one suffering. When I’m stuck in that prison of self, quotes like the one above remind me that there is a purpose, and I have a choice, and I can rededicate my life to God, and implore Him to use these tests so my fruit can nourish the people around me.
Knowing there’s a purpose to my suffering, 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 Fear into Faith: Overcoming Anxiety