What is true love?
The essence of love is for man to turn his heart to the Beloved One, and sever himself from all else but Him, and desire naught save that which is the desire of his Lord. (Bahá’u’lláh, Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 155)
The real and great love is the love of God. That is holy above the imaginations and thoughts of men. (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Bahá’í World Faith, p. 365)
What is the love between two people?
But the love which sometimes exists between friends is not (true) love, because it is subject to transmutation; this is merely fascination. As the breeze blows, the slender trees yield. If the wind is in the East the tree leans to the West, and if the wind turns to the West the tree leans to the East. This kind of love is originated by the accidental conditions of life. This is not love, it is merely acquaintanceship; it is subject to change. Today you will see two souls apparently in close friendship; tomorrow all this may be changed. Yesterday they were ready to die for one another, today they shun one another’s society! This is not love; it is the yielding of the hearts to the accidents of life. When that which has caused this ‘love’ to exist passes, the love passes also; this is not in reality love. (Abdu’l-Baha, Paris Talks, p. 180)
How to think about heartbreak
O My servants! Sorrow not if, in these days and on this earthly plane, things contrary to your wishes have been ordained and manifested by God, for days of blissful joy, of heavenly delight, are assuredly in store for you. Worlds, holy and spiritually glorious, will be unveiled to your eyes. You are destined by Him, in this world and hereafter, to partake of their benefits, to share in their joys, and to obtain a portion of their sustaining grace. To each and every one of them you will, no doubt, attain. Gleanings From the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p.232
Why do we get our hearts broken?
Anybody can be happy in the state of comfort, ease, health, success, pleasure and joy; but if one be happy and contented in the time of trouble, hardship and prevailing disease, it is the proof of nobility. Abdu’l-Baha, Tablets of Abdul-Baha Abbas, Baha’i Publishing Committee, 1909 edition Pages: 730
What to do when your heart is broken
Turn towards the “Best Lover”:
There is nothing greater or more blessed than the Love of God! It gives healing to the sick, balm to the wounded, joy and consolation to the whole world, and through it alone can man attain Life Everlasting. (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Paris Talks, p. 82)
By the life of God! A single drop of the ocean of His love is more profitable unto thee than the earth and that which is thereupon, because this will vanish and perish, but that drop of love will remain eternally and everlasting in the worlds of God. (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá v3, p. 669)
In a letter written on his behalf, Shoghi Effendi uses the analogy of the plant turning in the direction of the sun to explain the spiritual significance of turning towards the
…just as the plant stretches out to the sunlight–from which it receives life and growth–so we turn our hearts to the Manifestation of God, Bahá’u’lláh, when we pray; … we turn our faces … to where His dust lies on this earth as a symbol of the inner act. (Bahá’u’lláh, The Kitab-i-Aqdas, p. 169)
Understand just how much He loves us:
He gave us life because He loved us so much:
O Son of Man! Veiled in My immemorial being and in the ancient eternity of My essence, I knew My love for thee; therefore I created thee, have engraved on thee Mine image and revealed to thee My beauty. My love is in thee, know it, that thou mayest find me near unto thee. (Bahá’u’lláh, Hidden Words, Arabic 3).
O Son of Man! I loved thy creation, hence I created thee. Wherefore, do thou love Me, that I may name thy name and fill thy soul with the spirit of life. (Bahá’u’lláh, Hidden Words, Arabic 4).
O SON OF THE WONDROUS VISION! I have breathed within thee a breath of My own Spirit, that thou mayest be My lover. Why hast thou forsaken Me and sought a beloved other than Me? (Baha’u’llah, The Arabic Hidden Words 19)
His eye of favors is directed towards us:
Know thou that, verily, the eye of favors is directed to thee and is beholding thee with a divine glance, so that thou mayest, with clear eyes, see the lights of the Kingdom upon the horizon. Remember, at all times, this great favor and thank thy Lord and supplicate to Him every day. (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá v1, p. 132)
Through this love, we receive eternal life:
There are four kinds of love. The first is the love that flows from God to man; it consists of the inexhaustible graces, the Divine effulgence and heavenly illumination. Through this love the world of being receives life. Through this love man is endowed with physical existence, until, through the breath of the Holy Spirit—this same love—he receives eternal life and becomes the image of the Living God. This love is the origin of all the love in the world of creation. (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Paris Talks, p. 180)
Understand the bounties and blessings of losing a loved one:
Live free of love, for its very peace is anguish; Its beginning is pain, its end is death. Peace be upon him who followeth the Right Path! (Bahá’u’lláh, The Seven Valleys, p. 41)
And if, confirmed by the Creator, the lover escapes from the claws of the eagle of love, he will enter THE VALLEY OF KNOWLEDGE and come out of doubt into certitude, and turn from the darkness of illusion to the guiding light of the fear of God. His inner eyes will open and he will privily converse with his Beloved; he will set ajar the gate of truth and piety, and shut the doors of vain imaginings. (Bahá’u’lláh, The Seven Valleys, p. 11)
Love is a veil betwixt the lover and the beloved. (Bahá’u’lláh, The Four Valleys, p. 60)
…. the Manifested Light, Baha’u’llah, in this glorious period has revealed in Holy Tablets that singing and music are the spiritual food of the hearts and souls. In this dispensation, music is one of the arts that is highly approved and is considered to be the cause of the exaltation of sad and desponding hearts. (‘Abdu’l-Baha, Star of the West, Volume 9, p. 131)
. . . if a person falls into errors for a hundred-thousand times he may yet turn his face to you, hopeful that you will forgive his sins; for he must not become hopeless, neither grieved nor despondent. This is the conduct and the manner of the people of Bahá’. (Abdu’l-Bahá, Tablets of Abdu’l-Bahá v2, p. 436)
He must never seek to exalt himself above any one, must wash away from the tablet of his heart every trace of pride and vain-glory, must cling unto patience and resignation, observe silence and refrain from idle talk. For the tongue is a smoldering fire, and excess of speech a deadly poison. Material fire consumeth the body, whereas the fire of the tongue devoureth both heart and soul. The force of the former lasteth but for a time, whilst the effects of the latter endureth a century. (Baha’u’llah, The Book of Certitude, p. 193)
Remember, above all, the teaching of Baha’u’llah concerning gossip and unseemly talk about others. Stories repeated about others are seldom good. A silent tongue is the safest. Even good may be harmful, if spoken at the wrong time, or to the wrong person. (Abdu’l-Baha, Abdu’l-Baha in London, p. 125)
That seeker should, also, regard backbiting as grievous error, and keep himself aloof from its dominion, inasmuch as backbiting quencheth the light of the heart, and extinguisheth the life of the soul. He should be content with little, and be freed from all inordinate desire. (Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 264)
O people of God! Do not busy yourselves in your own concerns; let your thoughts be fixed upon that which will rehabilitate the fortunes of mankind and sanctify the hearts and souls of men. (Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 93-94)
Be not the slave of your moods, but their master. But if you are so angry, so depressed and so sore that your spirit cannot find deliverance and peace even in prayer, then quickly go and give some pleasure to someone lowly or sorrowful, or to a guilty or innocent sufferer! Sacrifice yourself, your talent, your time, your rest to another, to one who has to bear a heavier load than you. (The Research Department has found that these words were attributed to Abdu’l-Baha in an unpublished English translation of notes in German by Dr. Josephine Fallscheer taken on 5 August 1910. As the statement is a pilgrim note, it cannot be authenticated)
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 Learning How to Forgive