Each of us is responsible for one life only, and that is our own. Each of us is immeasurably far from being “perfect as our heavenly father is perfect” and the task of perfecting our own life and character is one that requires all our attention, our will-power and energy. (From a letter dated 12 May 1925 written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, in Living the Life, pp. 5–7)
The current pandemic has activated my “compare and despair” as I look around to see what I’m doing to self-isolate and judging those individuals and businesses who are not. This morning I realized that my lifestyle lends itself easily to isolation but for others, the situation is a lot more complex. Not everyone is able to work from home; not everyone has the luxury of a guaranteed income; not everyone is used to doing grocery shopping once a month or every 6 weeks; not everyone is used to spending large amounts of time alone; not everyone has a spiritual core to draw on. In so many ways, I’m luckier than many of my family and friends. I want to focus on being grateful for what I have and compassionate and forgiving of those with less.
COVID-19 is calling on all of us to let go of the need to be perfect; to let go of expectations of ourselves and others; to see the good in others and reflect it back. As the House of Justice says in the Naw Ruz letter, it’s our job to:
- Rise above the horizon of firmness and steadfastness with illumined faces and radiant brows
- Obliterate the gloom of fear and consternation
- Let the light of assurance dawn above the horizon and shine resplendently
- Bring hope and strength of spirit
- Nurture the attributes of unity and fellow feeling
- Nurture knowledge and understanding
- Nurture a spirit of collective worship and common endeavor
- Strengthen bonds of friendship
- Foster tranquility, confidence and reliance on God
- Provide elevated conversations to bring a source of comfort and inspiration to many
- Focus our prayers on the health and well-being of all the Friends of God and for the relief of suffering
Knowing what’s expected of me during this pandemic, 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 Getting to Know Your Lower Nature