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Many times when Shoghi Effendi was intensely distressed, I saw him go to bed, refusing to eat or drink, refusing to talk, rolled under his covers, unable to do anything but agonize, like someone beaten to the ground by heavy rain; this condition sometimes lasted for days, until forces within himself would adjust the balance and set him on his feet again. He would be lost in a world of his own where no one could follow.  (Rúhíyyih Rabbani, The Priceless Pearl, p. 45)

Early on in my recovery, I dealt with the overwhelming rush of emotions too big for me to handle, by retreating to my bed to find some degree of safety and comfort.  I never felt good about it though, because of the urgency I felt to serve the Faith to the exclusion of everything else.  I totally believed that if I didn’t do my part (and the parts of those who were inactive), then I personally would be responsible for delaying the Most Great Peace.  I also believed that I needed to meet the high standards of the Faith in every single area, in order to earn enough “spiritual brownie points” to guarantee me a good place in the next world.  Because I wasn’t able to achieve either of these things, I judged myself quite harshly until I found this quote.

If Shoghi Effendi could take time out from the all the pressures he was under and still accomplish great things for the Faith, maybe I could cut myself some slack for doing the same thing.  It reminds me a bit of a feral animal, when frightened or hurt, often retreats to a safe hiding spot.  Maybe this is an inborn gift from our Creator.  Maybe taking time to retreat until God is able to adjust the balance and set me on my feet again is a healthy coping strategy.

Knowing I can honor my body’s need to retreat to recover, 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 Violence and Abuse:  Reasons and Remedies    Kindle

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