In the early days of Our arrival in this land, when We discerned the signs of impending events, We decided, ere they happened, to retire. We betook Ourselves to the wilderness, and there, separated and alone, led for two years a life of complete solitude. From Our eyes there rained tears of anguish, and in Our bleeding heart there surged an ocean of agonizing pain. Many a night We had no food for sustenance, and many a day our body found no rest . . . for in Our solitude We were unaware of the harm or benefit, the health or ailment, of any soul. Alone, We communed with Our spirit, oblivious of the world and all that is therein. (Bahá’u’lláh, Kitáb-i-Íqán, pp. 250-251)
As a recovering workaholic, and someone committed to recovering from childhood abuse, I sometimes burn out and need months and even years to regroup and recharge. I used to beat myself up for this mercilessly, especially after tutoring a Ruhi Book or reading a message from the House of Justice. Phrases such as these would intensify my self-flagellation: “The time is short”; “there are too few workers”; “we need to make a herculean effort”; “we need to accomplish all these goals by the end of the plan” etc. Living in an inactive cluster, I took it upon myself to do the work of those who weren’t able to and there was never enough time to do the things that were mine to do. I felt guilty when I was in these times of pulling back from service.
This quote reminded me that there is an ebb and flow to everything. It’s such a comfort to remember that Bahá’u’lláh took time away, where He too was “unaware of the harm or benefit, the health or ailment, of any soul”. Maybe when I’m taking care of my own needs, I’m not being selfish after all! Thank you God for this reminder!
Knowing I can retreat and not feel guilty, 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