Participants in a consultative process see reality from different points of view, and as these views are examined and understood, clarity is achieved. (Office of Social and Economic Development at the Bahá’í World Centre, Social Action, 26 November 2012, p. 13. Bahá’í Library Online)
I like this quote because it reminds me that not everyone sees reality from my point of view. Nowhere has this been more obvious than during this pandemic, where my choice to adhere to government directives and guidance from the House of Justice has been at odds with the behaviour and actions of many of my closest Bahá’í friends.
I became aware of a huge difference of opinions during the first lockdown, when they chose to gather at a cottage for our semi-annual retreat at a time when people were being asked not to come up to their cottages and to avoid the 3-C’s (close faces; closed spaces and crowded places). I was furious that they would so blatantly disregard the lockdown and potentially put each other at risk. I was afraid that the gulf between us had widened to such a degree that I’d never be able to find my way back. I found myself incredibly judgemental, superior and self-righteous and at the same time, I was also jealous because they were continuing on and having fun without me. They continued to have a retreat in the fall, when we still weren’t allowed to gather in each other’s houses, and it is now is happening again in the third lockdown. Many of them are not planning to get vaccinated and I wonder if I will ever feel safe to go back to these retreats again. I am swimming in a sea of poisonous, attack thoughts aimed at people I thought of as my closest friends for over 30 years.
I realized that I had a choice. I could find a way to allow a difference of opinion and approach them with love and forgiveness; or I could let my bitterness eat away at the foundations of our friendship. I know how to walk away when the going gets rough. Now I’ve had to learn how to apply the things I’ve been teaching others in this blog and in my books, so I can keep these friends and at the same time keep my integrity and walk with my head held high with the effect of my decisions too. Consultation with others has been an important key to remind me that we all have COVID-fatigue and everyone has their limits. This has helped me be more understanding, and please God, may I continue to let go of judgement so I can hold love in my heart.
Remembering that consultation helps me see reality from different points of view, I can relax and 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 Learning How to Consult Effectively