Smooth and insidious are these snakes, these whisperers of evil, artful in their craft and guile. Be ye on your guard and ever wakeful! . . . Act ye with all circumspection! (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 314)
On the other hand there are some persons whose very respiration extinguishes the light of faith; whose conversation weakens firmness and steadfastness in the Cause of God; whose company diverts one’s attention from the kingdom of Abhá. (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Star of the West, Vol. 8, No. 2, p. 25)
While these quotes don’t necessarily refer to those who abuse others, in my recovery, I took them that way. I was happy to see that ‘Abdu’l-Baha understood that those who hurt me were “smooth and insidious whisperers or evil, artful in their craft and guile”. It’s as if they had been trained to do what they did, and maybe they were.
In my recovery I’ve learned that “hurt people hurt people”, so when I hear the stories of my perpetrators’s lives, I can have more understanding of how they were reenacting what they’d been taught to do. Nevertheless, being around them as an adult was confusing and for a time, I did lose my firmness and steadfastness in the Cause of a God I could no longer believe in.
Now, as I’ve become awake, I need to remember to be on my guard and act with circumspection, and surround myself with those who remind me of the grace and bounty and loving-kindness of a merciful God every day.
Losing my naivete about people’s characters and knowing I have permission to steer clear of them, 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 Overcoming Violence and Abuse Kindle