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A lot of people have come to me in despair, wanting to know:  Will the pain and sorrow ever end?  I just want my life back!

I tell them there’s hope!

Yes, your sorrow and pain can definitely stop!  The choice is entirely within your hands.

Right now, you may be choosing to be a captive of your negative thinking, but the Bahá’í Writings offer lots of clues as to how to turn this around.  The best known is through this prayer:

O God! Refresh and gladden my spirit. Purify my heart. Illumine my powers. I lay all my affairs in Thy hand. Thou art my Guide and my Refuge. I will no longer be sorrowful and grieved; I will be a happy and joyful being. O God! I will no longer be full of anxiety, nor will I let trouble harass me. I will not dwell on the unpleasant things of life.  O God! Thou art more friend to me than I am to myself. I dedicate myself to Thee, O Lord.  (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Baha’i Prayers, p. 150)

It’s not just a beautiful prayer, but a prescription from the Divine Physician, which should be taken seriously and applied every single time you have a negative thought or emotion.

This prayer gives us specific actions we can take:

  • I lay all my affairs in Thy hand.
  • Thou art my Guide and my Refuge.
  • I will no longer be sorrowful and grieved; I will be a happy and joyful being.
  • I will no longer be full of anxiety, nor will I let trouble harass me.
  • I will not dwell on the unpleasant things of life.

When you start to do all of these things, your sorrow and pain will end.  The choice is yours to make.

Every time you start to feel sorrow and grief, tell yourself:

  • I WILL be a happy and joyful being.

Every time you start to feel anxious and filled with panic, tell yourself:

  • I WILL no longer be full of anxiety, nor will I let trouble harass me.

There is a purpose for your sorrow and pain, and that’s so that you will remember God, and so that you will acquire the virtues you will need for the next world:

Grief and sorrow do not come to us by chance, they are sent to us by the Divine Mercy for our own perfecting.  (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Paris Talks, p. 50)

While a man is happy he may forget his God; but when grief comes and sorrows overwhelms him, then will he remember his Father who is in Heaven, and who is able to deliver him from his humiliations.  (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Paris Talks, pp. 50-51)

When grief and sorrow come, then will a man remember his Father Who is in Heaven, Who is able to deliver him from his humiliations. The more a man is chastened, the greater is the harvest of spiritual virtues shown forth by him.  (Dr. J.E. Esslemont, Bahá’u’lláh and the New Era, p. 96)

Grief and sorrow are inevitable.  Even though this is true, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá tells us not to give in to them:

Yield not to grief and sorrow; they cause the greatest misery.  (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Bahá’u’lláh and the New Era, p. 13)

This means not to accept thoughts such as “I have so much anxiety I can’t think”:

By saying this, you are making it true; you are “yielding” to it.

With the help of the Writings, you can make a different choice!

Here are some other quotes to meditate on:

All our sorrow, pain, shame and grief, are born in the world of matter; whereas the spiritual Kingdom never causes sadness.  (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Paris Talks, p. 110)

Again this tells us that these things come from our lower nature.  The more time we spend close to God, the less we will feel these negative emotions.

O my well-beloved, deeply spiritual sister! Day and night thou livest in my memory. Whenever I remember thee my heart swelleth with sadness and my regret groweth more intense. Grieve not, for I am thy true, thy unfailing comforter. Let neither despondency nor despair becloud the serenity of thy life or restrain thy freedom. These days shall pass away. We will, please God, in the Abhá Kingdom and beneath the sheltering shadow of the Blessed Beauty, forget all these our earthly cares and will find each one of these base calumnies amply compensated by His expressions of praise and favour. From the beginning of time sorrow and anxiety, regret and tribulation, have always been the lot of every loyal servant of God. Ponder this in thine heart and consider how very true it is. Wherefore, set thine heart on the tender mercies of the Ancient Beauty and be thou filled with abiding joy and intense gladness.  (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Bahiyyih Khanum, p. 4)

Don’t you feel loved and taken care of when you read this quote?  Don’t you feel totally understood by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá?  He wants to be our comforter!  He promises us these days will pass.  We need to believe God!

He tells us how to do this:  You have to make a choice again, to:  “set thine heart on the tender mercies of the Ancient Beauty and be thou filled with abiding joy and intense gladness.”  You can do this!

I also want you to read the Tablet of Ahmad every day, because in it, God promises:

Should one who is in affliction or grief read this Tablet with absolute sincerity, God will dispel his sadness, solve his difficulties and remove his afflictions.  (Bahá’u’lláh, Tablet of Ahmad, Bahá’í Prayers, p. 211)

Sorrow and pain can be both physical and psychological.  It usually originates from thoughts in your mind (psychological); and is expressed as pain in the body (physical).

Do you know the book “Heal your Body” by Louise Hay?  You can read about it by clicking on the title.

In it, she lists the mental causes for physical illnesses.  For example:  She says that neck pain is caused by refusing to see the other side of a question; stubbornness and inflexibility.  You might find your neck pain goes away if you can figure out whose side of a situation you need to pay attention to; and do everything in your power to become more flexible in this issue.  Of course, once you realize the source of your stubbornness and inflexibility, you’ll want to ask God for His forgiveness, so you can detach from it and move on.

Louise Hay says that lower back pain relates to a lack of financial support and in the upper back it’s caused by a lack of emotional support, feeling unloved; and holding back your love.

Can you relate to her diagnosis?  What can you do to change these things?  Once you start to do this, your pain will get better, I promise!

From a spiritual perspective, your pain comes from faulty thinking; from believing the lies of your lower nature instead of believing God.

For example:

 

Your Thoughts

God’s Thoughts

When I have problems with my husband I’m filled with anger. If we allow our attention and energy to be taken up in efforts to keep others right and remedy their faults, we are wasting precious time. We are like ploughmen each of whom has his team to manage and his plough to direct, and in order to keep his furrow straight he must keep his eye on his goal and concentrate on his own task. If he looks to this side and that to see how Tom and Harry are getting on and to criticize their ploughing, then his own furrow will assuredly become crooked.  (Shoghi Effendi, Lights of Guidance, p. 92)
I can’t handle it anymore. O Lord! Thou art the Remover of every anguish and the Dispeller of every affliction. Thou art He Who banisheth every sorrow and setteth free every slave, the Redeemer of every soul. O Lord! Grant deliverance through Thy mercy, and reckon me among such servants of Thine as have gained salvation.  (The Báb, Baha’i Prayers, p. 27)
God doesn’t love me. I knew My love for thee; therefore I created thee, have engraved on thee Mine image and revealed to thee My beauty. (Baha’u’llah, The Arabic Hidden Words)
He wants to communicate with his mom every night by Skype and talk for 1 hour and I want him to pay attention to me. Say, O My people! Show honour to your parents and pay homage to them. This will cause blessings to descend upon you from the clouds of the bounty of your Lord, the Exalted, the Great . . . Should anyone give you a choice between the opportunity to render a service to Me and a service to them, choose ye to serve them, and let such service be a path leading you to Me. This is My exhortation and command unto thee. Observe therefore that which thy Lord, the Mighty, the Gracious,hath prescribed unto thee.  (Baha’u’llah, Lights of Guidance, p. 229)

 

This is why it’s so very important to both pay attention to your thoughts; and to immerse yourself in the Writings; so that your mind can be filled with the words of God, and if you concentrate and meditate on them, they will grow.

There’s a story I like that illustrates what I mean:

A Cherokee elder was teaching his children about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to them. “It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.”

He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”

The grandchildren thought about it and after a minute one of them asked, “Which wolf will win?”

The elder simply replied, “The one you feed.”

When you can learn to feed the spiritual side of your nature; by giving it more attention than you give your fears and negative emotions, you will get well, I promise!  And the sorrow and pain will dissipate, I promise that too!

How has this helped you understand sorrow and pain differently?  Post your comments here: