Dear God,

I know I said those prayers asking to have a pure heart and to be a happy and joyful being and told you that I would no longer be full of anxiety nor let trouble harass me, but I think having fibromyalgia and post-traumatic stress disorder at the same time is a bit much.

Seriously, I’m not up for this.

Can I have a redo please? Something like a mild case of pink eye? Then I can take medication that actually works like it’s supposed to, and heal very quickly.

With all my love,

Kimberly

I know you’ve heard the adage “be careful what you pray for.” On the other hand, having the opportunity to know myself on a different level has turned into a fascinating adventure. With my own childhood rape trauma and the resultant health-related challenges trying and testing me severely, it became vital to embrace my difficulties and look deeply within myself to find the answers:

Meditate profoundly, that the secret of things unseen may be revealed unto you, that you may inhale the sweetness of a spiritual and imperishable fragrance, and that you may acknowledge the truth that from time immemorial even unto eternity the Almighty hath tried, and will continue to try, His servants, so that light may be distinguished from darkness, truth from falsehood, right from wrong, guidance from error, happiness from misery, and roses from thorns. – Baha’u’llah, The Book of Certitude, p. 8.

throwing-away-self-help-booksOur society offers us an enormous number of “how to” self-help books and lots of research about dealing with our emotions. I had to learn, though, that my own feelings were right there in front of me. I could clearly understand what the books and the research said about emotion–but I had difficulty internalizing it. My emotional processes had become quite tangled up, because of well-established dysfunctional patterns of thought and behavior that probably began in childhood.

Finding a competent psychologist to aid me in investigating my emotions became essential to healing my mind and body. As I’ve progressed, I have come to better understand the importance of focusing on my own behaviors, and I’ve discovered how emotion is an integral part of me, as well as an avenue for training of self.

There are still times when I’m working with my counselor that I engage in blame, going on and on about what so-and-so did to me and how much it hurt my feelings and I’m so angry/hurt/sad now and I want them to suffer!

Then, my very kind and patient counselor says, “What about you Kim? This time is for you, let’s talk about you.” Inside my head I’m thinking, “No, I don’t want to talk about me. I want you to tell me how horrible those other people are and make them change!”

Maybe you know what I mean.

Although I wish I could get away with finger-pointing, simply because I’m attached to my anger and hurt, I love having a counselor who happens to be a Baha’i. He’s quite knowledgeable about the Baha’i Faith and its teachings, and understands my commitment to living a spiritually-fulfilled life. He helps me to remember that when I forget my own faults and focus on other people’s faults and backbite about them I am really only hurting myself:

Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things. –Romans 2:1.

Baha’u’llah further clarifies:

O peoples of the world…observe that which will elevate your station. Hold fast to the fear of God and firmly adhere to what is right. Verily I say, the tongue is for mentioning what is good, defile it not with unseemly talk. – Tablets of Baha’u’llah, p. 219.

Breathe not the sins of others so long as thou art thyself a sinner. Shouldst thou transgress this command, accursed wouldst thou be, and to this I bear witness. – The Hidden Words, p. 10.

Well, that’s pretty clear. There’s no escaping it. I have to be responsible for my own stuff, focus on it instead of other people’s stuff. The good news? The more I learn, the less time it takes me to turn toward my own emotions and resulting behaviors when I get stuck in blame.

The opinions and views expressed in this article are those of the author only and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of BahaiTeachings.org or any institution of the Baha’i Faith.

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