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When I think of the most important questions in my life, I realize many were about how to get out of something I had gotten myself into.
I had very little training or role modeling for asking big questions that delivered big answers and big results.
Somewhere along the way I learned that God was to be feared and would reward me if I didn’t make mistakes; I didn’t really understand how to have a conversation about what I really needed. This led to years of self-loathing and feelings of unworthiness and kept me hiding thinking everyone but me had figured it out. It wasn’t until I hit rock bottom that I connected my struggles to a spiritual learning portal in which I would gain spiritual mastery. And out of the flood of tribulation I emerged with a life changing question. “What does my soul need right now”?
Upon asking, the words I heard were “know thyself:”
Know where you come from:
Know thou that the Kingdom is the real world, and this nether place is only its shadow stretching out. – Abdu’l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of Abdu’l-Baha, p. 178.
Know the limitless power and presence that lives in your heart:
O Son of Spirit … Turn thy sight unto thyself, that thou mayest find Me standing within thee, mighty, powerful and self-subsisting. – Baha’u’llah, The Hidden Words, p. 7.
O Son of Being! Thy heart is My home; sanctify it for My descent. Thy spirit is My place of revelation; cleanse it for My manifestation. – Ibid., p. 17.
Know what leads you down a path of pain:
… man should know his own self and recognize that which leadeth unto loftiness or lowliness, glory or abasement, wealth or poverty. – Baha’u’llah, Tablets of Baha’u’llah, p. 36.
Know why your soul is tethered to God:
Thou didst wish to make Thyself known unto men; therefore, thou didst, through a word of Thy mouth, bring creation into being and fashion the universe. – Baha’u’llah, Baha’i Prayers, pp. 121-122.
As my journey into knowing continued I felt a very loud inner conversation taking place. It asked: What does my soul need? The answers came in many forms. My soul needs me to strive for inner detachment; to release fear holding me in a life that I’ve outgrown; to call on the spiritual powers promised in every holy book in the form of the Holy Spirit; to remember who I really am and who walks with me!
For the first time I felt the awareness of my soul, its power and presence. In my longing for deeper connection I created a daily spiritual practice to support my work and over time, with daily prayer, reflection and meditation my spiritual self-became my dominant identity. I experienced the ability to float above fear, doubt, worry, shame, guilt and unworthiness into self-love, devotion, and a renewed sense of gratitude and purpose:
O My Friends! Have ye forgotten that true and radiant morn, when in those hallowed and blessed surroundings ye were all gathered in My presence beneath the shade of the tree of life, which is planted in the all-glorious paradise? Awe-struck ye listened as I gave utterance to these three most holy words: O friends! Prefer not your will to Mine, never desire that which I have not desired for you, and approach Me not with lifeless hearts, defiled with worldly desires and cravings. Would ye but sanctify your souls, ye would at this present hour recall that place and those surroundings, and the truth of My utterance should be made evident unto all of you. – Baha’u’llah, The Hidden Words, pp. 27-28.
The questions from my new truth helped illuminate the spaces from which I prayed. I didn’t pray to be powerful, but not to feel powerless. I prayed for strength because I felt unworthy, not to be shown how powerful I really am. Once I understood where I was praying from the “Oh God save me” prayer shifted to “Oh God recreate me”.
I invite you to ask yourself these big questions: What does your soul need now? What leads to joy and what leads to sorrow? What are you willing to surrender in order to express your true potential? Does love or fear reside in your heart?
Do you really know who walks with you and the limitless divine support available to assist you at all times?
He will come to your aid with invisible hosts, and support you with armies of inspiration from the Concourse above; He will send unto you sweet perfumes from the highest Paradise, and waft over you the pure breathings that blow from the rose gardens of the Company on high. He will breathe into your hearts the spirit of life, cause you to enter the Ark of salvation, and reveal unto you His clear tokens and signs. Verily is this abounding grace. Verily is this the victory that none can deny. – Abdu’l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of Abdu’l-Baha, pp. 186-187.
The Baha’i teachings say that by releasing fear and inviting love into our hearts, we can experience new levels of peace and inner solace:
… close thine eyes to the world and all that is therein; for My will and the will of another than Me, even as fire and water, cannot dwell together in one heart. – Baha’u’llah, The Hidden Words, p. 33.
By inviting a relationship with our higher self, we can know ourselves at the deepest and most meaningful levels.
O Son of Being! Love Me, that I may love thee. If thou lovest Me not, My love can in no wise reach thee. Know this, O servant. – Ibid., p. 4.