One unavoidable aspect of our human existence is pain. Whether the pain is caused by loss, discrimination, or abuse, the dreadful feeling of a bleak mind and heavy heart is universal.
I simultaneously suffered from the loss of a loved one and depression, after experiencing so much racism, exclusion, and isolation, during my freshman and sophomore years of high school. But, in that dark period of my life, I discovered how to both find beauty in pain and create beauty from pain.
In this episode of the Moments of Meaning podcast, hosted by Sean Hinton, I discuss how the following quote from Baha’u’llah, the prophet and founder of the Baha’i Faith, changed the way I view and approach spiritual tests.
This quote is extracted from the book, “The Call of the Divine Beloved,” a book in which Baha’u’llah characterizes the stages of the soul’s journey to union with God through the metaphor of seven symbolic valleys — search, love, knowledge, unity, contentment, wonder, and finally true poverty and absolute nothingness. He wrote:
The first is THE VALLEY OF SEARCH. The steed of this valley is patience; without patience the wayfarer on this journey will reach nowhere and attain no goal. Nor should he ever become downhearted: If he strive for a hundred thousand years and yet fail to behold the beauty of the Friend, he should not falter.
Later on in this book, Baha’u’llah referenced the classic Persian tale of “Layli and Majnun” — a love story about a man’s journey to being reunited with his soulmate — and revealed the symbolic meaning this tale has for our own spiritual journey.
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In this episode, I recite poems I wrote that illustrate this classic tale and reflect on the significance of the above passage.
Join me as I share how poetry healed my heart and empowered my voice. I also explain how practicing patience increases my resilience and helps me remain steadfast to the Baha’i way of living and being.
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