|09-25-2012, 09:22 PM||#1|
Joined: Sep 2012
Having a hard time with my faith
Hello all. I became a Bahai in Jan 2012. It has changed my life in remarkable ways and truly a treasure I could never give back. I have noticed a change in myself and so have others who have told me. I try my best to be compassionate to all who cross my path and treat all of the lords creatures with the most respect and love. Being a former athiest the faith has enhanced my life and relationship with gods in ways I would have never believed possible. Im just having some problems now because the more I try to live according to the laws set forth by Bahaullah, the more challenging i find it. I feel so much pressure to be a "perfect" Bahai and when i fall short of that i feel so defeated. Like I have let God down, the same feeling in disappointing a parent you love. I beat myself up everytime i make a mistake and im no saint by any means and if God were to take hold of me by reason, I know that grievious woe would befall me. I am wondering has anyone else ever felt like they will never be good enough to be that person who obeys all the laws of God? And if so how does one deal with it? I pray for the strength to overcome my failings and shortcomings. The guilt is not healthy and I find if anything it becomes a barrier between myself and God.
|09-25-2012, 11:37 PM||#2|
Joined: Sep 2012
Welcome to the forum Lover of Peace
Trust me, I know how it is. Being a newly declared myself, I can relate to all of those things you listed above. It's long way to go. There have been occasions when I would blob something without proper consideration and then instantly realize "Oh wait, that's not very Baha'i!". It is applaudable to be aware of the high standards but surely beating yourself up and sadness are not nice to God. Baha'ullah himself did admit in his writings that mankind is not perfect. The whole point of our Faith is to "let each morn be better than its eve and each morrow richer than its yesterday" ("Tablet of Wisdom"). Do you remember 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."
In my humble opinion, there are a few things you cold possibly try: pray for spiritual qualities and spiritual healing, meditate on holy writings on the specific topics you would like to work on, consult a seasoned believer from your area or maybe an Auxiliary Board member, do service for the community. These will all help you reflect a little bit more.
Naturally it's a process so just stay strong! God will guide you in the correct direction.
PS. Just stumbled upon another quotation that might be helpful.
"Do not look at your weakness, nay, rely upon the confirmation of the Holy Spirit. Verily, it maketh the weak strong, the lowly mighty, the child grown … and the small great.
~ ‘Abdu’l-Bahá - "
Last edited by Aquedita; 09-26-2012 at 06:44 AM.
|09-25-2012, 11:43 PM||#3|
Joined: Sep 2010
From: Tropical North Queensland Australia
The spiritual journey will always be one of conflict for us mere mortals
You are on the right track to what you have to do, but you can not be too hard on yourself. Take it a step at a time.
I can assure you there are Baha'is of many years that still struggle to implement Baha'u'llahs Laws into their daily lives. We all experience these feelings of unworthiness because we have been shown what man can achieve by the example of Abdul'baha.
The trick is to stay connected, read the writings, say the prayers & bring yourself to account each day. Baha'u'llah has written that the effect of this will exert positive influence on your soul.
So keep it up, Read the writings, pray and tackle each of the laws of Baha'u'llah to the best of your ability, if you fail or fall down, pick yourself up and try again
I have found the Long Obligatory Prayer the best for me, It is for us that fall down regularly.
|09-26-2012, 06:23 AM||#4|
Joined: Dec 2010
Take it easy man, seriously, do the best you can. We all our sinners, and God Knoweth all things. Love him so that he may love you.
|09-26-2012, 07:16 AM||#5|
Joined: Jun 2006
Welcome Love of Peace.. Fromreading your post I think you're already there... spiritually..
The guilt is also something that hangs on and I still have some pangs of uit myself but it is there I believe for a purpose. It takes in my view at least a year to acculturate someoen in the Baha'i Faith from where they were before so we go through a process of becomig a Baha'i...rather than ruminate about guilt we have the following to do though:
It is incumbent upon thee to turn wholly unto the Kingdom of God, to enter entirely into this wonderful Cause, and to make thy thought, remembrance and effort confined to the education of thy character, the enlightenment 74 through the Light of ABHA, and to guide the people to the Source of the mercy of the Lord, the Clement, the Merciful.
(Abdu'l-Baha, Tablets of Abdu'l-Baha v1, p. 73)
|09-26-2012, 12:51 PM||#6|
Joined: Mar 2011
From: san diego
Just by taking the one step from Atheism to becoming a Baha'i you have attained unto all good. You have testified that there is none other God but Him and you have testified that you have recognized His Manifestation.
From here it's a journey to prove our faith in Him through our actions. Like others pointed out we'll never be perfect so don't be too rough on yourself. The guilt is a good thing in my opinion. It shows you are spiritually alive and you realize your wrongdoing. Utilize it positively rather than negatively beating yourself over it. Use the guilt to ask for forgiveness everyday in your prayers and have no doubt that He is the Ever-Forgiving the All-Merciful.
With your background I'd say the best and first thing you need to do is to do your best to possess a pure and radiant heart. Pretty much all you need to know in this regard is in the Hidden Words. Little by little as you grow spiritually you gain strength and you can tackle your shortcomings one by one.
One of the greatest attributes we can possess is patience! So be patient with yourself.
|09-26-2012, 01:19 PM||#7|
Joined: Sep 2012
Bless you because questions is an attribute of God so important that we even have a month named after it. Few people realize that there's no month called 'answers' yet most people here have got all the answers. Unfortunately, I'm no exception. Here are mine:
"...anyone else ever felt like they will never be good enough..."
Absolutely, almost everyone. OK, there are a few here that haven't & I recommend avoiding them because they can get pretty toxic.
"how does one deal with it?"
By following two of the most important Baha'i rules:
OK, so right now I need your help. Please do me a big favor and try the two-rule-strategy and please let me know after say, a couple days if it helped meet your needs. I need to know whether I'm scratching you where you itch or is this only where I itch.First, be happy. Us Bahai's have to be happy whether we like it or not*; but the good news is that that law has a couple loopholes (which I enjoy regularly) namey, if we don't feel like being happy we can get away with just acting happy (seems to do the trick) and also we're allowed to mourn a loss for a limited time when something really bad happens.
Thanks in advance,
*Recommended Prayer: Refresh and gladden my spirit... (entire prayer here)
|09-26-2012, 02:29 PM||#8|
Joined: Nov 2010
"As thou hast realized thy own shortcomings, rest thou assured that thou art firm in the Covenant and Testament, and in the love of the True One art steadfast and growing."
--‘Abdu’l-Bahá, from a Tablet in Star of the West
|09-26-2012, 04:08 PM||#9|
Joined: Sep 2012
My wife & I were chatting about this and she shared these...
|09-28-2012, 08:27 AM||#10|
Joined: Dec 2010
There are a few things I try to remind myself when I get stuck like this:
a. Abdu'l-Baha is the Exemplar, and I am definitely not Abdu'l-Baha.
b. And ok so I'm weird but sometimes I find it helpful to visualize things like this in terms of mathematics. In this case some pretty basic Euclidean geometry will do. Are things like Faith and Obedience points or vectors? If they are vectors, is it more important where you are on that vector at one moment in time, or the orientation of that vector and whether you're moving along or stuck?
If it's any help, I was an atheist before I was a Baha'i also.
|09-28-2012, 04:14 PM||#11|
chief bottle washer
Joined: Jun 2011
From: "Here am I, Here am I"
I really like your analogy about points and vectors. In fact, I feel it has a corollary in the Hidden Words of Baha'u'llah:
"Sorrow not save that thou art far from Us. Rejoice not save that thou art drawing near and returning unto Us."
So the thing that should bring us joy is not where we are now, but where we are headed or what our vector is, as you so very well put it.