i am trying to make it a habit of waking up and praying. i’ve only done this consistently in the last few days.
[What is your favorite prayer? Quote? Meditation mantra? Reminder for yourself? Are there any you could share with me? I would certainly appreciate having them, writing them down, during this process. ]
it usually consists of taking a shower and saying 95 “allah’a’Abahs” and then focusing on the universe and trying to center myself.
i identify as a baha’i. I don’t think I am a very good one and I can certainly be a better one within my community but I also am trying really hard to build my spiritual center during this process. my increases (hormone induced) social anxiety really prevents me from being more involved but I do take a lot out of reading texts and trying to figure out how I practice my spirituality.
it was easier a few years ago. it was easier diving deep into texts or painting as my form of worship or praying but I was also different. I have to remember that as time passes, as the soul and body grows, you also go through periods of change. Your spirituality changes and looks different.
but saying and singing 95 “allah’a’abahs” has really helped bring some center. It’s brought me comfort and even on days, like today, I find myself singing it when I’m very anxious. my fingers snap repeatedly when i’m anxious or processing things and my heart races and I sing to myself – a rhythm finding its way over time.
I remember the weeks before I met my wife. I prayed and prayed for someone to come into my life – a mate and love and someone who sang to my soul – I prayed a very specific prayer to the point of near memorization. “O God, my God! This Thy handmaid…”
I know somewhere inside myself that prayer is powerful. I know that there is science behind prayer – even if it just causes the change in outlook and releases stress from your body – but there is more to it too. There is something powerful, magical in prayer.
I feel a bit lost in my spirituality but I am trying. I am trying to find my feet in all this mud surrounding me. I am trying to find the light in the fog and uncertainty. I am trying to read more texts, to pray more, to be conscious that I am not alone in this.
I find happiness in the thought that my maker is there, guiding me. That there is love-letter-like texts from ‘Abdu’l-Bahá that I just love and bring me so much clarity. I have to remember that even on the days that its hard to have faith – those are the most important days.
I was watching a video of Mazelee – they were busy in the morning and running out the door and their mom was calling for them, “Ay, yo, we have to pray”. They did, as a family, this moment of centering themselves and placing their hopes for the day out into the universe and I want that – I like that. Even though I may have a different religion or spirituality, it’s the act of setting our intentions together, or within myself, and putting it out to the universe that matters.
I have been far from my spirituality and religion. I have drifted father during this process. It has been hard to have faith but I keep coming back to this quote from my beloved, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá:
“There is one season to harrow the ground, another season to scatter the seeds, still another season to irrigate the fields and still another to harvest the crop. We must attend to these various kinds of activities in their proper seasons in order to become successful. (Abdu’l-Bahá, Consultation, p. 7)”
It’s a reminder. A strong reminder that everything comes in its time. I often remember my mom reading me the bible and the passage of “Every thing has its season…”
I am currently trying to take the time to meditate and memorize this prayer to help me through my trying times and to just sing to myself during my daily activities:
“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.”
[I want to make the comment that people with mental illness simply can’t choose to be happy and joyful. It’s hard and mental illness is often time uncontrollable but we can try and that act of trying helps so much.]
It’s hard to find my footing in religion and, right now, I think what is important is just to follow my heart. I find that it’s important to do what feels right and to let go of “should”. It also helps to have a religion that encompasses every other major religion. It’s comforting to find texts from other major religion and meditate on that – to learn their stories and prayers. It makes me feel less stuck.
I’m also listening to more Alan Watts mixes and OnBeing podcasts. I am trying to be at peace with myself. I’m trying to find balance.
I’m trying to have faith. I’m trying to get out of my rut and find faith and to believe. I am trying to find that in myself.
Isn’t that the hardest thing about this process? To have faith in your body and that it will work and create this tiny human?
I need to find faith in this tiny soul wanting to find its place inside me.