Declaration

O Son of Spirit!
Noble have I created thee, yet thou hast abased thyself. Rise then unto that for which thou was created.

~ Baha’u’llah, The Hidden Words

The Fast officially ended at sunset this evening, and boy oh boy was it a learning process. Far more than last year, and I was far less successful with it this year compared with last year.

I am incredibly foolish at times. Embarrassingly, frighteningly, and utterly foolish. I had this strange month, March, one where absolutely nothing seemed to go right.

Once you get things “all figured out,” it’s supposed to be smooth sailing, right?

Spring Break was last week, and, without a doubt, it was the most disastrous week I’ve had in a long, long time. It was bad-bad, like half-a-gallon-of-blue-bell-ice-cream in 2 days bad. A feat, I might add, that I have NEVER accomplished in all of my days of crazy eating before last week.

Last week, the one that fell after this wonderful, transformative, oh-my-God moment that supposedly changed everything.

It wasn’t bad enough that I did that, though. I broke the Fast. Over and over and in as many different ways as I could possibly count, I broke the Fast. And the level of guilt that I felt over it was incredible, to the point of my wondering why I was doing it in the first place.

Two days went by, and I realized I was eating crap food. Crap, crap food. Four, and I realized that I hadn’t done my morning routine of meditation and exercise in at least three days.

Guilt is such a strange, strange thing.

I have been reading a lot, though, and I realized that I have unceremoniously and unconsciously looking for something to “disprove” the Baha’i Faith. Because one “wrong” word, one wrong fundamental difference, and I could say “Aha!” and walk away from the Baha’i Faith. It was 16 months ago that I had first heard of it, from a person who had asked me what I believed about God.

I stuttered and stammered because, while I had all of these “universal” spiritual ideas, I hadn’t really fleshed them out. And as I talked, and then he explained, I instantly recognized huge points of commonality, and I found myself thinking, “Hmm. You mean other people feel this way, too?”

It was eye-opening for me, and it set me on a path of reading and researching. But here it is the second year of the Fast, one in which, by all outward appearances, I abysmally failed, and I know what I’m doing. (At least for this moment, that is, as always, subject to change at any moment), and I know where I’m headed.

The way I see it, committing to a faith is very much like committing to a marriage. While I’ve explored in the past, I think that to declare your specific path is to show what you’re striving for by means of a commitment.

When I worked Step 3 in January, and willingly and consciously gave my life and my will over to God, I meant it, and I realized that it wasn’t just about food, but I really didn’t understand the scope of what I was doing.

Of course, I’m not sure that I do even at this point, but I’m okay with that.

This is incredibly disjointed, since I’ve been trying to write it over a period of several days, but now I’m going to wind it up.

I do not have Baha’i leanings. I am not “intellectually curious” about Baha’i studies.

I am Baha’i.

And tomorrow is the New Year. And I have my work cut out for me.

Because of my hypothyroidism, I am chronically dehydrated. My ultimate health goal is that, by next year’s Fast, to be in a condition which will allow me to fully and wholly observe it as it was commanded. Weight apparently affects thyroid function, and thyroid function affects, well, just about everything.

I don’t know if it’s directly connected. It’s just sort of a conglomeration of different things I’ve been told my doctors.

I don’t know if it’s even possible. I don’t know what lies between this year and next.

I just know that it’s my goal, and absolutely contingent upon commitment.

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7 Responses

  1. Best of luck with that mate 🙂

    David

    Thank you 🙂 It’s been an interesting year so far.

    ~ LF

  2. welcome, it is an ever interesting path.

    It is, indeed! I didn’t think I’d ever find something that so closely matched with what I had already believed. Thank you for your comment!

  3. Baha’i fasting is not black or white in that if you need water for health reasons, drinking it is not breaking the fast.
    That is unless you make that rule because health and age (over 70) are accepted in the Aqdas as reasons not to. This is one of the Faith’s laws that is self-regulated. Don’t endanger or make worse your health. Do in the next year try to find a way of improving health so that symptoms diminish.

    I found this Faith in 1950 and have found it to be more forgiving than we are of ourselves. My prayers are with you.

    Thank you so much for your comment. I think for me, this year, my feeling of failure was absolutely necessary so that I could both realize how important it is to me (therefore, clarifying my faith questions) and pushing me into a place where I realize that I want to be able to completely do it in the future (taking care of health issues). I have no idea if, in the second part, I will actually ever be completely successful, but it is a motivator, for sure. The fact is that my outward failure made this Fast (for me) incredibly important and spiritual for me, and I can’t help but feeling so blessed for it, despite how miserable I was feeling during it.

    Thank you again, most sincerely.

  4. With your permission I would like to excerpt from this post and link.

    Wow, not what I expected at all. You certainly may, though.

  5. Awesome story. Maybe you already read the Naw-Ruz prayer but…

    “Shouldst Thou regard him who hath broken the fast as one who hath observed it, such a man would be reckoned among them who from eternity had been keeping the fast. And shouldst Thou decree that he who hath observed the fast hath broken it, that person would be numbered with such as have caused the Robe of Thy Revelation to be stained with dust, and been far removed from the crystal waters of this living Fountain.”

    While it didn’t completely alleviate the feeling of failure, it was a bit of a comfort knowing it wasn’t black and white. Thanks for stopping by!

  6. Your blog is lovely, especially because of your honesty. I look forward to reading more of your story.

    I just wanted to say, on the subject of ill health and fasting, that Baha’u’llah goes much further than providing an exemption from fasting for those that are sick. In question 93 of the Aqdas he says “In times of ill health it is not permissible to observe these obligations.” I fasted when I should not have and triggered a radical worsening of my condition. Of course, you are the one who must interpret these laws for your own situation; do be careful. Given your struggles with food I can easily imagine how the fast would be a rich though difficult time. I think it helped me with my own eating issues.

    bless you,
    Priscilla

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