Tag Archives challenges

Conquering My Fear of Fasting

For a number of years I experienced fear and anxiety prior to and during the Fast. This year, I reflected on it and asked myself, “why do I fear the Fast, and why do I associate it with negative emotions?” If I don’t do something about it then the fear will stay with me for my whole life till I turn 70. The Fast is one of the two important pillars of a spiritual life: the other being Obligatory prayers. I always fasted for the love and fear of God, but I have also endured fear and anxiety during the Fast. We are assured that every hour of the Fast is endowed with a special virtue – if all I am feeling is fear and anxiety then how can I make myself receptive to these special gifts? Continue reading

4 Spiritual Qualities that Help Unite Marriages

I love being in a happy marriage. I love the quotations from the Baha’i Writings that talk about the wonderfulness of marriage. Sometimes though the guidance is challenging to understand and follow. I’m currently striving to grasp this particular quotation below, especially the second sentence:

Baha’is should be profoundly aware of the sanctity of marriage and should strive to make their marriages an eternal bond of unity and harmony. This requires effort and sacrifice and wisdom and self-abnegation.

These are my thoughts on that sentence, based on my personal experience and my work as a marriage and relationship educator and coach based in the United States and working with couples in many countries.  Continue reading

What Does it Mean to Trust in God?

Trusting in God is important and potentially challenging for Baha’is. We might think this is particularly true because, every now and then, we face tests and difficulties and life gets rough.

But this raises a question: what does it mean to trust in God? To trust in someone, as I understand it, is to expect some action or inaction from them. When I trust that Jeff will tell me if a particular piece of clothing makes me look fat, I expect something from him – in this case, an honest opinion.

But what should we expect God to do when we trust in Him?

Some might think this question sounds odd. We’re not God, so how blasphemous is it to then think that we can expect God to do things as if we know what God would will?  Continue reading