Monday, November 12, 2007

On the Baha'i Year of Patience: Current mood, hopeful

Koool Mama shares her experience of being in a Baha'i Year of Patience. -gw

Current mood: hopeful
Category: Blogging

This is a photo of me at 33

I am settled into an apartment all my own which I moved to in August 2007 and June 29, 2007 commenced a Baha'i Year of Patience. The Year of Patience is a year of separation from one's spouse to think about one's marriage and decide what comes next. I am a third of the way through the YOP and have already decided I must move on from the marriage after twenty-seven years. I think my spouse must feel the same way as we do not contact each other at all.

I spent the month of July past in a women's crisis shelter, a very lovely old restored house with a great staff of supportive women who helped me to understand and come to terms with the things that occurred to break down the marriage and how I had turned a blind eye on these things until at last the time came to draw a line and say "no more." I deserve to move on and create a happier life.

While Baha'u'llah wishes marriage to be a fortress for well-being and is against marital discord, He does permit divorce for those who are unable to continue on in painful circumstances. The Baha'i marriage vow is a very simple one: "We will all verily, abideby the Will of God." It is God's Will that married couples are like two wings of a bird. The bird cannot fly unless the wings work in unison and harmony as equals. But if one wing or both are injured, the bird is disabled. So I am a broken wing who must mend and remain flightless until I heal. I do hope I will fly one day as the complementary wing of another partner.

Koool Mama, "Hurricane Noel," MySpace

{Re-posted with permission}

9 comments:

ant said...

I plan to move out and start my Year of Waiting soon. I have put it off for about 15 years. Time to get it over with.

Anonymous said...

Baha'u'llah gave us the year of patience as a framework for two partners in an unhappy marriage to try to reconcile and rebuild a happy, healthy relationship. It's not simply a year of waiting to divorce, although of course that can be one of the outcomes of a year of patience. The point is to try to be unified in every way, within oneself and, if possible, within the relationship.

Anonymous said...

Yes, the "Year of Waiting" is for reconciliation, if possible.

Anonymous said...

Allah-u-Abha to you,

I agree, the Year of Patience is for the possibility of working towards reconciliation and rebuilding and if my husband wishes to come forward to me and
speak about this, I would remain open to discussing it with him
through consultation and if marriage counseling were required, that too. We have gone this route several times before.

In this case, with its special circumstances, I have been advised by a competent professional, a medical specialist who works in tandem with a therapist, that the first move towards reconciliation belongs to my husband to initiate.
And this for a particular reason which I do not wish to share here.

The Year of Patience is not merely a year of waiting for a divorce. It is a time to pray for God's Will
and for those involved, a time to reflect on what comes next. It is also a time for both partners to
make changes or adjust to changes.
Of course, in my community, one does not qualify to take shelter in a women's crises shelter for the mere purpose of taking a little vacation from their marriage. One has to be a woman in a very serious crises. Fellow Baha'is need to understand that Baha'i married partners are by no means immune to the elements in society at large that require women and their children to take shelter in a women's crises shelter. There are very serious concerns to be weighed. There are very valid reasons why Baha'u'llah permits divorce. If there were no valid reasons for divorce, Baha'u'llah would not have sanctioned it under any circumstances whatsoever.

I believe I have not minced words in that respect in my statement about the Year of Patience to lead anyone to assume that this is merely a year to simply wait for a divorce. If people are to add comments to my own, they must take great sensitivity in what it is they are alluding to or I will revoke permission for my statement to be viewed publicly and have it removed from this blog space and available only to those friends who know whole-heartedly what exactly it is that I have been up against. I did not come forward to GW and ask to post this here. He read my MySpace blog and asked to post an excerpt from my personal blog here and I granted permission. So, if you have any comments to make, these must be fair, respectful and very sensitively-worded. This Year of Patience is also a time to come to terms with the terms I require and the leading requirements are sincere courtesy and respect or I shall take myself elsewhere. I hope that is perfectly clear.

Kool Mama

Anonymous said...

Kool Mama,

I posted the first "anonymous" comment, but should have clearly stated that my response was to "Ant," NOT to you in any way. I deeply apologize for my thoughtlessness in not realizing that you could possibly have thought that my comment was directed toward you. Nothing could be further from the truth.
I am truly sorry about the pain I have caused you. I should have realized that you might check this page, and I should have clarified what I was responding to.
You are obviously a sincere, thoughtful, perceptive, and gentle soul who has been through a lot of heartache and is greatly deserving of lots of TLC on your way to the serenity you so richly deserve.
I will sign off now and say a prayer for your healing and happiness. Although I have not experienced this particular kind of pain, I am truly your sister in spirit, and I wish you well, so very, very well.

Anonymous said...

Can the LSA deny the request for a year of patience?

Anonymous said...

What should do you do when your bahai spouse has told you they will make no attempt at reconciliation going into the YOP?

GJB said...

To anon 7:07 am:
Of course, I would suggest that you consult with your local spiritual assembly about that matter.

But my understanding would be that how my wife does or does not participate in the YOP is between her and God. I can only focus on what part I play in practicing what I believe to be God like values.

Currently I am within my own YOP and am not at all happy about the process. My wife has no interest and I am lonely as well as deeply saddened by the loss. But I believe that it is God's desire for me to maintain an open heart, even though as more time passes, my grief and feelings of abandonment seems to grow. In this situation I believe it is best to pray often, refer to the writings for strength and guidance, and attempt to the best of my ability to reach out into the community in hopes to redirect my spirit towards God when I feel beaten.

Some days are harder to achieve all this than others but I have to remind myself of my commitment to "verilly abide by the will of God". It is for God alone to reveal his will to us. I humbly recognize that he shall do this in His time, not mine.

Guess that's why they call it a year of "PATIENCE".

Anonymous said...

Use of the Terms "Year of Waiting" and "Year of Patience"
In reply to your letter of . . . requesting clarification about the use
of the phrases "year of waiting" and "year of patience," the Universal
House of Justice has instructed us to say that while it is preferable to
use "year of waiting," either phrase can be used.
Letter from the Universal House of Justice, dated February 9, 1982