Friday, November 30, 2007

On Doing It for the Children: And discovering I couldn't deny that my soul was the soul of a Baha'i

This soul was nurtured to take the step of Faith through the Institute process and participation in the core activities of children's classes, devotional gatherings, and study circles. -gw

I have always searched for meaning in my life, always believed in the equality of all of mankind, always knew that I was put on this earth for a purpose—to serve humanity. Becoming a mother didn’t change that, if anything it made the search more crucial.

My mother says that I’ve tried every religion and she is not too far from the truth. I have definitely read-up on just about every faith and loosely practised most of the eastern beliefs in my adulthood—drifting toward Buddhism for its peace-loving qualities in a world where most wars and conflicts are related to religion. But having four children instilled a sense of urgency in me to find something more authentic than meditating sporadically, as I struggle to explain the complex ideas of material detachment and cessation of suffering to young children, yet celebrate all the Christian holidays, and irregularly attend my husband’s childhood church. Not only did I need something to believe, but in the face of the media’s overwhelming influence I needed my children to believe in God and to be with him everyday.

I had heard my Homoeopathy professor talk about the Baha’i faith on several occasions, and his talks always gave me a sense of peace and understanding, so my husband and I went to him for some insider information, which became my first step toward becoming Baha’i. Over the next year I read about the faith—a lot, I helped my oldest daughter do a project on the Baha’i faith for Girl Guides, I enrolled my two older girls in Baha’i children classes and brought my younger kids to virtue based Baha’i playgroup.

While each step was done for the benefit of my children, I began to take much more from the journey than I had anticipated, and soon I was attending Devotional gatherings and taking adult classes. I couldn’t deny that my soul was the soul of a Baha’i.

My husband has remained a follower of the United Church and we still celebrate the Christian holidays in addition to the Baha’i holy days. We teach our children about Jesus and the other manifestations of God including Baha’u’llah, we teach the Virtues, and most of all we teach them by example that we can live united with two faiths in one home.

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