Monday, March 24, 2008

On Eating, Praying, and Exercise: After the Baha'i Fast

Weight loss is not the purpose of the Baha'i Fast, but it can be a time of focusing on health, both spiritual and physical, in preparation for a new year. -gw


Declaration
Posted on March 21, 2008 by LyricalFool

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 [bad] 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. ...

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....


{Re-posted with permission}

2 comments:

June said...

Well done on all those able to fast.

This is an interesting blog, of all the interesting blogs out there. What a wealth of information and diversity.

George Wesley Dannells said...

Thank you, June.