November 5, 2018, Prescott-
Yesterday was another one of those days which found me out and about, helping others in their noble efforts. Not long ago, someone challenged me, with regard to my involvement in the community. The point that this person made was that all these activities constituted a sort of cocoon, guarding me against connecting with my inner conflicts. I was then advised to drop all activities and sequester myself, as soon as possible.
Little does that individual know, but my real cocoon, if you will, is indeed being here, in this small apartment, away from anyone. The reality is, and has been, that part of me is terrified of being around people who don’t really want me there. I spent yesterday afternoon seated with strangers, two of whom were openly hostile to my presence at their table. They were quiet about it, as the effusive person seated next to me was gracious and made sure I felt welcome. I am quite intuitive, though, and pick up on both positive and negative feelings.
Being involved with community groups is hardly a cocoon, though it can feel quite dark at times. I do these activities because in the Revelation of Baha’u’llah, it is written: “Let deeds, not words, be your adorning.” We Baha’is are to be good in groups, not cloistered in virtue or hiding “our light under a bushel”, as it were. I have always been one who has had to struggle, mightily, to be among people. Penny helped pull me out of the shell, to the extent that, to outward seeming, I am something of a social butterfly, with lots of friends. I do feel the warmth of many, both online and in real time, especially among my Baha’i friends. I also feel the grudging tolerance of several people, and take that for what is worth.
My point here is that being involved with the good of the community is not a source of comfort, nor is it a protection against any inner turmoil. That protection comes when I commune with the Creator, in the early hour before dawn, at midday and in the evening. Then, alone, do I summon the energy to face the world, and the ravages that go along with the joys.