1 August to 26 September 2015 (172 B.E.)
Kamál* | Asmá** | ‘Izzat ***
Objective: Seeking joy, inviting in the unknown, ever-conscious of the abundance of God’s bounties
Select Lines of Action:
- Share a prayer and quote together every morning, focusing on fostering trust in our marriage
- Introduce Personal Initiatives (PIs)
O my Lord, O my Lord! These two bright orbs are wedded in Thy love, conjoined in servitude to Thy Holy Threshold, united in ministering to Thy Cause. Make Thou this marriage to be as threading lights of Thine abounding grace, O my Lord, the All-Merciful, and luminous rays of Thy bestowals, O Thou the Beneficent, the Ever-Giving, that there may branch out from this great tree boughs that will grow green and flourishing through the gifts that rain down from Thy clouds of grace.
Verily Thou art the Generous, verily Thou art the Almighty, verily Thou art the Compassionate, the All-Merciful.
~‘Abdu’l‑Bahá, Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l‑Bahá
If approached with the right attitude, marriage can be an ideal training ground, that is, a safe and sacred space to cultivate strengths, build capacity, and support countless opportunities for growth. Yet, such a method takes an immense amount of trust. And, it turned out that learning cycle #7 was the perfect place to study, act, and reflect on building more trust in our relationship. We asked ourselves: “What do marriages complete with trust look like? How do we cultivate more of that x-factor? So, every morning we said prayers for our institution and meditated on sacred writings that focused on the purpose of marriage. And, without a doubt, we found ourselves counting on each other more regularly. Further, because we shared the aforementioned vision, we knew that we had each other’s best interests at heart. Additionally, we learned that a large part of building trust in our marriage was giving one another more space. In other words, we had a ton of obligations to attend to, leading us to feel either neglectful of our personal time or neglectful of each other. So, we decided to introduce individual initiatives, time (one night a week) dedicated to whatever the individual felt was life-giving. For example, someone might find taking a bubble-bath, spending time reading a book, watching their favorite television show, or Skyping with a friend extremely rewarding. Or, for another, going on a run, watching a TedTalk, or visiting a coffee shop with a friend might be fulfilling. As a result we found that: 1) it felt good to regain a certain part of our agency, 2) setting aside personal time increased productivity, and 3) the time spent together was far more meaningful as we were less distracted by other obligations. Finally, we felt supported in “seeking joy” and “inviting in the unknown” as we worked to build trust in our marriage and as we carved out time for personal initiatives. We also found that as we strove to remain “ever-conscious of the abundance of God’s bounties” we were sustained in supporting ourselves, as well as our ever-evolving institution.
*Perfection **Names ***Might