My Little Journey
June 20, 2020 First day of summer
There is a dichotomy between living with pedestals and being vulnerable. Without the pedestals there is no journey downward, one is already there, in the place of vulnerability and humility. One has made the downward delve, once and for all. It is the new default, the new point of reference, a new paradigm.
Yet it is a place of emptiness, of finding a void. And it is this place where I would like to let God in. Something tells me not to try to change this place of emptiness. Do not look away from the void.
June 22, 2020
Going from pedestals to vulnerability is going from a psychological condition to a spiritual experience.
June 30, 2020
My spiritual director told me that my “emptiness” can be looked upon as a tunnel where we can not see where God is leading us. Is this called “liminal time”?
August 3, 2020
I welcomed magnanimity into my prayer last night. Now will try to convert it into action. Thank you, God.
Notes on the Journal Entries
“Magnanimity” is a big word. I looked it up in the dictionary when I heard it in a sermon given by a Jesuit. He was using the word to describe the kind of people St. Ignatius looked for when he was on the look-out for new Jesuits. To be magnanimous essentially means to be generous.
I realized then that I questioned my own capacity for magnanimity. Yes, I can be helpful, but is that because I am a people-pleaser? I can also be of assistance to those in need. Is this a reflection of my concern of others’ opinion of me? What is my real motive for giving to others?
I have a friend whose husband died recently and another whose cancer has returned. Both asked for my prayers. I became aware of how much I cared for my friends when I prayed for them. My prayer was feelingful and earnest. At the end of the prayer period I came to the realization that this experience was a form of magnanimity and that I had experienced this many times before. As a result my self-image was healed.
A little while later I also realized that through this experience God had entered my emptiness – as I had hoped – and all I had to do was to follow my heart and it seemed that my actions would be in alignment with God’s will.
I have encountered barriers to my experiences of magnanimity, i.e. a distant family member’s competitive control. I felt a hole in the pit of my stomach from her rebuttal the last time I visited and when I arrived home from the incident I instinctively called several friends from my support system. No one answered the phone, at least not immediately.
When I need to talk with someone and no one is around, I write to myself. This time, one of the things I wrote was: “It is important to say “she does not want my magnanimity” rather than “I am not magnanimous”” and at the end of the script, “ I’m not going to let anyone stop me from being magnanimous.”
The hole in the pit of my stomach went away and I entered a state of calm gratitude and even some forgiveness. Instead of getting off track I continued to move forward. We do not always get everything we want such as the elimination of competitive control, but God provides what we need.
And it is up to us to let go of what only God can provide for others. This is evidence of how prayer can be practically beneficial in our lives. This is how growth happens.