Vigilant of intolerance
Gavin T. Murphy keeps a blog on ilovebipolar.com and he looks to Ignatian Spirituality for strength and inspiration.
Where is the heart? For it feels so distant. A numbness is there… something is gnawing on me but I don’t know what to do. Where is the passion – for life, the normal pleasures, the simple satisfactions? How can I channel my time and energy?
I wonder what is preventing me from being OK right now. There is an invitation to be balanced but I find myself reacting to my circumstances. Perhaps I am caught up in the memory of the highs and lows, perhaps the inner critic wants me to remain forever discontent. How can I reorder the glitter of my mind and connect with something real? And then my heart is so far away. I have escaped my life with a gnawing numbness. There is no fire in my belly, just heartless impulses. How can I turn to an inner transformation – to tune into the true light that is already shining? To be dynamically attracted to a bigger purpose, a heartfelt gratitude for life.
But I can be watchful and wakeful. I can connect with something, even with something small. The words on this page. And I recall a previous commitment that I want to renew. A promise to show my heart to the world. A heart that is unique and true, surely a reason for living.
Yes, I can change. I can face the normal fluctuations of affect which are normal in life. I can turn to the inner observer which begins to settle the glitter in the jar. I can connect with what is in front of me. These words settle my mind for they give expression to my many thoughts. Things are more OK when my words make sense. I can boost my heart factor with a serious commitment. When all is said and done, it is my love that matters. I can sit with my granny and give her my time, I can create a space of sensitivity for my readers and I can say “Yes” to being a ‘good adult’ for younger people. I am led toward unity of mind, heart and body.
In the weighing scales of life, I discover another dynamic tension. On the one hand, I want to hold a passionate presence in the world: drive, motivation and enthusiasm. On the other hand, I want to be grounded in an OK mood state: calm, confident and with conviction. It may appear like a contradiction but in a mystical way it embodies a wise person’s life. They connect with the energy and excitement of youth while at the same time embrace the serious and sensible conversations of the elderly. I enter into this existence knowing that it is a call to be a more integrated person.
How glorious it is to be balanced again! Mindfulness has enabled me to connect with ordinary life and to relish a curious world. Mysticism has given me a greater capacity to be inclusive and adaptable. As an aspiring mindful mystic, I am aware that the sun is always shining whether I am OK or not. Right now, I am at ease and in harmony for my thoughts have settled like glitter at the bottom of the jar.
[This second poetic reflection on mental health for young people is in line with the Jesuits’ new apostolic preference: “To accompany the young in the creation of a hope-filled future”. More to follow soon].