“The greatest obstacles to holiness are discouragement and anxiety.” – Jesus to Saint Faustina
What is it that we look at or think of when we are triggered into discouragement or anxiety? What is that one turning point for you and I that often sends us into a whirlwind of webbed preoccupations with life?
Unlike self-absorption, self-reflection involves more than just self, it is an integration of our deepest reality, one that cannot be found outside of our immersion into the soul. We cant formulate ourselves to become someone apart from who we were meant to become. I don’t mean the someone that we are because of circumstantial determination, the part of you and I that can change, heal, mold. The “someone” I am referring to holds a dignity; a dignity that was established in our being long before we came along.
We can at times hide within the comforts of logical empiricism and calculate our every step. 1+1=2 yes, but can you calculate your way through life? Can you depend on science to give you answers for humanities purpose in this world? While we are meant to play a part in the determination of our future, we are not meant to act alone or consume this determination. Our anatomy gives us our functioning capacity as human beings, yes, it gives us a depth of wealth into our psychology and nature. But we are not materialists. We know in our deepest selves that discovery does not end there. Our actions, decisions, and living, are not independent from the greater design which makes up our being. There is more to life than this. Are we going to become our truest self by simply succumbing to what we can know through reason and experience?
We are made up of so much more than this, and this “so much more” is found in our soul.
I recently moved back home after a year of bittersweet experiences and I had to take a real hard look at where I was and where I was headed. I am quick to act so my tendency was to lay out my blueprint and begin planning. Reason tells me that i’d be best doing A,B,and C, because the odds of that working out seem better than any other consideration. I hate math but you know what? I felt like a genius calculating life and avoiding risks. I felt safe, secure, and comfortable with the plans I was creating, they took away a lot of fear of the unknown.
I began to act on my genius plan recently; its only been a month since ive returned home and I’m working at the job I had lined up for myself. I am moving in with a group of wonderful women just as I planned would happen. My timeline seemed to be unraveling nicely. I was almost convinced that I should invest in becoming a life coach. hahaha only kidding.
But then COVID-19 happened, and I am now reconsidering my job choice which landed me in quarantine and isolation from EVERYONE. Because the one thing I failed to include in my awesome equation was that healthcare is booming with COVID-19 and if you work in that profession it is only a matter of time before you find yourself staring at it in the face. And while I personally would like to continue my work, I have had to reconsider because it would mean revamping my entire blueprint. I guess I could have sharpened my mathematics a bit before moving forward. I’m an English major after all.
I am currently still in isolation and spending a lot of time with me-myself-and I. Do you know what that means? Serious SELF-REFLECTION! Who am I really? The question goes beyond logical breakthroughs. What did I overlook in my personal plan? Or did I overlook anything? Maybe this is the course God wanted my life to take and in his providence I ended up alone with the Alone. My heart was wandering and seeking comfort. I was afraid to go inside because I knew that my findings would require a hammer and a chisel. I filled myself with action, commitment, busyness all for the sake of moving forward in life. But deep rooted pain, sorrow, weakness; undiscovered gifts gone dormant, talent, and desires made up the part of my inner self that I was knowingly leaving out of my search for deep rooted joy.
Sometimes you can forget to include “You” into the equation. What do “you” want, need, desire, love? What gifts, talents, motivations, aspirations do “you” have. What healing do “you” need to go through. I know that when we begin to discern life choices our fear of instability and the unknown can at times subtract our own self from the equation. You have to remember that in the end you take “you” with you because you need “you” to flourish into the person that YOU were created to become. ahhhh too many You’s!
The only way we can truly discover who we are and who we are meant to become is by quarantining our mind (a bit) and setting our heart free so that God can transform it into Himself. This will begin to refine our calculations, because after all we still have to move forward in life and make decisions about future commitments. But the more we invite Christ into the equation the more accurate we will become. With Him we can begin to discover the wholeness of our unrepeatable life of love and lasting joy. And when we can begin to discover our life in Christ as both human and divine, we begin to determine the purpose for our life. It is God who invites us to live in him and if we embrace him into our life then he will reveal its course. This is the blueprint that will allow us to build freely and confidently.