“Finding God in All Things: The vision that Ignatius places at the beginning of the Exercises keeps sight of both the Creator and the creature, the One and the other swept along in the same movement of love. In it, God offers himself to humankind in an absolute way through the Son, and humankind responds in an absolute way by a total self-donation. There is no longer sacred or profane, natural or supernatural, mortification or prayer—because it is one and the same Spirit who brings it about that the Christian will “love God in all things—and all things in God.” Hence, Jesuits have always been active in the graphic and dramatic arts, literature and the sciences.”- Taken from the Wikipedia page on Ignatian Spirituality
I feel the next step in Learning to Love is being able to see the good that is there. Many of us when we are in the process of crawling out of those dark holes can only see the darkness and despair that got us there in the first place. Some of us have known nothing other than the darkness. We have chosen to let go. We have taken that first step into a new life, but things are suddenly feeling a lot darker. This is an equally difficult step to achieve. As I mentioned in part one we hear that call to move outside of our box. To view something outside of ourselves, but it meant letting go. We have let go, and that is incredibly scary. It’s very easy to feel alone, lost, and scared after doing so. I can’t count the times that I realized i needed to let go, did, and then went right back to holding on. I think to get over that fear we need to have a good focus point. Something to show us that not all is lost, and we aren’t as alone as we think we are.
Recently I have been facing a situation that has gotten me rather angry. I can admit that I really don’t feel like forgiving. I know that I need to let go of the desire to seek revenge and justice, but I just don’t want to. I know that when people hurt us it is very hard for us to let that go. But we need to. So I am going to let it go. But I want so much to run back to that place of being hurt and holding on to my anger and my right for revenge.
I think that when we feel that desire to go back, we need to find what it is that called us out of that place to begin with and focus on it. 2 years ago i was going through the “Ender’s Game” book series. I had just finished “Xenocide” in which the characters discover that there is a place “outside” of reality where there are beings that make up all of reality in a way. At this time a student of mine talked about her idea of God. She said that she thought that we were all ideas of God and that we all make up a part of God’s being. She wondered if all of creation wasn’t just a different manifestation of God’s being as it were. These two ideas got me to thinking. Maybe God is in everything. That God exists even where we can’t see God. Maybe God is everywhere in a way we never even thought about.
In college I had an amazing professor who had this uncanny ability to see God everywhere. She was someone I really wanted to be like. She had an ability to love and see past small faults with great ease. Anyway, whenever someone would state that something was good, she would say, “I know Him.” That above all she said has stuck with me. Even when things were bad she would try to find a way that God would be able to work through it, or with it. She, along with my mother, taught me what love really meant. It meant being able to see the good no matter the situation. Now, I’m not saying that we all need to be optimists, God forbid. I’m saying that even when things are at their worst, being able to see that there is a hope, a good that is out there working for you.
This is seeing the God in everything. I think that the next step in learning to love is to look for the good. Find the silver lining. Find what good may be able to come from whatever situation you are in. I know in some cases that can be very very difficult. But one of those things is that even when we have been struck down, we always come back stronger for it. For me that is a silver lining. That is God’s love. In my own situation that I am dealing with right now, I know that I need to remind myself to see the good in the people who hurt me. I need to remember that they are human beings too. That God loves them just as much as God loves me. They have that divine spark as well. How can I continue to wish bad upon a being that holds God in them as well.
I may be wrong, but I do believe that God is in everything. I do believe that God exists all around us, and so therefore we should be in harmony with all things. That may seem very hippy or whatever, but I think that it has merit to it. If God exists in nature, than why would you want to destroy that? Same thing with the situations, places, and people around you. Let go of whatever it is, and find the God. Focus on it. Head towards it.