A healthy psyche that can give and receive love doesn’t happen automatically. Without spiritual rhythms that integrate broken and dismissed parts of ourselves, we play one string of the instrument that is us, instead of the full chord. Spiritual rhythms are ways we pay attention to what Ignatius of Loyola calls the Spirit’s “motions of the soul.” Ignatius believed direction, growth, and presence came through noticing the Holy Spirit’s movement in your head-thinking, heart-feeling, and gut instincts.
If you are making a decision, a pros and cons list might be part of the Spirit’s motion in your IQ. God-given desire and delight might register in your EQ. And God’s passion and vision might manifest as deep GQ knowing. The point is to pay attention to what Ignatius terms desolations and consolations
in your head, heart, and gut. True consolations lead toward God and love of neighbor. False consolations lead away from God and love. Desolations can be signs you are headed in the wrong direction, but they might also nudge you to turn to God.
Ignatius taught that both desolations and consolations could reveal blindness, triggers, fragility, and habitual sin patterns. They could alert you to inner harmony and/or discord, shame, and judgment. Noticing the Spirit’s motions in your soul was part of divine guidance that could lead to inner freedom to love well God, neighbor, and self.
God’s purpose is for you to be fully alive to loving God, neighbor, and self. To be awake to God’s purpose takes awareness. Awareness doesn’t require equipment, money, or a PhD. Awareness takes a body that is awake and alert to what is happening—even if feels awful. Noticing takes a mind willing to see how the best and worst of times can hand us truth.
Adapted from Spiritual Rhythms for the Enneagram by Adele and Doug Calhoun and Clare and Scott Loughrige. Copyright (c) 2019 by Scott Loughrige, Clare M. Loughrige, Douglas A. Calhoun, and Adele Ahlberg Calhoun. Published by InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL. www.ivpress.com.