Gavin T. Murphy keeps a blog on ilovebipolar.com and he looks to Ignatian Spirituality for strength and inspiration.
The Bursting out in Praise Triangle, based on research and reflection, is an easy to understand model of spirituality and mental health. As displayed, the development of the external triangles – Interdependence, Universal Good and Balanced Mood – lead to the realisation of the internal triangle – ‘Bursting out in Praise’, which is short for ‘Bursting out in Praise in the midst of Pain or Suffering’.
We develop interdependence with one another and the world: by meditating on a regular basis, spending time with people and being immersed in nature. The universal good is about working for one another and the world: giving thanks for the many blessings in our lives, using our talents for the benefit of others and helping to build up our communities. We experience balanced mood in ourselves: by humbly accepting our lives’ circumstances, embracing the life-giving power of hope and mindfully returning to the present moment.
I remember, for instance, a difficult time in my life when I experienced a relationship loss. I felt deeply sad and expressed this to a friend while travelling on the bus. Then, I looked out the window and noticed a magnolia tree in full bloom. Unexpectedly, my heart sang for joy for this wonder of nature – with its magnificent shapes and colours. It felt like a gift from above just for me. I shared this with my friend and she commented on how I was able to tune in to such a moment in the midst of my sadness.
When we ‘burst out in praise’ in the midst of pain or suffering through interdependence, universal good and balanced mood, we operate out of a deeper level of experience. On the surface level there can be real struggle – relationship difficulties, work challenges, stress of festivities, loss, major life events, transitions – but intuitively we can know that we are held secure. It can be compared to a heart that is strumming like a guitar or the deepest anchoring of Spirit. We all have the potential to become channels or instruments of love and forgiveness through which we experience serenity.