Because I lingered in the kitchen with my coffee this morning, it’s already 9:30 and the day is in full swing. Lots of activities await. How to go about everything is the question. I will likely need to make a list! On days like this I just try to breathe—especially if everyone else is about their own tasks and seeming focused. It is a luxury to sit looking out my window at a gloriously fresh morning, hearing the birds all across the expanse of our property and beyond. They are perhaps the busiest of all, if not the loudest!
Needing help, I turn to Meg Wheatley and am stopped on the quote that introduces a page entitled “Jealousy.” Scientist Humberto Maturana says:
Love is the only emotion that expands intelligence.
I was about to leave it at that and let you fend for yourself but then I thought about our weekend and the wonderful experience of our leadership selections. The generosity of the Sisters who offered themselves to us in service for the next five years was extraordinary. Most universal and important in their presentations were their expressions of love for our Congregation. It gave me pause to consider Meg Wheatley’s reflection on jealousy and generosity that expanded on the Maturana quote.
She says: When something good happens to someone else – another organization wins a grant, a friend gets a promotion, someone else gets the opportunity we wanted – we can activate either emotion. We can question whether there’s enough to go around. We can wonder whose need is greater, or just assume that we needed it more. We can be happy for their good fortune, or bemoan the loss of ours.
As closely as jealousy and generosity are, they create very different consequences. If jealousy dominates, we turn inward, shrivel our hearts, and lose strength. If generosity grows, we grow also. Our world expands. We realize there’s enough to go around. We realize we don’t need everything we thought we did. The world in general feels more reliable, more trustworthy, more enjoyable.
The world expands from the inside out – it’s our hearts that have enlarged. We not only feel more loving, we’re also more open and aware. We see more, we take in more, we let in more.
Jealousy is such a waste of a good human heart. (Perseverance, p. 74-5)
So on we go, Sisters of St, Joseph, founded to be “the Congregation of the Great Love of God.”