Our sun has just entered the constellation of Pisces. This is astronomically true, according to the sidereal zodiac, as opposed to astrologically according to our modern tropical zodiac, which varies roughly 26 degrees from the true representation of the astronomical location of the sun and planets. I have found value in being mindful of the zodiacal sign the sun is in at any given time throughout the year, and the virtues that are associated with the twelve zodiacal signs.
Why is this important? Well, for me, the virtues have been one of the most powerful tools of life transformation that I’ve ever worked with, and they continue to serve me and my work in new ways every day. Each zodiacal sign has a virtue associated with it, along with a phrase that expresses what helps us to become that virtue. Take a look at my website for a very brief summary of the 12 zodiacal virtues. The virtue for Pisces is Love, and the phrase is “Magnanimity becomes love.”
What is magnanimity? My favorite definition is the “loftiness of spirit enabling one to bear trouble calmly, to disdain meanness and revenge, and to make sacrifices for worthy ends.” (Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary)
I like to think of Love as being that from which we came, that which we strive to become, and that to which we will return as an humanity in the future. Think about magnanimity for a moment in terms of what it becomes. Love. The ultimate source of creation. The essence of life itself.
Now, take a look at the definition of magnanimity. How often are you able to “bear trouble calmly,” or “disdain meanness and revenge,” when confronted with challenges, or “to make sacrifices for worthy ends,” even when you don’t really want to do so? These are lofty achievements indeed, and thus require a “loftiness of spirit.”
We all have various ideas of what love is, and that is not the subject of this article. What is of significance is that we all long for love on some level. We love to love, and be loved.
Most of us would love to become Love, and it may seem next to impossible to achieve such a goal.
Yet, I cannot help but to consider that if love is something we all long for, then love must be something that is indeed possible to be. So how do we achieve such loftiness of spirit or magnanimity within ourselves such that we might become love?
I’ve written recently about the idea of responding rather than reacting. The practice of being in the present is the key to effective response. Similarly, it is a significant key to magnanimity. If we are reactive, we have no means to bear trouble calmly, or consider the worthy ends for which we may be asked to make a sacrifice and/or disdain meanness.
One of the most powerful experiences I had with presencing was during a moment in which I was extremely angry about something. I was also exhausted, and didn’t have the means or the wits to deal with the situation. I surrendered to the emotion, but not by reacting.
I surrendered by being with the emotion in unconditional feeling.
I literally said to the anger, “Ok anger, show me what you’ve got.” I sat down in a comfortable chair, and proceeded to simply be with the anger. I felt it in the emotion. I felt it in every limb and organ. I noticed my heart racing. I could feel the heat in my body. I did my best to stay away from the mental assessments and rationalizations, and to simply be with the emotion unconditionally, experiencing its felt sense rather than trying to understand or explain it.
To my surprise, in giving my attention to this anger, after only a short couple of minutes, I felt what seemed like a dissolving happening within me.
I have since learned that the dissolving feeling I experienced was my own being integrating the emotion, and receiving the message it was there to give me. After that feeling of dissolving, I no longer felt hot. I had no more thoughts wanting to take over and push me to react. My rhythmic system became calm. The situation dissipated, along with the anger. I was able to see things for what they were, and have deep compassion for others involved. There was not an inkling of wanting revenge, and I had a willingness to work with the situation in ways that would bring forth peace for all involved, i.e. “worthy ends.”
This experience was extremely empowering. I realized in this moment that I felt love, a deep love and gratitude for the whole experience, including what was triggering the anger in the first place.
This happened many years ago, and I have never forgotten this profound moment. Since then, I am constantly reminding myself to “be with” my emotions. Being with our emotions is a continuous challenge and practice, just as the virtues are not something achieved, but something to practice and get better at doing throughout life’s journey.
What greater “worthy end” is there than cultivating and becoming Love? We are all on this journey together. We trigger each other so that we can have the opportunity to learn magnanimity in the face of the trials. Perhaps in this magnanimity, we can learn to have forgiveness, and truly find the unconditional love we all long for.
May love bloom and grow as a seed in your heart.