I remember reading these words and resonating with them completely: “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.” Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
But sometimes in the race of life, we can get things so backwards. I don't know why, but we DO make it a race, even though the only real end is actually the END end. And I don't know about you, but I'm not ready to be there yet.
I've thought a lot about the soul after my Dad died and my sisters and I were compiling pictures for his funeral. We have our body, which of course has an age- the number of years we've been on the earth this go round. But we also have a soul. It has no age, it's every year we've ever been and ever will ever be.
I realized my Dad's essence was always the same. I saw him as a toddler, riding a pony, and as a teenager sunbathing on the driveway. I remembered him bringing us home Luden's Cherry Cough Drops as a treat sometimes in grade school. I remember dancing with him at my wedding, and years later, watching him be a Grandpa to my kids. He isn't an old man who started asking, 'WHAT?!" a little more frequently as he got up there in age- to me. He was the him he always was, he is his soul to me, and that can never die.
Our passions and hobbies and favorite foods and abilities and jobs and nouns (wife, daughter, Teacher, Doctor and more...) may change, but our soul is forever. It always was and always will be. It's our guide when we feel lost. Our hope when we think we feel none. Our cheering squad when we feel empty. It's music and white twinkle lights and puppy breath, and deep breaths and rain on pavement and calm. It knows who you are, even when you forget.
Our soul can get so muddled by our human experience. So muddled we may forget we even have one. We need to eat and poop and grocery shop and change the oil in our car. There are many elements that can't be ignored for long. We can't go about life only hugging trees and writing in our journal, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't leave space for the things that honor our soul. We must nourish our soul like we must nourish our body. Don't let your soul be starving. I really think that Depression (whether chemical or circumstantial or both) is simply a soul that is starving for life to be in color.
Let go of beliefs about yourself that don't serve you. If you can't change your circumstances, you must simply find a way to accept them. There's really only those two options, and once you realize that, a weight will be lifted. Buddha said, "In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you." Those words feel like balm on my soul.
Our souls are energy and forever. They are not rich or poor or fat or anything surface and fleeting. I don't think the right adjectives have yet even been invented to describe souls. Souls are precious and perfect and curious and calm. They aren't introverts or extroverts or female or male or able to be filed by a noun. They are not controlling or afraid or battered by life. Souls are the opposite of your mean inner voice. Our souls love music and to be outside and don't mind getting dirty. They don't feel guilty or angry or tired. They love swinging and coloring and finding a patch of sun to sit it.
Dogs are pure soul.
And so are kids. Pay attention and unlearn with me.
Think about what makes your soul come alive. I started to write a list the other day so I could remember. (Music, Essential oils- and really just paying attention to all good smells, Exercise- bonus it works on my body and soul, connection with others, writing, advocacy, my morning routine).
What makes your soul feel like you? Let's work on our lists, my friend. It matters.