RESTORING THE SOUL
We all have a soul.
It is the essence of who we are, the essence of our emotional strength, of our capacity to live, grow, and develop spiritually. It is the immaterial part of every human being and an essential part of who we are. It is important.
But where do we run when our soul has been ripped apart, stepped on or tormented?
Isn’t it interesting how days go by? Days when we are filled with a sense of wonder and knowing about life. Days when we never doubt our ability to bring something incredible into this world. On days like those, we have no uncertainty that our life holds meaning.
And then there are days when all we can do is lay on the cold tile of the bathroom floor and whisper,
The world is beautiful, yes. It is wonderful and thrilling and full of adventure. But that same world can also be cold and cruel and destructive. Day by day events take place, people speak, thoughts of fear, doubt, and shame pierce through us. We work, we sweat, and we bleed. We are torn from side to side, attacked, stressed, and beaten down. And at the end of that day, our soul is left in pieces. Torn apart from the very world and life we love so much.
So we run. We run from ourselves. We run from our friends. We run from our family. We run from our work. We run from our life. And we run to relief.
We gorge on comfort food. We watch movie after movie. We play video games for countless hours. We spend money. We buy shoes. We buy clothes. We drink. We smoke. We drink some more. We have sex. We do anything we can to bring relief to the agony in our soul.
But is relief what our soul needs?
What is relief? As defined, relief is a temporary break from distress or anxiety.
Relief does give our soul a break from the day, but notice the word temporary. Temporary means lasting for only a limited of time. It is not permanent. It is not lasting. So these things that we do to bring ourselves comfort, to bring our soul comfort and peace, they are not permanent, they are not lasting.
So if our soul will not be filled or healed through relief, what will heal it? What will fill it?
Restoration is the action of returning something to its former condition. It is the process of rebuilding, repairing, and renovating as to restore something to it’s original condition. To bring it back to life.
Where relief is temporary, restoration brings our soul back to its original condition.
It restores the broken fragments of our soul. It heals and mends. It allows us to get back on living, dreaming, pursuing passion and working towards our dreams.
But how do we do it? How do we restore the soul?
We must rest. We must pause. We must remove ourselves from everything and everyone and every project we have going. Clear our mind and allow our soul to be calmed and comforted.
We humans have lost the wisdom of genuinely resting. We don’t allow our bodies to heal, and we don’t allow our minds and hearts to heal.
– Thich Nhat Hanh
The beauty of creation that is all around us. Nothing man-made, though man has created beautiful things. But there is something that happens when we return to the earth’s original form. Surrounding ourselves with the wildness of the woods, the trees, the sky, and the unpredictable winds that blow across vast fields of evergreen grasses. Walking among the beauty untouched by man restores the soul.
“When we reconnect with nature, we will be restored to ourselves.”
– Lailah Gifty Akita
Sweet and calm instrumental music that dives and rises and places us on mountains, in oceans, and high above clouds within our mind. To lay there, sit there, and allow the instruments to minister to our soul.
Beautiful music is the art of the prophets that can calm the agitations of the soul.
– Martin Luther
Poetry, writings, paintings, ancient prayers, songs. Creating it and observing it. Not the art you create for work but the art that create for yourself. Not the art that pushes you to action but the art that sinks into your soul and wants nothing from you.
Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.
– Pablo Picasso
Sitting, walking, driving, or laying alone. Calming your mind and releasing the frustrations of your work, the world, and the struggles in life that beat against your door. Be alone. Throw off the worries. Everything will still be there tomorrow.
I restore myself when I’m alone.
– Marilyn Monroe
The stillness. The removal off all things of this world. And then the whisper to the skies, to the greatest conceivable existence.
“Restore me. Restore my soul. Wash away the day. Renew my spirit. Renew what is broken. Heal me. Touch me. Restore me. Restore to me to my original condition.”
And you will be.
Prayer is a longing of the soul.
– Mahatma Gandhi
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