Friday, October 22, 2010

The Soul

C.S. Lewis said, "You don't have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body." I love this because it helps me to put my priorities in order. My soul is the most important part of my life, here on earth and in whatever is coming next. I want to invest in more soul care, where I stop to notice beauty, recognize when I need solitude, and when social interaction is beneficial for me.

The soul is where our conscience resides. If developing our moral compass and refining our social responsibilities is important to us, then finding ways to increase awareness of our soul is a good investment for our time. Sometimes I long to be kinder and more considerate than I am naturally. I have to work at it, on a daily and often hourly basis, in order to grow into the kind of person I hope to become.

No one who is truly giving and loving came that way naturally. They worked at it, like a carver chips at stone or wood to create something exquisite over time. It's not a process that you come by lightly. It takes investment, and commitment, and it comes at a huge personal sacrifice.

Giving of myself to others is a process I struggle with. It's never been easy for me to give up something I want for what someone else wants. Without a doubt, it's been the steepest learning curve of parenting. In order to be the best mother I can be, I must give more of myself than I ever thought possible. If I hold anything back, my kids will be the poorer for it.

With my friends, I also long to give more than I am comfortable giving. I want to give meals when people are sick, look after babies when my friends are in a pinch, and offer a listening ear when someone needs to talk or work out a problem. In reality, I often have my own agenda planned, with reasonable excuses for why I can't meet the needs of those around me, but my soul suffers in the process when I place myself ahead of others.

I must remember that my soul makes up who I am. What I give to others is what will be remembered when I am gone. What I do is less important than who I am, and you can't fake who you really are. Eventually it will be obvious to others what you are really made of, and I want to develop a character that is backed by the genuine substance of integrity, honesty and kindness. This is my dream for my own soul, and every day I can make choices that will become habits, and help me make this dream come true.

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