How is your summer going? I hope you’ve found yourself laughing a great big belly laugh, have found yourself smiling wider than you have in a while. I hope you’ve put your feet up and lost yourself in a good book. I hope you’ve had a chat with a friend that uplifted and inspired you. And I hope that above all of the dinner dishes and dirt on your floors and whining from tired children and fights to diffuse, you feel powerfully loved, seen, and treasured.
I write this because I know what it is like to not feel these things. To spend my day with two littles and yet feel extremely alone. To feel far from the path of peace and joy that I longed for.
I was listening to enneagram guru Suzanne Stabile the other day and she said something that really resonated with my own experience: “I think one of the reasons life is so disappointing for some people is because of connecting with the culture or the world more than they connect with their souls.”
I know this disappointment deeply, and it came during the season in my life when I neglected my faith, ignored my own soul. I liked to place the blame on my husband and all the ways he was failing to love me, my children and all the ways they stifled me and weighed on me, and my friends for all the ways they weren’t being there for me.
But I was not looking within. I was not taking the time to treasure my soul, to nurture and nourish this part of me that was created to be alive and awake.
In the busyness of summer it is not the easiest thing to tend to our souls. The stillness we sometimes need gets hijacked by early risers, long beach days, vacation plans, soccer practice and baseball games. Some weeks are so packed we barely have a thought of our own, a moment of our own. And even if everything is fun and wonderful, we can still lose ourselves in the noise and speed of life.
But if we know how vital it is to connect with our souls, we will make the time. And it does not have to be anything spectacular.
Pastor and author Brian Zahnd says that “Faith is an ongoing orientation of the soul towards God”. For me, connecting with my soul means making those movements that reorient myself towards God. For whatever reason I’ve been pulled away by the endless distractions around me and I need to shift my gaze.
Sometimes all you need is 5 minutes, maybe 10. Meditating on a prayer or verse is one of my favourite things to do with this time. Instead of trying to empty myself, I am filling myself with God. I am focusing on what is true and good and beautiful, and opening myself to whatever he wants to do in me. I believe that I am being transformed even when I can’t see evidence of change. I am learning to “Above all, trust in the slow work of God” as the Prayer of Teilhard de Chardin begins.
The point is that I am remembering my soul. Remembering who I am and whose I am. And as I get better at orienting my soul towards God, I am more at peace with whatever the day will bring. My eyes are opened to him everywhere. And I grow in my desire of wanting to be a part of what he is doing in me and around me.