Have you ever, taken the time, and expended the energy, and attention, to take an objective, introspective view - inside, and consider, what might be your best path, towards better, finer, health, and happiness, on a regular basis? How might your overall health, happiness, and well - being, relate to your inner, true SOUL? What makes you feel better, and why? Will you be willing, to give yourself, a check - up, from the neck - up, and maintain the discipline and commitment, needed, and necessary, to best serve your personal needs? With that in mind, this article will attempt to, briefly, consider, examine, review, and discuss, using the mnemonic approach, what this means and represents, and why it matters.
Strengths, stronger, solutions, sustainable, self, self: - help: What are your personal strengths, versus, your weaknesses, and how might you, use these areas of strength, while addressing any weakness? Will these efforts make you stronger, and provide the solutions, to make you happier, and more satisfied/ self - fulfilled? Are you looking at the bigger - picture, in a sustainable manner, or merely putting a band - aid, on an inner wound, and seeking a quick - fix? What do you like, and not like, about your inner, true self? Are you ready, willing and able to utilize methods, which are useful, in terms of self - help?
Open - minded, original, options, opportunities: Try to avoid pre - judging, or restricting your possibilities/ potential, by refusing to expand the self - imposed limitations of your personal comfort zone! Be open - minded, and explore the options and alternatives, taking advantage of the finest opportunities! Be your finest, original, rather than trying to be someone else's clone!
Useful, uses, urgency, usual, unusual, unique: Do you consider yourself, unique, at least, in some ways? What might be most useful, and address, both the usual, as well as unusual personal needs, and necessities? Will you approach this priority, focused on the needed, and necessary uses, in a truly, unique and personally, fulfilling/ satisfying manner?
Listen, learn, lessons: Pay attention to yourself, as if you were listening to someone else! Learn from every conversation, and experience, and learn what you enjoy, and prefer, and, hopefully, discover, why! These essential lessons, often, determine, whether, we become capable of serving our needs, and enriching our soul, to your best advantage!
When you serve/ feed your personal SOUL, you usually, become happier, and more self - satisfied! When we feel better, about ourself, we become more capable of living the life, we hope for, and deserve!
Are You Paying Attention to the Health of Your Soul?
Most of us don’t sense our soul’s cries. We’re busy with the more tangible elements of life, and our soul’s cries get ignored. Or our soul’s cries are too painful, and we avoid them entirely. To pay attention to the health of our soul, however, we must learn how to listen to our soul.
The voice of our soul can be difficult to hear because it generally comes out in symptoms, rather than direct cries. Wouldn’t it be simpler if your soul spoke to you directly, like “Hey, I’m hurting here. Please pay attention to me and meet my needs today.” Instead, our soul speaks to us indirectly through our emotions, our choices, our thoughts, our bodies. In order to listen to our soul, we must learn to hear its voice.
We can develop the skill of listening to our soul.
One helpful way to learn to listen to your soul is by asking these questions:
When my soul is neglected, what tends to happen? When my soul is needing something, what tends to emerge in my feelings, choices, thoughts, body, and relationships?
When my soul is healthy, what flows out of me? When I am deeply aware of my connection with God, and living out of my identity as his beloved child, what emerges from me through my feelings, thoughts, and actions?
I’ll use my own reflections as an example. Here are the symptoms of my soul:
Symptoms of soul neglect: shame, fear that my needs aren’t getting met, overworking, emotional disengagement, insecurity, comparing myself to others, frustration toward my kids, bitterness, projecting other people’s expectations of me, lack of intimacy with people, restlessness, isolation, a critical attitude.
Symptoms of soul health: joy, compassion, peace, trust in God’s goodness, creativity, a sense of humor, generosity toward others, clear sense of vision, intimacy with others, energy for work and play, a desire to connect with God.
Focus on the causes, not the symptoms.
We can spend so much time and energy trying to decrease the symptoms of soul neglect. But when we focus on the symptoms rather than the causes, we always end up in the same cycles. The results are short-lived and sometimes counterproductive. Instead, focus your attention on the soul neglect in your life.
In order to have true and lasting health, we must tend to our soul’s needs. Everything about our lives and identity is in some way a function of our soul.
So what makes a soul healthy? It’s not related to our external circumstances.
A soul is healthy to the extent that it has a connection and receptivity to God.
That’s it. The health of your soul depends on your connection and receptivity to God. When you are connected to God and receptive to him, your soul comes alive. Your soul experiences deep joy and peace, no matter your external circumstances.
Psalm 23 says, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul.”
Take a good look at your soul today. Perhaps it is trying to tell you something. Could it be that your soul is pointing you toward God, so that you can experience true restoration and life?
ACTION & PRACTICE
Ask yourself the question: What has your soul been crying for lately? Spend some time reflecting and journaling about that. Ask God to meet the needs of your soul. Ask him, “God, what is your invitation to my soul today? What do you want to say to or do with my soul right now?”