Finding our Soul

interiorYou’re blessed when you can get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.” –Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount

[tweetthis]It takes a long time for some of us to figure out we have an inside world. So many of us seemed to be obsessed with the outside world.[/tweetthis] As children and in time, we give up; perhaps barter away our inner world to exchange it for what we think will satisfy us. Our interior real estate seems cheap compared to the outer markers of success. We become consumed about our status. We devote our lives to positions, people and props to help bolster the weight and intensity of the outer world. We abandon any notion of an interior world—and inner soul. As a result, we live hollow and empty lives. We live disconnected to our souls–perhaps not even realizing we have a soul–we are a soul!

If you’ve read any of my books, you know my own journey in this regard. I am still at work on connecting my inside world. Aren’t we all?  (I’ve written extensively about this in The Lazarus Life and most recently in Inside Job.)  Go to Bookstore!We pant. We hunt. We long for the trappings that we think will bring us peace within—only to end out inwardly bankrupt—inwardly thirsty—inwardly desperate. Why? Because nothing on the outside of a person’s life can satisfy the inner longings of the inside world.We look for water which cannot satisfy. We build cisterns to hold that which cannot be held and we call of of this craziness life.This is precisely why Jesus was so concerned with the inner life of men and women. He fully knew that the inner life is where the action is. All good and all bad begins in the interior membranes of a person’s soul. Our thoughts—both for altruistic longings and evil intent has it’s genesis inside. It is precisely there—within each one of us that we pre-meditate the good and bad we do each day.I sit with leaders every day of my work life who are waking up to their soul. For too long, they seem to have been asleep—fallen numb to what really matters in life. Sadly, for so many it seems to take a crisis—that long fall and shattering glass where some sort of break through can happen. This fall—this awakening—this coming to our senses is a necessary step in getting one’s inside world made right. The thud of our fall, seems to bring us to our senses just as the stench of the pig sty brought the prodigal to his senses.When we come to our senses—when we admit our addiction, confess our brokenness, let go of our grip on the world and all that we have come to believe that we DO know and confess that we do not know—perhaps anything is the place—the exact and precise place where one’s interior life begins to grow and expand. We grow into our hearts once again. We reclaim what we have abandoned and forsaken. We come to our senses and that 18” gap between our head and our heart becomes connected. We are undivided. We are put right and we know it inside. We are at peace—peace—that interior “thing” we all want and need.When I watch my grandchildren who are young, I see that there is no disconnect in them. They cry at the drop of their bottle. They feel anger when the spoon clings on the empty cereal bowl. If they realize they have a messy diaper, then inside they somehow know that they are having a messy life. They want to be clean inside and out. They laugh at the most insignificant and to me, stupid thing…but they are not divided like I am. They are at one with themselves—at one with the universe. This is perhaps why Jesus told us to become like a child—to become connected again with our inside world—our souls.Here are 5 ways to help connect with your inside world. 

  1. Take a walk every day in nature, a park or trail. Walk in silence and alone. Notice what you are thinking about; concerned with; distracted by.
  2. In a journal, begin to record—daily if you can what you “notice” on the inside. “I feel nervous.” “I am excited.” And even “I feel distracted, harried or tired” will help you begin to notice more and own more of what is happening inside of you. It’s just a few words or one or two sentences. Nothing more. In my journal, I begin my entry this way every time I write. I do it to monitor how I am REALLY doing inside. If you feel upset–connect the dots. Don’t push your feeling down like a beach ball under the water.  Let it surface and see what’s really going on inside of you.
  3. Notice yourself when you listen to music; see beauty or look at a sunset or sunrise. What moves you? What are you doing when you feel happy or sad? What are you wishing you were doing.
  4. When you cry…follow you tears backward and see if you can discover what is pushing your tears out. If it’s been a long time since you cried, trace back to the time you can remember and begin there.
  5. Become curious about what you are feeling in your body and where you are feeling it. If you are tense—see if you can find what part of your body is tense. Where do you hold stress in your body. Become curious. Notice yourself inwardly more. Think back on your day about what happened and where you felt the stress you experienced.