For the most part when I feel close to my Soul I feel at peace, whole and content. In these moments the world makes the most sense to me and I feel at home with whatever I am doing. The most mundane things: washing dishes, driving to work, drinking tea all carry the imprint of the Divine in those moments. They all become a form of meditation as I attempt to be totally present to them. As I have aged and become more in touch with my Soul, I have the wonderful privilege to spend more time in this place of Divine nearness, a place where the Divine penetrates the mundane reminding me that it is all One. This empowers me to feel more whole and satisfied with the entire course of my life. I have an increasing sense that it has been good and continues to be worthwhile.
But that is only one part of the story of soul connection for the soul can also be quite restless which it expresses without any criticism, hostility or disparagement. The Soul always wants more connection to the Divine. It seeks deeper entrance into the magnificence of the cosmos. When those experiences are not occurring, it can get restless. Or when life gets routine, superficial or repetitive the soul starts nudging us deeper. Or more accurately, urges us to see the depth and beauty all around us. It encourages us to find the Divine in our surroundings. In truth we are never far from the Divine but we can easily lose sight of it. When we do the soul sends us messages calling us back to the connection it craves. Connection is to the soul is what water is to the body. The body can only go a rather short period of time without water before it becomes dehydrated. The soul gets parched and starts to complain and seem restive without the nourishment of connection.
These times of soul restlessness can be mistaken for clinical depression, a psychological condition that for many people can be closely interwoven with soul restlessness. Depression often strangles access to the soul and thus needs to be responded to with good professional psychotherapy. These two phenomena are not always easily distinguishable. But depression is characterized by low energy, a sense of chronic dissatisfaction with life, sense of powerlessness and a very harsh inner critic which saps self-esteem. In psychotherapy, ideally, the client learns differentiate as an autonomous individual person with a unique life path. This involves several tasks; learning to challenge and eventually quiet the inner critic, set boundaries and increase self-care. In addition, goals include resolving and letting go of past trauma and toxic relationships. What I have seen in my clinical practice with depressed people is that they never really feel OK. In one way or another they feel wrong, damaged or sick. If a relationship ends, they are somehow wrong or to blame for having “failed again.” The alternative and more healing place is to see the relationship was not meant to be and no one is to blame. The depressed person tends to feel wrong or to blame when things don’t go as planned. The healthy alternative is to allow for the free flowing of sadness without the self-blame. As this is accomplished the doorways to the soul can be opened.
Early in spiritual growth it is as though we can see the beauty of a single star but only intuit the presence of the galaxy. This restlessness is something to be acknowledged and actually welcomed not as a symbol we are somehow doing something wrong but as a statement of how much more there is. As one grows spiritually we see that not only are there individual stars but constellations and galaxies and universes and even multiverses exist. There are multitudes of phenomena within and without of which we are barely aware. The soul wants to explore all of them.
The restlessness is a sign that more awaits us and that more is within our grasp. The discomfort is not a sign that something is wrong. It is a result of how much more there can be. These moments are truly a gift and like any gift of Spirit need to be embraced. Actually, the soul is reminding us that the Divine is always right here next to us offering more. This restlessness is the price we pay for the continual opening of our soul to the new and unknown in ourselves and the Cosmos. It is what Richard Rohr, the Christian writer, calls “Holy Sadness.”
These times of restlessness can be uncomfortable but they are truly a gift of Spirit to be embraced as with any gift. Just because this restlessness is uneasy doesn’t mean there is something wrong. Actually, it is the soul reminding us that the Divine is right here not only next to us but also within us. Sometimes this restlessness calls us to dramatic effort of workshops, retreats and time away. More often it is the soul calling us to simpler things like going inward, breathing into what we already know. It is the reminder that what we crave we already have inside of us.
This restlessness is the price we pay for opening to the Divine in new ways. The soul is simply nudging us toward the Divine within us and in the cosmos.