Soul Searching

Some of my friends asked me if I was feeling better this weekend. I had been fighting a stomach bug along with a fever and got tested for covid and found I was negative for covid but also had a major stomach bug. Life drained my energy, but I still had my sense of smell and taste, so that was a good thing. But my fever was very pesky. It just would not go away. In many ways, my soul felt like it was asleep. There’s such a thing to be said for being so tired that you can’t function. I would look at a computer screen, and it would be blank. It was almost as if it were waiting for me to command it, and I didn’t even know what commands to give it. All I knew was I wanted my bed. Sleep was going to be my best companion. Because when it all comes down to it when we’re so tired that we can’t think we’re useless. Then I began to wonder how I was going to bring my soul back to life in the world.

Everybody told me to rest, so I did. Then I was tired of sleeping and wanted to get back into the world. Sound familiar?. It should because most of us felt that way throughout covid. We each needed to get out of our homes and resume our lives. We all got sick and tired of wearing masks and knew we needed to do it to stay safe. People got angry with others who didn’t get vaccinated because they wanted to have them do as they had done. Some see it as a threat to society if others aren’t vaccinated. People say to believe in science. OK. I believe in science and God. Frankly my trust in politicians is gone. I’ve always thought that the government had no business interfering in certain areas, and unfortunately, they have gotten their hands in way too many pockets. If you disagree with a political agenda that’s occurring, then you are the bad guy. Right or wrong, that’s where our society is.

Getting my soul back is more than just words. It’s about embracing the unknown. It shows that I’m not afraid to talk to others who have differing opinions. Nor does it mean that I can live my life in a bubble. What it really means is that I have to be careful and confident with who I am. So if that means that I have to do things differently, accept the unknown, and stop judging other people for their decisions, then that’s what I’ll have to do.

It also means pushing myself academically in ways that I never tried. I have to be OK that my life constantly receives an education in some shape, form, or fashion. Yet, the scariest part of getting my soul back is confronting the demons that dwell inside me. I’ve never been one to speak up for people or things until the last few years. I didn’t want to stir the pot, and I certainly didn’t want to draw attention to myself. The older I get, the more I recognize that if I stay silent, I have no right to criticize things that may not be right. For instance, I used to get bullied a lot in school.

There was a wealthy boy who terrorized me in the ninth grade. He forced me into kissing him. His actions shook me to my core. He wanted more than I was ready to give. That summer, a car accident killed him. I have never felt so much relief in my life as I was for his death. That isn’t very nice to admit. After he died, I never was accepted by my classmates. I felt like a stigma was attached to me. The worst part was that I lost a large amount of my soul because he had taken an innocent essence away from me. He was tall and overpowering. He had the arrogance that a lot of wealthier boys inherit. A naive country girl like me had never encountered the likes of him, and I knew from that moment on that I would carry those memories with me for years. I lived with the relief of his death and had to fake sorrow to my classmates at the time. He’s the only one that I can recall ever feeling grateful for his death. It took a lot of therapy for me to realize and recognize that he was sexually assaulting me. Had he lived, I doubt I would have escaped his clutches.

One of my friends asked me recently if I have regrets in my life. The answer is simple. Yes. I have plenty of them. I feel for the young man’s family because they lost him, but I’m grateful for the reprieve I received. I regret not talking about the instances earlier because I was probably not the only girl he terrorized. I chose to remain quiet because of the lack of acceptance. It’s only as an adult that I’ve learned that when we stay silent, we are enabling patterns to continue. Anyone who assaults and threatens another person is guilty of bullying. They take away a person’s soul and create a shell of a person that remains. Getting a soul back means finding what was lost. Sometimes you can’t get it back, but you can get answers. Those answers allow healing, and healing creates power.

You see, getting our souls back means learning to stand up for what we believe. It also means making uncomfortable choices in a world that wants us to conform to one way of thinking. The last I checked, we are all intelligent folks with various ideals and morals. Society talks about bullying and how wrong it is, yet if the culture doesn’t agree with the actions of others, they are the first to condemn those individuals. We are bullying people whether we want to admit this or not. We call each other names and try to humiliate others. What good does it do but divide this country? I was too weak to stand up to that wealthy boy, and I allowed his bullying to affect me into adulthood. That was on me. I made a lot of poor choices and allowed my self-confidence to dwindle. That, too, is on me.

I can’t change the world, but I can change how I approach conversations. I can do my best to become more tolerant of others and engage my curiosity to learn more. In the process, my soul starts to live more abundantly because I’m willing to stretch myself further. What I hope for all of you is that you can tackle tough conversations without name-calling and heated exchanges. I think all of us have had enough of the crass behaviors over the years. Kindness goes a long way to healing our souls. Maybe it’s time we utilize the kindness skills we’ve obtained over the years and change the world for the better. Have a great day, everyone.

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