Ordinary riches can be stolen; real riches cannot. In your soul are infinitely precious things that cannot be taken from you. ~ Oscar Wilde
Since I was physically dehydrated last week, this week I was thinking about soul or spiritual dehydration. Do you ever feel completely depleted? I think we have all had the feeling from time to time…. Some label it depression, others label it burn out, but we have all faced it for certain. (If you haven’t you are lucky and I hope you never will, though it seems inevitable that all human beings find themselves in this phase from time to time.)
Sometimes it can be really hard to get out of these places of spiritual dehydration…… and, ironically, it does not always (or even usually) seem to be connected to spiritual community. I have known people who are regular church or synagogue attenders in the midst of active communities – praying with home groups and involved in all sorts of projects, who often feel the greatest dehydration.
I, personally, think part of the key to finding a way to feed and nurture your soul is finding that connection, that spark, that causes your soul to leap. It is a pleasure when we have that feeling. Some find it in prayer, some in reading a good book, in a new relationship, or in volunteer work. Be careful to not put too much pressure on another person to provide you with a feeling of a nourished soul, as that sets you and the other person up for an unhealthy relationship and unhealthy expectations and balance of power…… your soul needs to be nourished through ways that are not dependent solely on another individual. Some even find nourishment in a new hobby!
There are many things I find that nourish my soul, from prayer and meditation to knitting and quilting, to hanging out with my daughters (and hearing them laugh), to blogging or creating a new idea. There are times when I feel burnt out and I need to work to adjust my attitude and find a way to get the spark back… there are times when that is easier for me than others…… sometimes I may have to wait for a certain stressful life situation to pass in order to really be back to my “normal” inspired self.
Sometimes individuals have anxiety or depression and a dehydration of their soul that needs more than their own intervention – in these cases, it is important to reach out to a medical professional in order to assess if there is a chemical imbalance that is beyond the control of the individual. In these cases, they may need medications to help them feel normal again – this is common and it a huge help to those who need it. It is nothing to be embarrassed about, it is the reality that every body is different and some bodies have chemical imbalances – such is life.
Today, 214 days ’til 40, I will remind myself to participate in activities that nourish my soul…. in the end, it makes my life so much brighter. I hope you do the same.