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Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Soul Care and Soul Searching

I am working on soul care these days. It's not the same as being spiritual, I do plenty of that. It's also not the same as talking about God, which I also do my share of. It's about intentionally making time for the things that are life giving to me. The things that make me better for all of the other things in my life. Writing is definitely important for my soul. If I have the chance to write, it can turn my whole day around.

Reading/escape are also important for me. Somewhere along the lines, my only strategy for dealing with stress or pain was to retreat into another, imaginary world (via tv, books, or the internet). I'm free to feel my feelings there, but it's not real, so it's not as threatening. It's an escape from the real world. All of the personality tests that I've taken say that I have trouble with the details in life. It's true. Give me a mountain and I'll gladly climb it. Ask me to do a series of small, inane tasks and I will shut down. I don't know why, and it's really detrimental to this whole maintaining a house and family thing. Thankfully, my husband is a details guy, and we're learning how to divvy things up according to personality type. So, it's important for me to escape the pressures of daily life, but I need to find a way to do so in a healthy way that isn't just running away. I'm still working on that one.

I also know that I need consistent exercise. Nothing too strenuous, just enough to get my blood pumping and my endorphins going. Every since my surgery back in May, I've been afraid to get back to exercise. Just 15 minutes of yoga 3 times a week really helps. Walking would be nice, too, but I never have a chance to walk without the kids, which is more like herding cats while slowly moving forward. Not exactly exercise. Exercising my patience, maybe.

So, there I have it: Read, Write, Exercise. I need to do these consistently in order to do the other things in my life well. How can I make time for this when I'm as busy as I've ever been? Well, priorities are important, so I'll figure it out, I suppose.

Seminary is testing me in whole new ways, and I'm still learning how to express it. I know I dwell on it too much, but I still struggle with the change in roles. I love being a student. I love the freedom I have to use my mind and discover my voice. It's scary, though. Every day it's scary. What if I'm not worthy to ever lead? What if I fail at this? What if I make a fool of myself? What about the woman I was, the homemaker? The wife? I know that I couldn't have gone on forever as a stay at home mom, but I feel like I've completely abandoned the identity I had this time last year and replaced it with this new one. Who I was will always be a big part of who I am now. I have to learn how to grow and change and still be me. I guess I'm just now doing a lot of the self-exploration that most people do during adolescence. I think I spent too much time being who I thought I was supposed to be instead of discovering who I really am made to be. This sounds so cliche, which may be another reason that I ran from it for so long. The concept of "finding ones self" really is laughable, except I find that I am at an impasse, and I can move forward until I know who I will be on the rest of this journey.

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