My Apologies… Soul at Work
By Deborah Blackwell
The gratitude holiday is upon us! You know, the one where most of us cringe, binge, and if we’re lucky, stay hinged. This holiday in particular, brings people to the table who may or may not get along.
Truth is, we are usually just being our true selves. Or are we?
I don’t know about you, but I’ve lost people through the years, and I know it’s because of me. I can blame it on my upbringing; my family wasn’t the best at modeling stellar behavior. They didn’t understand boundaries, or how to detach from drama, or even how to not create it. But it’s not their fault. We’re all only human. I’m just happy I learned—albeit a little late—to step back and take a closer look at who I really am. I wondered, am I trying to be some version of who I think I should be? Who am I putting out there? At the risk of beating myself up—I wasn’t pretty.
I wish I knew then what I know now: that our soul can lead the way.
If you don’t know much about your soul, I can promise you it’s special. Our soul is our true nature, our real essence. It’s like a pilot light that shines even when we don’t. But, when we’re being challenged, or facing a lot of stress, the light can get pretty dim. We forget who we really are, and people may start to fall out of our lives, don’t engage like they used to, or stay distant when we’re around. And we wonder, “Was it something I said?” The answer is probably yes.
There’s usually a reason why we behave like we do, but we may not be aware of what we’re projecting. When we feel bad, it shows. It’s palpable, even if we think we are hiding it—especially at the holiday table. Before we sit down, we may need to do some soul work. Go deep. Reflect on ourselves and our life. Shine a light on the self we know is “in there,” and let her take the lead.
We know when our soul is leading because we feel better. It feels peaceful, calm, and true, no matter what else is going on.
I’m so grateful for my own soul work and want to say to all those I offended, upset, irritated, overwhelmed, or burdened, I apologize! We all have a past, yes, it happened, and no, we can’t change it. But since it shapes our future and more importantly, our present, we can do our best to make peace with our life right now. Stop hiding behind our circumstances and remember who we truly are. We are not the person stuck in a rut, but the soul who climbs out of it.
We can at any time, be who we are meant to be.
How do we do soul work? First, we take a deep breath and ask, “Who am I, really?” Then, we start to release our mental burdens and those shadowy, uncomfortable thoughts. We start to see ourselves through the eyes of the people around us. Observe ourselves as if we were our friend—and become our own. Focus on what feels good, and especially on what feels true. Listen to our intuition (ironically, it’s our gut,) trust what we feel and take small steps forward. We may not see a quick shift, but others will. A neighbor mentions our smile. A friend says we sound happier. A relative notices our spark. We catch a sideways glance in the mirror and don’t feel disgusted. Soul work works.
Of course, some people will always expect us to be the person they knew and refuse to see us in a new light. That’s OK. We know who we were, and we know who we’ve become, even if they don’t. There’s no reason to say it, because as we live it, we share it. No apologies necessary. Just be your true self.