It’s important to allow your soul to feel and engage fully the great moments of your life as well as the ones that are more difficult. It’s okay; you’ll be alright – it’s part of practicing soul care and is necessary to live your best life.
Soul care is a deliberate choice. As John Eldredge says, “This is your own soul we are talking about; the door opens from the inside. “Jesus said, “I stand at the door and knock,” If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in”. (Revelation 3:20)
You open the door to your soul from the inside. Meaning you will have to walk in there, sit down and allow yourself to see, feel, remember and inhabit your own soul.
Today as I allowed myself to sit with and feel regarding a situation I had faced several years ago, I saw my soul like a series of rooms. Each room represented a time, place, relationship or situation, and memories were stored in those rooms.
As I looked, I felt Jesus knocking at the door so that He could wander through these rooms of my soul with me. He lives within me, but I can limit the flow of life and his tangible presence in certain spaces of my life by my choices and attitudes – I can shut Him out. I realised I had to open the door and invite Him in as I chose to engage again with my soul, because Jesus wasn’t going to push His way into those places that I had not invited him.
There are rooms in our souls where perhaps we’ve been too busy to enjoy something as much as we could have or where we’ve not allowed ourselves to feel a loss or disappointment. Essentially we can neglect our souls and then be surprised and wonder why we can’t meaningfully connect with God and others; why we can’t or don’t feel. Life becomes grey rather than full of expression, colour and experience.
But today, I want to encourage you that Jesus wants to help you inhabit your soul again. You will have to open the door and go in, but you don’t have to be overwhelmed.
As you check in on your inner world and invite Jesus to fill every space in your life, all the dry, empty places will be replenished, and the beautiful ones will be made even better. It’s how you will stay strong and ready for the next stage of your journey and is a vital part of practicing soul care.
Some Keys to Practicing soul care are:
1. Choose a “Room in your soul”; a time, place, a relationship, or situation. Go in and sit with a memory, your thoughts and emotions. Don’t tell your soul what to do; just give it permission and be present. It’s okay to be angry, sad, happy. It’s your room.
2. Invite Jesus to come and sit with you in that “room” – You open the door to Him from the inside. Ask Jesus in and what He has to say about all you see, feel and are remembering. Listen to his comforting words of wisdom, interpretation of events, and promises as He causes the beautiful things within each room in your soul to be made even better and gently heals any pain.
Your soul is like a beautiful instrument created to experience a vast array of experience and expression. Over time, it can get worn and damaged, and unable to enjoy the music and sound it was designed for.
But as you tend to your soul, opening the door from the inside, Jesus will come in and heal and restore any damage or loss. As you are attentive to your soul and what it needs and dreams of, the more colourful, amazing and full of expression your life will become and the greater your ability to know God and others deeply.
Remember, “The door opens from the inside”.
“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.” (Psalm 23:1-6)
Prayer: Lord, please help me reconnect with who I am today and to re-engage with the parts of me I have left behind, rushed past or neglected. Would you please come in and restore my soul and help me to tend to it more carefully from now on. Would you please come in. In Jesus name Amen.