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Elements of the Soul

Distraction of the soul comes in many forms, not the least of which is self-medicating.

by M. J. Joachim 

The soul is a tender dynamic of the human condition. Mine recoiled recently as I researched prostitution, the sex trade and human trafficking. I never did write the articles, such was my horror at things I learned. Instead, I focused on lighter things in life like my creativity and hobbies. Consequently, I threw myself full-force into gardening and crochet, things that let my soul replenish from discovering the harsh, cold world that some people face in their daily lives. That would have been enough for me to turn and run away, but then it became so clear that evil doers (for lack of a better word), literally profit from the slavery and abuse of other human beings. Reaction is an obvious response when faced with such horror, and mine was to flee the scene, find safety far from the depravity and shield myself and others from seeing what no one should rightly call thriving human behaviors.

Distracting the soul from things that are too difficult to witness is common for those of us who want to believe all people have the potential for greatness. Distraction is also the soul’s way of healing from things it cannot easily cope with, upon being confronted with them. It is an innate mechanism, a survival tool if you will, allowing people to heal from the pain and fear their minds cannot logically deny. It is one of the tools people use to protect themselves from personal abuse – blocking things out until such a time (if indeed there ever is one), that they can face their own realities and painful past.

Distraction of the soul comes in many forms, not the least of which is self-medicating. Self-medication is simply a nice way of saying getting addicted to drugs, becoming an alcoholic and giving up any form of self-control in the name of making the pain (sometimes unidentifiable in its nature), go away. Outrage and anger are forms of a soul trying to distract itself. Rage, expressed without inhibition, is a way to minimize fear and pain by acting tough. It is a tool used to avoid calmly looking at the larger picture, choosing instead to stay focused only on that which the individual can “reasonably” address at a particular point in time. It is also a way to manipulate the course of events, until the soul becomes numb to the truth it may need to verify about itself.

Souls are complex entities animating people in numerous ways. They are seen through the eyes, witnessed through hearts and revealed through personal expression and action. As complicated as they are, they are also extremely tender, unless forced to be hardened through their exposure to the world, either at their own person’s hands or by circumstances forced on them by others.

Listening to the soul is not easy. To do so opposes the world and its ways. Yet, it is necessary to pay attention to the needs of the soul, if we desire to maintain some semblance of balance in our lives. Addressing and taking care of the soul’s needs is a requirement of healthy living. Why treat the symptoms when you can overcome what is causing them in the first place? If your soul needs to withdraw for a time, let it. In doing so, you will encourage your soul’s well-being thereby increasing your chances of being effectively human with everyone you meet. 

©2011, 2012 All Rights Reserved Teresa DePoy