It’s funny how the length of time that I have been studying God (62 years) has shaped my mind. Like water shapes the stone as it runs through the canyon. A new way, I guess you could say.
So as I type up these writings about dirt and soil, on cleanliness, on health, my mind drifts into its own paths of knowledge.
And, for me, the concept of dirt really belongs inside our bodies, so to speak. In our souls.
I see a soul as being like a terrarium, when you take a glass container usually used for fish and plant a little garden in it.
If we all allowed ourselves to let this metaphor sink in – really sink in – we would have a better time with our lives.
This is because one of our greatest barriers in life – barriers to having loving relationships with our families, those we know, and even God – is because we are so judgmental about ourselves. We have all done things in our life that we regret. We have all had things done to us that we resent. And as we push to be “better” people we want these things to not have happened. We think that the ideal person has sinned against others very little, and has not been sinned against.
That’s our definition of clean.
But this is not the real definition of clean. This is the definition of absence.
Absence of experience. Absence of growth. Absence of change. Absence of life.
In our reality – life in a body on Earth – only dead people don’t sin. And if they are sinned against after their death, they are not going to get upset about it.
In the soul, dirt is the residue that is left over from our experiences. It can come from shocking events. Or routine drudgery. It can come from insight that came from a casual conversation. Or the heart-warming that follows a kind act that we performed.
And like the earth that we walk on everyday, how we treat our experiences is how healthy our soil becomes. If we shrink back from that which torments us – even if the torment is there in our lives as a means of healing – our soil does not gain the richness that it would if we reached out to the torment, presented it to God and whomever we have chosen to work with us in healing and turned the original insult to our souls into understanding. Understanding of the original situation. Understanding of our tormentor. Understanding of ourselves.
When we can raise our heart and our voice in a prayer for that person who hurt us, then our soul becomes a place where we can grow healthily and learn to reach out to others in pain.
This is good thing. A very good thing.
When we shrink back in anger, seething with the desire for revenge, then the soil in our soul is not only neglected, it absorbs the acid from our bitterness. It becomes bitter. Like the dirt in an abandoned lot in a big city. No one has stirred it up, blended healthy organisms into it, tenderly spread plants over its surface. No, instead it just becomes a place where people carelessly throw their trash.
As you can easily tell how this actually harms the productivity of the soil just by looking at it, we can see this same form of decay in a person’s face. In his movements. In his words.
The unhealthier a soul becomes, the unhealthier the body of the person that holds that soul becomes. And this includes the heart of emotions, and the thoughts of the brain. Decay has very real effects.
There are a number of ultimate forms of evil that seek to steal the healthy soul energy that fill a healthy soul. This is why so many children are victims of so many different crimes: the harm breaks open their precious souls and the abuser is fed. These kind of breakages – which is not limited to children – can leave a person devastated, their soul a desert with very little possibility of regrowth.
To me, this is the most important form of healing that needs to be developed and practiced. Our culture is being turned into a growing horde of spiritual zombies. With very serious consequences.
It is, in its way, the laying down the conditions for an apocalypse.
And it all goes back to the soil in our souls. How healthy they are. And how healthy the souls are of the people around us and around the world.
It’s a very serious matter.
For ourselves and those we are close to, there is prayer. And forgiveness.
When you find you cannot forgive someone, when there is just a, No, no matter how many times you pray to forgive someone, consider granting that person mercy. Become the authority in the situation that you are fighting to heal. This person has done something to you. It is such a significant something that it has impacted your life, your wellbeing. This person owes you something. You are the authority who holds the debt in your hands.
Decide to release the debt. And do it.
Let the crime go. Just because you have to authority to do so.
Then go and wash your hands of the event, and work to heal the wound that you are left with.
Because it is our responsibility to heal.
It’s our job.
The more seriously we take this responsibility to heal ourselves, the healthier our souls will become. Lush gardens. Places of solace and healing. Our souls will be like little generators of healing energy, giving us what we need as we go along in life.
And this is what we need for the unhealthy conditions growing up around us these days.
This is what we need to dispel the swelling threat of storm clouds.
We are the front lines of God’s army. And we need to be healthy in all ways, most especially our souls.
It will be our souls that will guide us to victory.