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Living the Soulful Life

photo of sunset

Every day, I embrace the soulful life. That means delighting in the joy around me, creating whatever good that I can, and also being compassionate to the pain that crosses my path. Living a soulful life is about living in light while not being afraid of the dark.

Too often people try to be happy, believing that’s what the soulful life is all about. But a soulful life not only is about joy and virtue, it’s also about difficulties and shadow. What do you do when pain comes your way—or a trial that tries to crush your spirit?

It’s tempting to shut down and close up to protect yourself. Yet, when you begin to open up to the pain, the discomfort, and the paradoxes, you discover clues about your life and how to live it. Soul is just as much about the darkness as it is about the light. You need to embrace both.

How do you live the soulful life? How do you nourish your soul throughout the events of your day? How do you stay centered and grounded when forces around you (and even within you) try to fragment your soul?

Recently my son required a lot of medical appointments. In years past, I would have grumbled, complaining how these appointments were distracting me from my life. Then I realized that these appointments were part of my life, and I had been choosing a soul-less way to respond. So instead, I went with an open soul and discovered many delightful people—his doctor, his nurse, and people in the waiting room—to share soulful moments. We talked. We laughed. We got to know each other more. We connected on a soulful level.

What we do every day matters to the soul. We can either enrich our souls by the choices we make—or deplete it. Every day, we make hundreds of decisions that determine how soulful we can become.

To me, living the soulful life is about being fully awake, about fully participating in your life (rather than watching it from the sidelines), and paying attention to what unfolds. Sometimes I’m thrilled with what I discover. Sometimes I cringe. Sometimes I become angry. Living the soulful life is about being deeply involved with the people around you and the life you’re living. It’s about stepping toward the people and experiences that open up your soul.

Written by Jolene Roehlkepartain.

Jolene also writes a parenting blog twice a week.