“Unraveling external selves and coming home to our real identity is the true meaning of soul work.”
Sue Monk Kidd
Here is a story from cultural anthropologist, Angeles Arrien: “One day a woman found herself at Heaven's gate. The angels' only question to her was, 'Zusai, why weren't you Zusai?' Within that simple question lies the heart of all our soul work. If you are David, why aren't you fully David? If your are Susan, why aren't you fully Susan? We are here to become who we are meant to be.”
Finding out who we were meant to be, and being that, isn't part of our work—it is ALL of our work. Some of us come to the quest early, and some of us never come to it at all. There are so many distractions, so many smoke screens thrown up to cloak and cloud the issue. Some of us are afraid of the responsibility that comes with being who we are in our fullness. Some are afraid of being seen for who we truly are because we might be rejected by people we care about. To be sure, fear in all its forms is the road block to being fully ourselves.
And, discovering one's true self isn't easy; it's work—it's soul work. It doesn't consist of adding identities, but in paring down. I am not mother, I am not father, I am not child, I am not my academic degrees, I am not my occupation, I am not my religion, I am not my political affiliation, I am not my expertise. Those are roles that I play, and I'm proud to play them, but down at the essence of me, the essential self—who is that?
In the words of philosopher, Dallas Willard, “You are an unceasing spiritual being with an eternity in God's great universe. That's the most important thing for you to know about you...Your soul is not just something that lives on after you die. It's the most important thing about you. It is your life.” Wouldn't it be a good idea to spend whatever time it takes to figure out what it means to be you?
In the Spirit,