On the Importance of Soul-work
Despite the vast technological knowledge our culture possesses we continue to remain a mystery to ourselves. In the realm of the psyche it is tempting, when faced with painful and inscrutable experiences, to try to eliminate or solve the problems as quickly as possible and “move on with our lives.” Whereas this course of action allows us to continue functioning normally we may be missing an invitation to a deeper, more meaningful relationship to ourselves and to life.
Another option is to listen to disturbing feelings as the voices of our Soul telling us what it needs. Oftentimes when our Souls speak loudly we become ashamed and are told we have a disorder of some sort. There is an impulse to try and fix the problem as if the psyche were a car that had malfunctioned. Many times the real disorder present is the division between our true Being and how we are living.
The Soul is not concerned with who we consciously think we should be. It is speaking up for who we truly are. Soul-work is a way to honor the mystery that we embody and to “live out” the big questions rather than to solve them. It is also a way to reclaim what we have disowned and approach wholeness.
Two ways to begin working with your Soul are through paying attention to dreams and by acting on intuition. Dreams symbolically represent the current state of your psyche as a whole. They also attempt to balance out the conscious mind when it becomes too one-sided. Intuition speaks to us directly from the unconscious. By acting on intuition we build trust in our Being and become less fragmented.
Soul-work doesn’t pathologize the human condition or shame people for not being happy all the time. Soul-work embraces pain as an inevitable and essential part of self-actualization. As Carl Jung has remarked:
“No tree, it is said, can grow to heaven unless its roots reach down to hell.”