Giving the Soul Some R-E-S-P-E-C-T
The soul is a mysterious thing. It is the basis of who we are and animates all that we do and all that we are. It is my belief that we don't have a soul, but that we are a soul. The soul is the essence of our being.
Sometimes we will say about someone, "Wow, he or she certainly has a lot of soul!" That does not literally mean that this person has more of a soul than someone else, but instead it is a way of saying that this person is fully in touch with their soul, and they are expressing it in their lives in a way that radiates out to all those around them.
Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul, passed away yesterday, and she fully personified everything I believe about having a lot of soul. I don't think Aretha had more soul than anyone else, I just believe she was fully in touch with her soul and manifested it in a way that many of us can only hope for.
The soul is like a divine spark that is deep within each of us. Our spiritual life is about blowing on that spark so that it burns brighter and brighter as we live out our lives. If you pause and think for a moment about the people in your life who most inspire you, they are likely people whose inner sparks burn and shine brightly causing others to say, "Now there's a person with a lot of soul."
There is a wisdom story that is told about a young man who visits a wise sage to find out what he should do with his life. The wise sage, a woman who has lived fully in touch with her soul for many years, responds, "What is it that makes you feel most alive? Whatever it is, do as much of that as you possibly can, because the world needs more people that are fully alive."
We know what made the Queen of Soul feel most fully alive, her music. There's a wonderful benefit to being around people who themselves are fully alive-they make us feel more alive. Who can listen to Aretha sing and not feel a little more alive?
We each have a unique divine spark in our souls. Most of us will not manifest that spark in the same way Aretha did, but all of us can manifest it in some way. As we celebrate the gift of her life, may we all be inspired to sing the unique songs of our own souls a little more boldly, and in the process give our souls the R-E-S-P-E-C-T they are due.
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