Thursday, April 18, 2013

Give Me Soul II: New and Improved!

Okay: Loads of emails with questions, requests for advice, and challenges. Let’s see…

While we should remain open to sharing soul with others, the reality is very few want the same. With most people, it is because they aren’t aware they have a soul, or because their soul is entombed in fear or pain. However, even with those people whose souls are alive, sometimes there simply isn’t space or time for you in their world. They have other priorities. People will generally let you know what they genuinely want from you by what they give to you. If they aren’t opening mind and heart to you about matters beneath the surface of life (data), odds are very strong that they aren’t interested in that level of a relationship. For some you will be a friendly, for others you are a resource, and for others, just someone they want to stay in touch with – from time to time. Keep all these levels of relating clear in your mind!

I am not downplaying the value of friendlies -- not at all. These people can enrich our lives, adding some zest and zing, and provoking us in any number of good and healthy ways. Just do not mistake friendlies for those with whom you share soul.

Don’t. Don’t. Don’t. Give your soul to all comers. Just because someone sees something within you that they like and need, doesn’t mean you should share soul with them. Maybe you will want to serve or encourage them in someway. However, if the relationship is based solely on their need for you, it isn’t a place to share your soul. Anyway, what do you call a woman who gives herself to any and all men? Yeah. What I am trying to say here is …

Let your love be with discernment and wisdom. Mature love is not naïve. Jesus loved Judas while not being shocked by his betrayal. John wrote of how Jesus didn’t ”entrust himself” to some people, because he knew what was in their hearts. People can change on a dime, lie with a straight face, betray without compunction, or throw your love away as if it were a jar of mayonnaise that is past its sell-by date. Ignoring this reality only sets you up for relational disaster.

Distance is not a barrier to sharing soul. My friend Colonel lives in CA. I have shared more soul with him on the phone and in emails than most people do with the closest of friends who live next door. The same goes for my friend Derek, who lives in South Africa.

The most frequently asked question was for some examples of sharing soul. We share soul when we tell our un-redacted story to another person, not as an observer (second person) but as participant. In other words, be in the story you are telling. (If a person is not ready to share their story — past and present — they are not ready for sharing soul.) We share soul when we have meaningful conversations. Given that I am my secrets, sharing some of them with another person can also be an avenue for sharing soul. Now. While your mind immediately went to some past breach of morality, shameful behavior, or painful experience, what of the secret of your deepest hopes and desires? What of the secret of who you truly and fully are?

Maintain the laws of love with all people. Love because it is who you are, regardless of the character or behavior of others—you know, the way God loves you. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you, don’t return evil for evil, insult for insult, and as much as lies within you, always be gentle and forbearing, looking for ways to be a blessing to all who you encounter. Remember, however, that being a loving individual is not synonymous with sharing your soul. Or so I believe. 

Copyright, Monte E. Wilson, 2013 

No comments:

Post a Comment