archives, you & me

Has Anyone Seen My Soul?

 

She spent a lifetime looking for it. In other people. In other places. In anything but herself.

Even through all her futile searching, she, on some level, knew all along that the last place she wanted to explore was where she’d find it.

The trouble is, she never knew how. She was always waiting for one of those lightbulb moments. Those moments rarely happen, except in cartoons. She wanted it to come easy, the way the plot of a story comes together at some point where everything is understood. But that’s not how life works. Life does have its own plot twists, but they are random and unpredictable.

She desperately wanted that moment of clarity, where everything made sense. But at the same time, she was content, for lack of a better word, in the not knowing. In the not knowing, she could stay content, although the not knowing was anything but. The word stagnant would be a more accurate description.

The sad little girl, anxious young woman, and now, the increasingly discontent middle-aged woman, had grown tired of this false sense of contentment. Something had to change. She needed to listen to her soul.

As she sat in her parents’ living room while she was home for the holidays, it became more clear than ever that her soul was always with her. She had to stop looking for it and let it find her. And find her it did. It had just been quiet for so long, just as she had been, hoping she would come to her senses sooner or later. Her soul always whispered to her, whether she heard it or not.

I’m certain that she heard it sometimes, she simply chose to ignore what it was trying to tell her. But now? Now, her soul was screaming at her, demanding her full attention. She couldn’t ignore it now even if she wanted to. It was revealing to her a glimpse of her future if she did not change.

As she observed her surroundings, feeling the heaviness and familiarity of discontent, her soul was practically shaking her by the shoulders, shouting, “This is not your path! This is not your destiny! But if you don’t get off your ass, then it shall be!” She knew this to be true. Mostly because nothing here resonated with her any longer.

These values, these beliefs, these truths… they were someone else’s. They weren’t hers. She didn’t have to keep them just because it’s what she had always known.

“Be true to yourself,” her soul now whispered to her. “You’ve spent far too long trying to please others, to follow someone else’s path. Do you like where it has led them? If so, by all means, follow it. You are currently heading that way, but you don’t like it, do you? You’ve seen where it leads. I know that’s not where you’re meant to be, you know it as well. Now that you’ve heard me, we’ll pave a new path. You may stumble, you may get stuck, but as long as you hear my whispers, you’ll find your way to wherever it is you wish to go.”

So here she is. Still sitting in her parents’ living room. Done with the illusion of living her life according to someone else’s philosophies. No longer will she look for herself in anyone but herself. Ready to peel away the purposely placed layers, carefully constructed by herself, to protect herself from all that she was never ready to face. How did she know she was ready? She felt it in her soul.

***

Jennifer Schaeffer is a word-lover and writer at heart. She especially enjoys writing haiku, but not your ordinary 5/7/5 syllable poem about nature. She finds it quite challenging to capture and convey raw, deep human emotions, and mold it into the 5/7/5 syllable format. She also finds it incredibly satisfying. Jennifer is on a path of self-discovery, deviating from the path that has been laid out before her, courtesy of society. She is well on her way.

***

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