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May 25, 2024

When Our Soul is Tired: 3 Ways to Set Down the Struggle.

 

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“Why need we weep over parts of our life? The whole of it calls for tears…” ~ Seneca
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In a world where most of us view people’s lives through bite-sized pieces on social media, it can be easy to forget that life is difficult for everyone.

Of course, the degree of difficulty ebbs and flows throughout one’s lifetime, and privilege is real.

Not everything is as it seems—even salt looks like sugar.

Every now and again, I remind myself that regardless of what I’m going through, others are more fortunate than me and I am more fortunate than others. And when I get sucked into the vortex that the online world excels at—thinking anyone is living their “ideal life”—I remind myself perfection doesn’t exist.

The reality is life is no walk in the park. And not seeing someone’s darkest moments doesn’t mean they don’t exist.

Truly living requires us to experience the full range of human emotions. People rarely speak or write openly about the struggles most of us face at some point in life. So many of us walk around completely disconnected from ourselves without any awareness of what’s happening in our bodies from the neck down.

If we’ve done a decent amount of personal or self-development, we’ve likely realised that life rises and falls, just like the waves in the ocean. And when we’re embodied and connected with our mind, body, and spirit, we realise that our soul is simply tired during certain phases and stages.

What is the soul?

Before we explore what living with a tired soul feels like, let’s attempt to define the soul, which has fascinated me for several years. Most people generally accept we all have a soul, but defining the soul is complex, as doing so inevitably draws on various philosophical, religious, and spiritual perspectives.

I’ve always considered the soul the essence or core of our being; it’s the light or spark that lives on once the physical body dies. The soul transcends the boundaries of the physical world we live in.

Like most things in life, I suspect the experience of housing a tired soul may differ from person to person. I am not referring to physical fatigue here; I’m pointing to a weariness that permeates the very fabric of our being, leaving us feeling drained, hollow, and disconnected.

When our soul is tired, the world is drained of its colours. We may question everything, and even the simplest tasks feel like burdens too heavy to bear.

When our soul is tired, life can seem incredibly ho-hum.

And yes, I am writing from experience.

How to nourish and heal a tired soul.

A tired soul demands that we trust in the variability of life and that this, too, shall pass—at precisely the right time and not a moment before. We cannot rush this process.

This is a time to slow down, listen, and honour the whispers of our weary soul. While I find it’s best to cease all expectations when our soul is aching, we may find that beneath the weariness lies a wellspring of resilience that carries us through even the darkest of times.

Life can be a daily grind when our souls are tired. During these times, it’s helpful to savour the seemingly tiny moments that, upon reflection, are beautiful, even though we often take them for granted.

We are all different, but here are some things that provide me respite when I am on struggle street:

>> Making a conscious effort to take in my surroundings.

Walking and going to the gym are among my daily non-negotiables. I need both to function well. During difficult times, I make a point to look around and sink into the things that make me smile: watching cute dogs chasing a ball in the park, noticing how a tree’s colour has changed with the seasons, and feeling my feet hitting the grass or pavement. I often remind myself that movement is not a chore—it’s a privilege.

>> Doubling down on routines.

I function incredibly well on routine. Daily routines (within reason, of course) remove my decision fatigue. I don’t have to choose to walk, go to the gym, and write daily; each of these tasks have become like brushing my teeth. They are staples. All thought goes into doing each actively rather than choosing whether to do them.

Find two or three things you enjoy and make them part of your daily routine without question. Some ideas include journaling/writing, listening to music, reading before bed, drawing, and savouring your favourite foods.

>> Taking the pressure off. 

We are often our own harshest critics. I was on a Zoom call recently with a friend, and we spoke extensively about purpose and legacy. At one point, they explained the ways they feel they “should” be giving back to those around them and chipping away at what they believe is their mission. I paused and blurted out these words, almost like a reflex: The mission is to be happy.”

For all the thoughts that deep thinkers and ambitious people like myself put into life, I wonder whether our role here is far simpler than we lead ourselves to believe: to be happy. End of story.

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