Your Soul and Where to Find It

We’re soulful creatures, aren’t we?

The eye of the Beluga whale. Eric Kilby/Flickr

If the sight of the blue skies fills you with joy, if a blade of grass springing up in the fields has power to move you, if the simple things of nature have a message that you understand, rejoice, for your soul is alive.

Whether we have a soul is an age-old question. Most of the world’s religions and social sciences are centered around answering it. Yet, we still don’t know, and the question is still open.

We’d like to think that we have a soul. Good for us, a nice pat on the back. But do we, really, have a soul? Let’s find out.

Things that make us soulless

Selfishness, being self-centered, egotism, narcissism, being manipulative, disrespectful, harmful towards others, anything that makes us lose sight of the fact that we live in society.

Although some of the above characteristics are necessary for survival, going overboard with any of them is what creates the problem. Displaying an excess level of selfishness, for example, will lead the possessor of it to be disliked, to say the least. It also robs the others of the social space that they should rightfully occupy.

Things that make us soulful

Sharing with others, caring for others, being of service to others, being humble, act with dignity, integrity, and humility, being creative, productive, loving.

Above all is not imposing ourselves onto others. Our current social climate thinks negatively about the above characteristics, as being weak, meek, indecisive. The truth is, not everyone has a need nor drive to dominate. Some of us are introverts, non-confrontational, happy with what we’ve got. We should normalize being ordinary/average again, instead of pushing everybody towards those superficial goals. More people would be happy that way.

Ways to lose our soul

  • Every time we act as egotists and narcissists, part of our soul is lost.
  • Every time someone gains control over aspect(s) of your life, part of your soul goes with it.
  • Every time we are indifferent to someone else’s suffering, part of it is lost.
  • Every time we cheat and take advantage of someone, part of our soul is chipped away.
  • Every time we’re greedy.
  • Every time we’re impatient with others, thinking that we have a right to be that way.
  • Every time we brag about our achievements, possessions, lifestyle.

Ways to get it back… while you still can

  • Extend yourself to others, be of service. If you’re in a good position to help, do so now. Yes, social entanglements are messy, but they’re also rewarding. Your soul will rejoice.
  • Be mindful of other human beings. Don’t ever think that you’re something special, better than others. Yes, you may have achieved more, have more money, have better living conditions than the average person in your community, but none of that necessarily puts you above anybody else.
  • Learn, educate yourself. Be curious about things that surround you. This is our only chance to examine this wondrous thing called life, don’t squander it on pettiness, self-centeredness, narcissism.
  • Question yourself about actions you take every day. Think of it as a Rotary “4-Way Test.”

“Of the things we think, say or do:
1. Is it the TRUTH?
2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?
4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?”

Having a soul closely aligns with our humanity. Being human should mean having a soul. Unfortunately, current public discourse is pushing us towards selfishness, greed, soullessness.

But, we don’t have to accept it. We can choose to act with integrity, dignity, humility, and respect towards others.

It’s very easy and convenient to find excuses to be soulless. Yes, we are all busy, we feel rushed, pressured. But, if we wait to be all content, satisfied, happy, and then take care of our soul, it may be too little, too late. Our life is a one-off event, unique, unpredictable, unrepeatable. It’s not neatly organized in a linear time scale, according to our to-do list. Being a decent human being while you’re living this life is probably the most important aspect of it.

It used to be that people were dependent on each other, for our bare physical survival. It’s a good thing that we no longer have that dependency, and that we can live as individuals, if we choose to do so. But, we overcorrected, in this process of gaining our independence, so we isolated ourselves into small solitary islands. Now we think about society in abstract forms, and it’s going to come back to bite us. In a word, we’re delusional, in thinking that society doesn’t exist/doesn’t matter.

Whether we have a soul is still an open question. Being a decent human isn’t — it is a worthy goal to pursue.

If you like this story, please sign up for my infrequent newsletter. Thank you!



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store

“The only person you can’t learn from is yourself” — Anonymous