Listen To The Soundtrack Of Your Soul
I tend to create a soundtrack for my life. You know how this works. You hear a song on the radio or playlist and instantly you are struck with emotion. A time. A place. A person. You feel what you felt then. (Ice, Ice Baby = eighth grade! Anyone?).
Well, your soul has a soundtrack, even if you’ve never recognized it as such. It could be a playlist of pain. Perhaps chronic stress, like static you can’t tune out. The low hum of white noise akin to anxiety. Maybe there is silence where you are aching to hear something, anything.
Listen because your soul is speaking.
I wasn’t listening to my soul. It was Christmas 2013, and I was completely resisting the fact that my parents were newly separated after nearly forty years of marriage. Relationships in my family of origin were swiftly shifting, and I was left confounded and wounded. Then, unexpectedly, days before Christmas, my thirty-one-year-old cousin passed away. Everything felt dark and irreparable during a season in which we had always celebrated and experienced peace and joy. I was overwhelmed with emotional pain, but I couldn’t name it as such. I would have told you I was sad, maybe depressed, depending on the day. Looking back, I knew I was confused, scared, uncertain, exhausted, and facing chronic stress, but I couldn’t see beyond the burning emotion in the moment.
On one of those cold, dark December nights I was forced to begin paying attention to my soul. Having just left the hotel where my grandma and aunt were staying for the funeral, I was driving myself home. Knowing the roads like the back of my hand, I was driving on autopilot and turned up the music in an attempt to drown out my weighty thoughts.
The next thing I knew, I was pounding on the steering wheel and screaming at the top of my lungs—guttural screaming (revisiting this moment now still evokes emotion). After my private tirade concluded, I sat still in shock.
No matter how loud or languid, your soul is playing a tune. Whether joyful or despondent, it’s telling a tale. It’s offering precious information that is elemental for change. It’s time we stopped turning down the volume, skipping to the next song, or completely zoning out while a pain playlist is set to repeat. Now is the time to begin listening. Today is the day to start truly paying attention to the soundtrack of your soul.
Growing up, my dad taught me that “I am a spirit, I have a soul, and I live in a body.” This gave me a wonderful framework, which I’m grateful for; yet it’s only now that I’m beginning to understand the differentiation of the spirit, soul, and body.
Differentiation and connectedness, that is. All components work together, and each affects the others.
Your body is your physical nature, the exterior. It is the structure of the home in which your spirit and your soul reside. Your spirit is the eternal you—the true you. It is your God-breathed life according to Genesis 2:7. Our soul, often confused or sometimes used interchangeably with spirit, is comprised of our mind, will, and emotions.
Scripture says that in Christ we become new creatures, meaning our spirit is instantaneously made new (2 Corinthians 5:17). Yet it is our soul (our mind, will, and emotions) that needs constant renewing (Ephesians 4:23–24 AMP). The renewing is what transforms our lives (Romans 12:2).
The word soul is often used to describe who a person really is—the nonphysical part, their spiritual nature. Often “soul” is used in the same manner as “heart” or “spirit.” We have to learn to listen to our soul. Pay attention to it.
Perhaps you are already in the process of paying attention and you have an idea of what your soul is trying to tell you. Paying attention is a process. Observing takes time.
And it starts with simply being still. It begins with looking around and taking in all your surroundings. Noticing what’s been neglected, what hasn’t been working, what you’ve been avoiding.
Let’s take a moment to breathe deeply and be still. In this pause, hope is available if we will ask the Spirit to flood our hearts, the center of our beings, with light. This is not elusive, wishful hope. This is a hope we are called to, a hope that we can know and understand.
Describe a time when you needed to be listening to your soul and hearing from the Lord.
What did you do? What was the outcome? What did you learn about God?
Father, may I hear what You want to say to me through my soul.