Do you believe that you came here intentionally or by happenstance? For a particular reason, or with no agenda at all?
Both of these questions—Who are you? and Why are you here?—are central to the human experience. Yet apart from history’s great philosophers, theologians, and spiritual leaders, most of humanity seems to roll through generation after generation just living, without any interest in solving these riddles—or being too busy with simple survival to be concerned with them.
People everywhere seem to be running in emotional circles, trying to figure out how to make sense of it all without addressing the riddles. They want to fix themselves and jump-start their lives to end the blind monotony of their existence. They tend to focus on finding a solution to the immediate problem that they think will make everything better, rather than looking at who they are as a whole and how all of their beliefs, feelings, and thoughts have led them to where they are now.
While the answers to the questions above may not seem to have much to do with whether we survive, they will have everything to do with how we survive. Through the exploration of our reason for being, we will find a deeper understanding of any current dilemma or unhappiness we are facing.
Life’s Agenda: Bigger Than You Think
I certainly can’t imagine that we are on this planet simply to eat, work, and sleep. And we aren’t here just to procreate and keep humanity going, because if we were, all of us would have children. Why, then, are we here?
I believe it’s for a much larger reason.
Some say that the human body is a vehicle for the Soul; that each one of us is a Soul that has a body, a spiritual being that has become physical, not simply a physical entity. I agree with them. And if all of us believed that, many of us would have to admit that we’ve had it backward for hundreds of years. We would have to question life at the deepest level regarding love, religion, sex, politics—all of it. We’d have to question ourselves at the deepest level.
Get The Latest From InnerSelf
Our reason for existence would be shaken up so vigorously that the coordinates of our current understanding would change entirely. We would no longer be able to get away with preoccupying ourselves with our physical appearance or the amount of money we make. We would no longer be able to self-justify inflicting pain on others. We would no longer feel that we had to hide behind masks to protect our True Selves.
If we were to truly believe that we are all Souls living through a human body, we would be deeply motivated to treat others with kindness, look them in the eyes, knowing that they were one of us. We would have to feel.
But the beliefs about who we are aren’t collective. Neither are the beliefs about why we’re here. And given millions of diverse and scattered beliefs about these matters, it’s no wonder we feel separate from each other, and so often find ourselves at war.
“What’s it all about, Alfie?”
Knowing this and seeing it throughout life, the first question of anyone exploring the idea of the Soul would be: Why would the Soul even desire to come to physicality? Why would it choose to engage in such an experience?
Like so many of us, I, too, have pondered these questions, wondering what the point of life really is and why we’re all here in the world. My mind has long been serenading my Soul with the longstanding inquiry, “What’s it all about, Alfie?”
The answer that always sings back to me is that the Soul has taken the journey to physicality so that it may experience all the daily joys and challenges, elations and anxieties, tears and laughter that are part of human life, knowing that these are its greatest opportunities to feel what it already knows.
What it knows is that its natural state is oneness with all of life. It is clear that there’s no separation between it and anything else. But it cannot feel oneness outside the physical, because outside the physical there is only conceptualization. Only through physical expression is Concept turned into Experience.
This then, is its agenda. And the quickest, most effective way for the Soul to experience oneness is for us, its physical counterpart, to fully f e e l whatever we are confronting in any moment—joy, fear, love, sadness (any and every emotion, not only the ones we have deemed good or positive)—then to fully e x p r e s s those feelings (to ourselves, others, or life), and finally, to combine those two experiences in a way that allows us to authentically c o n n e c t with others through the feelings we have identified and expressed. This becomes a Sacred Formula. It is a process that can be articulated and activated, by which the Soul’s objective may be achieved.
The first two parts of the formula (Feel, Express) place you in touch with your True Self. They fuel the last part of the formula (Connect), which introduces the most authentic you to others. It is this connection with other human beings that produces our largest and most impactful experience of oneness, causing us to realize that, in fact, oneness is not theoretical, but actual.
This begs the ultimate question: If our Soul is here to experience itself experiencing oneness through Feeling, Expressing, and Connecting, shouldn’t we allow ourselves to do that more fully? What’s holding us back?
For many, lack of courage.
Specifically, Soul Courage.
Does Anyone Actually Lack Soul Courage?
Most people live in fear. And what most people are afraid of is exactly what the Soul wishes to experience. Namely, feelings. Most of us have a generous amount of physical courage and mental courage, but Soul Courage may be another matter.
Soul Courage is about bringing who you really are to your life—your instinctual wisdom and endless curiosity, your feelings and the expression of them, your wonder and vulnerability, your joy and pain, your fear and excitement—all that you carry inside from before you were made physical, and all that you have picked up along the way on this human journey.
Soul Courage is about daring to be and own all of yourself without shame or judgment, apology or excuses, hiding or hindering. It’s about meeting your feelings with gentle grace, expressing them with absolute freedom, and connecting with total presence.
It’s about bravely being all that you encompass—body, mind, and Soul. Feeling into the living of your life, speaking your truth, singing your song, and revealing your true nature to yourself, to others, and to life.
And here’s the best part: You already have Soul Courage.
Babies are born with Soul Courage. It is not even experienced by them as courage, because it doesn’t occur to a baby not to behave naturally, expressing every feeling. It is only after years of being pressured by life not to do so that children begin cloaking their feelings (sometimes even from themselves).
For much of our younger years it seems that we all stumble along thinking that life is about how much we have, what we look like, and who is on our arm. I say, “stumble along” because most of the time we don’t even realize that we are living that way. We’re caught in the day-to-day patterns of unconscious living, thinking that life is about what we are doing. That is, until something happens in our life (usually it’s a major loss of some kind) that cracks us wide open, and we start thinking and feeling in a different way.
It’s not that we suddenly turn into walking philosophers, poets, or hippies, but simply that we are able to look at life with a new perspective, having created experiences of such pain and joy for ourselves. We finally see clearly that, trite as it may sound, there really is “more to life than meets the eye.” There’s something more going on here than just what is happening!
The Choice Being Made by All of Us
My childhood was filled with love and joy, but my actual turning point, the moment of my life’s most important realization, came as the result of pain.
For you, perhaps it was also pain. Possibly the result of a heartbreaking divorce, a near-death experience, being rescued from drug or alcohol addiction, or the departure of someone you deeply love. It could have also been the result of a joyful experience, such as receiving an unexpected inheritance, meeting the love of your life, or having children.
However you come to your life’s most important realization (that life was created for us to complete the Soul’s agenda and not simply the agenda of the body or the mind), once embraced, you are forever changed.
And this—this—is what gives all of us the desire for even more connection. We (finally!) now have an unwritten and unspoken understanding of it all. We now know what the Soul has always known: We are here on the earth to experience our True Selves. We have a larger agenda than “survival” or “success.” We are in alignment with the Soul at last.
It is this clarity that blooms the courage to proactively reach into ourselves, and then reach out to others from that place.
Many of us have limited what we allow ourselves to express by what mood we’re in or who we feel comfortable with—conducting ourselves according to how “appropriate” we feel it is to be authentic with this or that person, or in a particular situation.
In a sense, we’re measuring out our authenticity based on how much we feel is suitable in each circumstance and proper with each person.
Even when we’re completely alone we are often not willing to share ourselves with our Selves. We desperately seek to distract ourselves from any feeling of inner connection, using one thing or another: watching TV, browsing the Internet, texting excessively, overeating, smoking, or even over-thinking. These (and more) are our Resistance Techniques—anything to engage our mind elsewhere and escape our emotions.
Remembering Our Gift to Give and Receive
Ask yourself: How much face time am I willing to grace others with? Will I actually look them in the eyes and really see them? And will my eyes rest with theirs long enough to allow them to really see me? How open will my ears be to truly listen to others with compassion? How will I use my mouth to acknowledge another through the words that I speak, or with simply a warm smile?
There is no metric system for the Soul, and likewise, no measurements of big and small when it comes to courage of the Soul. Asking yourself how much of your essence you are willing to share is not an attempt to gauge your participation in life, but rather a reminder of the gift that is always available for you, through you, to give and receive.
Is any of this important? Is your sharing with others somehow a “key” to life? Do any of these questions, and their answers, really matter?
©2015 by Tara-jenelle Walsch. All Rights Reserved.
Reprinted with permission of the publisher: Rainbow Ridge Books.
Soul Courage -- Watch What Happens
by Tara-jenelle Walsch.
About the Author
Tara-jenelle Walsch is the founder and spirit behind the Soulebrate greeting card company and the Soulcialize personal development program. She speaks publicly about building emotional awareness and the wonders of living soul-first through the Soulcialize concept, which she believes creates soul connection and has the ability to enrich the world at large. Find out more at soulcourage.com.