Our Soul is telling us stories all the time. Often our body is the messenger and how we listen makes all the difference.
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My book, Love Lies Beneath: How Reclaiming My Soul Through Story Became The Secret To Healing My Heart is available in paperback and as a Kindle at Amazon.
In 1992, Thomas Moore published the first edition of Care of the Soul. In 2016, he released a 25th Anniversary Edition. In this unique book, readers are presented with a revolutionary approach to thinking about daily life—everyday activities, events, problems and creative opportunities—and a therapeutic lifestyle is proposed that focuses on looking more deeply into emotional problems and learning how to sense sacredness in even ordinary things.
Soul & Story
Welcome to Love Lies Beneath. I’m Zette Harbour. I’m glad to have you here. Do you feel like stress, fear or pain take up way too much of your energy? Have you wondered if you’ll ever be free of that heaviness of your past? Do you long to feel as good on the inside as your life looks on the outside?
In this podcast, you’ll discover the story of who you really are, and how to set yourself free. Together, we’re going to travel into those wild spaces of our inner landscapes, and dive deeply into the rich soil of our lives, reclaiming Soul through Story and healing our Hearts. My book, Love Lies Beneath is the map. Be sure to subscribe to this podcast so you don’t miss any of this enriching journey. And now, let the adventure begin.
In episode eight, we’ll be diving into the connection between soul and story more deeply. One of the first books I read, that transformed my relationship to the stories of my life was Care of the Soul by Thomas Moore. In his book, I discovered that I did not need to make an enemy of those difficult stories, those painful events, those unloving people. I didn’t have to find a way to either convince them that they were wrong, or prove to myself that I was right, that they were someone to be shunned, or conquered.
And this was incredibly liberating for me, because up until that time, all of that pain, all those people really seemed like the enemy of my life. They seemed like the reason that I had not found happiness and had no idea how to find happiness. In Care of the Soul, Thomas Moore explores how our stories, our voices of different parts of our soul, and because they are voices of our soul, they are all kindly, loving, caring, and there are precious treasures for me to keep within me and to hold safe and to cherish.
A Radical Shift
This was radically different from the teachings from my early life, which were very much about right and wrong, good and bad, evil, and godly, and that there was always a war between these two opposites. Care of the Soul demonstrated through each story, how it was possible for us to experience our lives as more of a garden rather than a battlefield. What I experienced was a sense that I didn’t have to see my life as a battlefield, where I was going to constantly be either the vanquished or the winner. And if I won, and that meant that I was the righteous, that I was right, that I had value, that I mattered. If I lost, if I had failed to vanquish my enemies, which were anything that seemed to prevent me from feeling happiness, from feeling love. If I failed, that meant I didn’t matter, and I was wrong, and I wasn’t loved. And even more, I must not be lovable.
I’m going to read the next section of my book, Love Lies Beneath. It’s called, Soul & Story.
Soul & Story. “Stories are an excellent way to care for the soul.” Thomas Moore.
In his book, Care of the Soul, author, Thomas Moore takes the reader on a journey through ancient mythology and contemporary life stories. For Moore, solving problems, and making the mind clean and tidy is not the goal. “Care of the soul sees another reality all together. It appreciates the mystery of human suffering and does not offer the illusion of a problem free life.”
Finding the Love that lies beneath my own stories, particularly the more troublesome ones, is my way of caring for soul. I dive into the depths not so I can never feel sadness or hurt ever again. My plunge into my underworld is so I can clear the path between that love that lies beneath and me. I do not expect never to feel let down or disappointed again. I understand that when troubles do appear, they are messengers calling me home.
Trauma & Illness
For a long time, the idea of welcoming home all of the stories of hurt and loss seemed overwhelming, unrealistic, and possibly dangerous. This made sense, since they really did feel like the undead clamoring at my door, always on the verge of breaking through. The truth is, it took a tremendous amount of effort to keep that door shut. In fact, it took more energy than the actual process of reclaiming the parts of my soul asking to be let in. Holding these outcasts at bay diverted vital physical, emotional, mental and spiritual power needed for my health and happiness.
Those zombies and dragons would use my body, and even illness, to get my attention if that were the only thing I would listen to. I do not mean to imply that I am to blame for any illness or disease I may have. Nor do I believe that others are to blame for their health conditions. Absolutely not. I am saying, that if I do not give my wounded, orphaned pieces my attention in a conscious way, they will resort to any means necessary.
I have seen this play out in stories of people with a life threatening illness. Often they have been on the brink of death or beyond, when they realized how essential loving all parts of themselves was. Anita Moorjani, best selling author of Dying To Be Me, is an excellent example of this. She was diagnosed with lymphoma and battled it for four years. She went into a coma, and her doctors told her husband that it was over for her. That is when she had a near death experience. Her experience in the realm beyond ordinary consciousness, awakened and transformed her completely. Anita describes deciding to return from death with complete certainty that her body would be healed through love. Not only that, she had a newly activated passion for helping others love themselves. As she says on her website, “one of the biggest lessons I learned was that if I had known how to love myself, I probably never would have gotten sick.”
In Care of the Soul, Thomas Moore talks about all the ways that soul finds a pathway to speaking to us. And one of those is through the body, particularly through illness. And this is not at all to have any sort of responsibility or blame on anyone who is experiencing an illness or a disease. It is merely that like any form of communication, if we can learn to hear, if we can learn to understand the language that our soul is using to speak to us, we are more likely to transform the outcome.
And by that I don’t mean the end of the illness, particularly, that is not up to any one of us to decide. It’s the actual communion between your conscious mind and your soul, where your conscious mind accepts the body as a messenger and with that is able to see, embrace, appreciate, and love her, and in doing so lets the soul know that she is being heard.
I want to leave you with this idea that in the coming days, check in with your body at least once a day, as many times throughout the day as you can, even if it means putting a note in your calendar on your phone, or setting a little alarm to go off. And say, how is my body feeling right now? What is she telling me? And listen without a need to solve or fix, only with the need to attend, to welcome, to be grateful for, and to love.
I’m Zette Harbour. Please subscribe to this podcast so you don’t miss a single step on this adventure. And reach out. You can find me at LoveLiesBeneath.com. There you will find show notes for each episode. And you can also find other resources and stories.
Feel free to connect with me and set up a virtual coffee date. I am here to listen to the voice of your soul, to hear your stories, to see you, embrace you, appreciate you, and love you. Go raibh míle maith agat!