The Soul as a Bridge

For several years, I have been reading a book that I love. I read it and re-read it. I return to it moments of despair and confusion. “Care of the Soul” by Thomas Moore is probably, hands down, my favorite book there is. I always get something new out of it.

He talks about what Soul is and how we can nurture it. Yet, I can never seem to find a concrete definition for what he thinks it is. I think that is intentional on his part. He doesn’t want there to be a definition for soul, because it isn’t something with boundaries. It is whatever we think and feel and know it to be. We can find in anything¬†– a leaf, a friend, a job, a past-time, a place, a meal… There is no limit to this thing called Soul.

{I like that.}

But among his writings on Soul, I have not found this particular idea that I have right now.

Soul, as a bridge.

Recently, I have had so many thoughts and ideas about my mind and my heart. They are so very different and, in some ways, they seem fractured. If the two could be a complete circle, then mine have divided into hemispheres. I feel a struggle, an urge, to draw them back together. I want to reconcile them, but they have their own agendas. I wouldn’t say they are at war exactly. That idea seems extreme. Yet, the emotional fallout and turmoil? That feels somewhat reminiscent of war to me. Rather, it is much like the time following war.

Soldiers return home to find they are welcome or unwelcome. While they were gone, time was passing, but in their minds, while sitting at the battle front, the idea of home was standing still. Home became a refuge in their minds. They grasped it and held on for dear life as a coping mechanism for all the turmoil in front of them. All the while their home was evolving and changing, designing itself to be a world without them.

The is the disconnection I feel between my heart and my mind. My mind has been off fighting battles only to return and find that my heart has a much different landscape than it did before. The two had once loved each other – inseparable, a perfect circle. Now, they awkwardly fumble to co-exist, dancing side-by-side.

Somehow, there needs to be a bridge where they can meet and sort it out. I think that bridge is Soul. My soul speaks the language of both entities. It is the common ground. Yet, it is a weak muscle I have rarely exercised in my life. Like a small child, it desperately wants to reunite its parents, but has no idea how.

My soul needs to grow, to mature. It must be tended, pruned, prodded and watered. What does this process look like and how can use this muscle to pull the various hemispheres into alignment?

My soul is the place where both things can be true. It is the place where logic and feeling meet. It is both/and. Contradicting elements can dwell without harm. Yet, I wonder how.

My mind holds fiercely to hardwiring from my youth. I cannot let it go. My soul says this is acceptable, instead of infantile.

My heart evolves and expands to hold all of the differences and dynamics I have seen in life. My soul says this is peaceful and loving, instead of false and devoid of absolute-truth.

My mind believes there is a god. My heart says he cannot be or he is cruel. These two things, they stand on the bridge of my soul, side-by-side. Both/And.

A beautiful scene – two post-war lovers.


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