I had someone ask me recently, “How is it with your soul?” I said, “Okay I guess” because I wasn’t sure what my soul actually was. I knew that probably wasn’t an honest answer, but I needed to do a little research on the topic. Turns out a lot of people don’t know how to define the soul because I asked around!
The definition of soul that I liked best is the part of a person that is not physical and lasts eternally as a person experiences death. The soul is essentially the essence of who we are. The body is obviously our outermost and visible part, and by it, we exist and experience things in the physical world. Our soul, though unseen, is just as real. It is made up of your mind, emotions, and will. In our world, we exert most of our energy on satisfying the body’s appetites and almost none to the soul, which requires just as much, if not more, attention.
Here are some things that you can do to nourish your soul using the SOUL REST acronym.
S – Self-awareness
If you don’t understand your true self, you lack baseline knowledge that is essential to caring for your soul. It is important to understand your personality, including your struggles, strengths, weaknesses, thoughts, beliefs, motivations, and emotions. Do the work to elevate your self-awareness through taking assessments, doing self-reflection, gathering feedback from others, and even possibly engaging in counseling.
O – Obedience
Have you ever had a strong feeling that you shouldn’t do something but did it anyway? If so, it probably didn’t go so well because it was likely the Holy Spirit pointing you in another direction. This causes turmoil and isn’t good for your soul. To be obedient, we need to live by faith and try to discern and follow God’s will in making decisions.
U – Unbusy
Being busy is often seen as a badge of honor in our society. However, to care for your soul, you have to give it the rest it requires so that it doesn’t become fatigued. It’s important to make time for things like spending time with a friend, going for a walk, taking a nap, reading, unplugging from technology, and participating in hobbies that you enjoy.
L – Love
We are commanded to love God and love our neighbor as ourselves. And notice, it says “love yourself” so show yourself some TLC and compassion. Nurturing your relationships with the Lord and with others in your life will have a definite positive impact on your soul.
R – Release
Sometimes you have to let things go to care for your soul. That may include relationships, jobs, and control! In addition, you will need to release some of the other strongholds (negative mindsets) that you have accumulated in your life like comparison, people-pleasing, guilt, shame, and more.
E – Eat Well and Exercise
To nurture your soul, you need to care for your body, the vessel that carries it. If you eat well and exercise, you will feel better and be in a better place to serve God and others.
S – Solitude
Your soul suffers if you don’t make some time to be alone, intentionally unplug, and experience God. It’s even better if you do it in nature, God’s beautiful creation!
T – Thankful
Practicing gratitude for the positive things you have in your life is very important. Humans have a proclivity to go negative and being grateful for what you have can actually help rewire your brain to be more positive. Keeping a gratitude journal and writing down three things you are thankful for each day can be helpful.
So, go forth and put these strategies to the test to move from hot mess to soul rest!