On soles, souls, and Soul—and overcoming stress

“They cut the souls up into little pieces!” the social media post proclaimed enthusiastically.

It was more humorous than nefarious—a homophone error in a description of a recycling program for the soles of worn-out shoes. Still, once I’d read it, I couldn’t get the thought of cut-up souls out of my head, because it felt weirdly relatable.

For some time, various responsibilities had been pulling me in so many different directions at once that I felt totally fragmented. They were all worthwhile activities I enjoyed being involved with, but my breaking point seemed near. Even trying to figure out how to fix the situation felt overwhelming.

Various responsibilities had been pulling me in so many different directions at once that I felt totally fragmented.

Then another thought came: “Capitalize it!”

This seeming non sequitur couldn’t have been more relevant. It got me thinking about the concept of soul in a more expansive way. In my study of Christian Science, I’d learned about Soul with a capital S—that is, divine Soul, another name for God.

This divine Soul, being God, is supremely powerful. In fact, it’s the only Soul that truly exists (dare I say ... the sole Soul). And it’s infinite. It’s unbreakable. It’s entirely good. It’s pure Spirit. It can never be strained, overtaxed, or splintered.

Mary Baker Eddy, a follower of Christ Jesus and the Discoverer of Christian Science, puts it this way in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: “Soul is synonymous with Spirit, God, the creative, governing, infinite Principle outside of finite form, which forms only reflect” (p. 71).

But what does God’s nature as Soul have to do with us, or our everyday lives?

Everything, actually. It gets to the heart of what we are, what we’re capable of. Because it’s Soul, God, that creates and maintains our very essence and individuality. Not as mortals doomed to a volatile existence, or even as mortals with some sort of spiritual element inside us waiting to be released. Our true nature isn’t mortal at all—we’re the purely spiritual reflection of the Divine. The one infinite Soul expresses itself in us.

This means that our being is, like God’s, uninterrupted. There is no break or pause in the Soul-derived joy, strength, wisdom, goodness, and peace that are the very core of what we are. It’s like a sun that never sets. In fact, Science and Health gives this spiritual definition for sun: “The symbol of Soul governing man,—of Truth, Life, and Love” (p. 595). 

Embracing this spiritual reality goes a long way in enabling us to feel Soul’s governance more tangibly.

As I prayed to know more about Soul with a capital S, the stress that had been weighing me down lifted. 

That’s what I experienced. As I prayed to know more about Soul with a capital S, the stress that had been weighing me down lifted. Over the ensuing weeks, I found that I was able to accomplish everything I needed to, on time and with peace of mind. Ultimately, through continued prayer, I felt led to step down from a particular role, and inspiration came about how and when to do so graciously, without leaving others in the lurch.

At every moment, we can embrace wholeheartedly the healing, restorative light of Soul that shines on and within us—constantly, infinitely, and wholly.

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