Ok, I’m going to be corny here. I’m going to suggest something a little silly – to make you think.
We just started the New Year, and most people will have either made or avoided making resolutions. Usually, these are related to physical, external, or feel-good things, such as losing weight, staying organized, getting a better job, or being happy.
Instead of resolutions, I want to offer something different…. re-SOUL-lutions.
Yes, how about re-souling yourself this year? I came across a quote recently that may help explain. It was written by St. Augustine in about 400 AD. in a work known as On Christian Doctrine In Four Books (emphasis added).
“Wherefore, since it is our duty to fully enjoy the truth which lives unchangeably, and since the triune God takes counsel in this truth for the things which He has made, the soul must be purified that it may have the power to perceive that light, and to rest in it when it is perceived. And let us look upon this purification as a kind of journey or voyage to our native land. For it is not by change of place that we can come nearer to Him, who is in every place, but by the cultivation of pure desires and virtuous habits.”
In other words, we are meant to experience joy through a connection with God’s truth and light, but we can’t receive it, perceive it, or “rest in it” (a lovely thought, yes?) if there is gunk in the way. Getting the gunk out is a sacred journey to our true nature.
What must be purified? Obvious things: addictions; less obvious: negative thinking, fear and pride, self-pity; and the most subtle: unconscious habits that keep you from accessing your inner power. You can identify unconscious programming by noticing when your buttons get pushed, when you struggle with relationships or work issues, and when you feel stuck, or “down and out”. Naming is step one. Doing something about it is next, and most important.
Purification is a process. It takes time, attention, and effort, but isn’t joy, truth, and light worth it?
For ways to explore purification: Serenity, Power, and Freedom