Monday, June 9, 2008

What Makes Your Soul Sing?

Upon awaking in the mornings, I look to my bedside table and feel eager to turn over a page on the little inspirational book sitting there. My mother gave a copy to each of my sisters and me last Christmas. It's titled "Sisters" and has sweet pictures of little girls - presumably sisters - on each page, along with an inspirational thought for the day. Today's message: "Seek out those things that make your soul sing".
The author wasn't listed and I didn't find any reference to that adage during a search. It did, however, cause me to stop and ponder what truly makes my soul sing, though I admit it's not something I think about very often. I'm usually too absorbed in the routines and challenges of each day to be worried about whether my soul is singing or not, and perhaps that's a problem. Sometimes I'm reminded to take time for myself and do something that makes me happy - thank you Deanna - and it's usually only then I think about what I really want to be doing in my life.
I thought about that message all day long and wondered if I could figure out what truly makes my soul sing. In order to do that, I needed to understand what was meant by "....makes your soul sing". Without using any references, I supposed the meaning of that phrase to be similar to, if not the same as, 'Do what makes you truly happy', or 'Follow your passions'. What are our passions and what makes us happy? How can we go along doing every day things and not know or at least not be fully aware of what makes us happy? Surely each of us knows where her passions lie, right? I'm not always sure about mine.
We can say we're happy when certain things occur to brighten our lives for a moment or two - like birthday parties, shopping sprees, and holiday gatherings. But I don't think temporary (or superficial) happiness necessarily makes our souls sing. I feel happy when I watch a favorite show on TV, but when it's over, that's it. I don't feel any passion toward the show or the TV. I feel very happy when I see snow, but I don't long to have snow on the ground every day of the year, so I'm probably not passionate about snow either. I know there are things I like, but do I like them well enough to do them forever or to live with them forever? Do I need them in my life?
I think of a passion as something that one feels deeply that she wants to do or feels she needs to have in order to enhance her life. If that is a valid interpretation of a passion, then I know I have them. Being with my family members is one passion and I can't imagine life without them. Rescuing and caring for cats is another passion and one that I live every day of my life. I'm quite sure that I'm passionate about music too. If I couldn't enjoy music, my life would seem pretty dull and empty. I need music every day.
I've begun to think writing is also one of my passions. I don't for a minute pretend to be expressing anything profound and I'm not even sure that what I put down in print is worthy of reading, but I do love expressing thoughts and communicating. Those things are enhancing my life in ways I previously could not have imagined. It's very cathartic to let out the ideas that seem jumbled when they're swirling around in my head. Writing about them seems to clear my mind and my thoughts seem more organized when I see them in print.
I was very blesssed to have one of my stories published last year and the joy of that event caused me to want to write more and often. I've had the sweet encouragement of friends and family who have nudged me to express myself through the written word. I'm not confident that what I write is going to help or entertain anyone, but I've learned I need it in my life.
Writing helps preserve memories when I compose letters to my grandkids. I'll offer the letters to them at some future time, with the hope they'll be reminded of all the fun we had together during their growing up years. I recently began to keep this online journal, and I compose lyrics for use in contemporary worship. I dabble in poetry from time to time and have done so since grade school. So maybe I can safely say I'm passionate about writing.
I used to feel that sewing and crafting were my passions. Maybe they were at one time, because for years I wanted nothing more than to be able to lock myself in a remote cabin with a sewing machine, fabric, patterns, music, and my cats - and sew until my heart was content. I longed to be able to work on handcrafted things every single day, with no interruptions, though that never occured. Those desires changed over time, and I no longer felt as strongly about crafting as I once did. But do our passions actually change? I'm very sure they can. My passion for crafting certainly waned, or was it that I wasn't as passionate about it as I'd originally thought?
Once we are able to identify some of the things that make our souls sing, we should incorporate them into our daily lives. If we can make each day better, or more tolerable, by doing a few things that make us truly happy, then what are we waiting for? Let's allow our souls to sing!
Do you know what makes your soul sing?

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