The Soul Needs Space

Gina Butz rest 5 Comments

the soul needs space

photo by John Mark Arnold

I knew a girl in high school with a fish tank shaped like a giant bubble gum machine. It had the added feature of bubbles which rose from the bottom. She was not in the habit of cleaning the tank, so over time the water grew murkier and murkier. As it did, her fish started to do an amazing trick – it could do flips! This entertained her until the water became so dark she couldn’t see him, so she unplugged the tank in order to clean it. When she did, the fish floated to the surface. He hadn’t been doing tricks – his dead body had been hitting air bubbles.

Sometimes my soul feels like that fish.

In my quest to keep my soul well, I am aware of the days when it has no space. I surround my soul in activity and noise. I do too much. When I finally take a moment to rest, I gravitate toward a screen – Facebook, TV, something to occupy me. Sometimes I do the screens while I’m doing other things (multi-tasking at its best! worst!). For a time, it’s ok. I can keep swimming. But if I live too often like that, the constant movement drowns my soul.

Our souls need space. Space in the form of silence, solitude, rest. An expanse in which to breathe and stretch and feel.

I know why I avoid it. Sometimes I don’t want to hear what my soul is saying. It feels empty. I find dissatisfaction, loneliness, confusion, or grief. But the soul needs to be seen. How can I show my soul to others if I can’t even see it myself? The water is just too murky.

I have some habits I am trying to hold to in my soul keeping endeavor. Less television. Shutting down the computer. Quiet walks with no phone, no music, just me and the pup. Sitting when I could be doing. It’s hard to not move toward the distractions, to just sit in the space, but I’m finding it’s good.

Wide open space. It’s what my soul needs.

Does your soul have space? 


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Comments 5

  1. I know that I don’t comment often, but I still really enjoy reading your writing. You challenge the “everydayness” of my thinking. I find both tears and laughter in your writing. Thank you.

    1. I’m glad Marilyn-timely for me too! I’ve let myself get too comfortable over vacation filling my extra space with screen time.

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