I’ve been doing a lot of reading lately. There’s so much that I don’t know. When I have to facilitate a workshop, or lead a study group, or meet with someone to talk about specific issues of discrimination, more and more I notice how much learning I have yet to do.
Once I heard the expression “The more I know, the more I realize how much I don’t know.” I thought then, “What an interesting phrase”, but as I get older I can make it mine every time. I’ve always wanted to know why people did what they did; what motivated them to do this or that; how this or that can be done, etc. I am fascinated by learning and finding new things. I also realized how overwhelming it can be. Understanding what motivates people’s behavior, about why they react in ways that affect others, and even learning about laws that privilege some and discriminate others, can be very overwhelming. Learning can be fascinating, but at the same time it can be very painful.
Learning can be fascinating, but at the same time it can be very painful.
A couple of weeks ago our team had a work retreat. The facilitator wrote “soul care” on the whiteboard with a bright red cloud around it. “Soul Care.” Why it is important to take care of our souls? If we don’t do that, our soul becomes sad, discouraged, or even indifferent. Taking care of our souls is not just important for the work our team does, but it is for everybody. Sometimes I can find myself so busy with work, with family, with many responsibilities, with concerns and worries that a day, that a week or even a month can go by without taking the time I need to take care of my soul. How many times do I spend more time studying, researching, working, and not leaving the necessary time to worry about my soul? Too many lately.
Matthew 12:34 came to my mind when I was reflecting about this: “For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.” During my facilitation and teaching, and the conversations I have with others, can’t be my mind only speaking. The words that come out of my mouth must be accompanied with what’s inside my heart, my soul. My behavior, my reactions, my entire life needs to be accompanied with what’s inside my heart, my soul.
Years ago I used to take one day a month when I would retreat from everything and dedicate it to listening.
Years ago I used to take one day a month when I would retreat from everything and dedicate it to listening. Normally I did this in summer, my favorite season of the year. I would take long walks along with my faithful Kaiah just listening. How enriching this was!
I’m grateful for what the facilitator said during our work retreat. It was refreshing to be reminded of the importance of soul care.