As time moves through us and we move through time, there are cases when the world around us leaves us desolate and hollow. It is at these times I have noticed more often than not, I can hear my heart longing for something more in this life. While I cannot exactly name this inner harkening towards timelessness, I desperately want to chase after it; sometimes, I find that it is calling me towards something specific, and other times, it is beckoning me towards greater ideas. What I know about these times in my life for sure is this: I walk to find myself surrounded by darkness and uncertainty, and I walk alone through the shrouded forest of my soul.
I believe the path to discover the inner secret of my soul is necessary for me to appreciate the outer life; I go deep inside myself, not only to find new treasures of my inner self as I grow and see the world, but to give my soul new memories, new items to cherish, and more people to keep. While I walk through the valleys of my shame, the hovels of my courage, over the mountaintops of my pride, and around the rivers of laughter, all bubbling with life’s goodness and pain inside of my mind, I am able to contemplate my time. The past, the present, and the future become more of a weaving of a dreamscape as it sparks to life and grows, ferreting out new places for my curiosity to seek, spreading out new canvases for my creativity to play on, and growing wide branches for my carefreeness and ambition to conquer.
Soul searching begins inside with the recognition of despair and trouble with the outer world, and the maturity to look for hope and understanding despite the temptation to give up. While the rest of the world weights itself against the human spirit, the soul caves in, not to collapse, but to turn itself from a metaphorical lump of coal into a diamond. As things around you start to grow darker – whether it is from pain, suffering, frustration, or loss – you will be able to see more of the light inside of you as it gathers together in the center, like the full moon lighting up the night sky. It is at this time when you must continue on, moving past the cynicism and disillusionment to a higher level of hope, purpose, and meaning.
While this might seem just pretty imagery as you walk along on an inner journey to the heart of your being, this is also backed up by psychology. When you grow up and begin to see things around the world differently, and you happen to notice more of the fear and hate, you set yourself on an adventure much like the path of character development in a novel: you have a problem, and begin climbing up the ‘rising action’ towards a decision which will determine the outcome of the character arc.
Once you set out on your inner journey of soul searching and self-contemplation, you take it one step at a time; as you go further up and further in, you notice that all around you is darkness, so thick it is hard to see past it.
But you continue on, resolved, and you push past it, to find the light of truth
This experience, according to psychology, is the same path of a crisis, where values are tested and, if found wanting, redesigned and realigned with the soul’s priorities. Once you find yourself at such a place, it could also mean that it is time to grow a new priority; plant the seed in your heart, and water it, care for it, nourish it, and let it grow.
Your soul is constantly barraged by the world and its many changes, like water lapping on the rocks. The water can erode the rocks, but it can smooth out the edges and leave them clean and shining in the sunlight. Your soul changes and grows, and as it is pruned, more fruit comes from the places we seek to become. When it comes, that seed in your heart will bloom into blossoms and beauty, and you will be able to enjoy it yourself, inside yourself, as well as reflect that to other people in the world.
The soul needs the inner life understood as it interacts with the outer. No life can be fully experienced without a journey into its dark corners of the mind and the secret passages of the soul. Being happy all the time turns out to be too shallow; your emotional range of sorrow and sacrifice, underdeveloped, leaves the heart with withered roots and poor support, leaving the echo of your life’s imprint upon the world incomplete, like a piano only half-played, or a tree without flowers.
Lourry Legarde is an Arkansas based Artist specializing in Fine Art Photography, Impressionist Landscapes, Modern Abstract Art, Distressed Fine Art, Color Schemes Abstract, Horse Paintings, Digital Impressionism Oil Palette Knife Paintings, Autumn Impressionism Paintings, Kitchen and Wine Art and more!