The secret places of our souls where no stranger intermeddles

When nothing seems to be going well for us, the easiest thing to do is blame it on our lack of external support. 

Surely it must be the people and the environment and the surroundings in which we operate that are the causes of our discontent. But once we accrue enough savings to abandon this soul deadening job and move to the country and get married and open a farm and find a new community, then fulfillment, instead of being elusive and arriving fleetingly, will finally reign supreme. 

Sounds idyllic. And based on our calculations, it will only take six more years of sucking it up, and happiness will be here before we know it. 

But what happens if, just when we get there, there disappears? What happens if we discover we have been actually been holding our happiness hostage this whole time? 

Metallica sang it best:

Then it comes to be that the soothing light at the end of your tunnel is just the freight train coming your way. 

Reminds me of my friend who has spent the last fifteen years working in fashion. The pay is huge, the work is challenging and the lifestyle is luxurious. But she’s not, as she puts it, in her heart, while at work. It feels like she parts with her soul the moment she crosses that professional threshold each morning. 

This is the question we keep coming back to:

How do we protect our souls in a soulless environment? How do we keep our senses alive in an otherwise a desensitizing and dispiriting situation? 

Chambers, in his famous devotional written specifically for soldiers at the turn of the century, wrote that the battle is lost or won in the secret places of the will, never first in the external world. 

Therefore, if we continue to treat life as an overwhelming, seemingly endless barrage of frustrations that we have to battle against each day to preserve our very humanity, then fulfillment will forever elude our grasp. 

But if we take a heroic stance in order not to feel pushed around by circumstances, if we operate with as much honesty and integrity as we can afford, and if we employ our reserves of creativity and resilience to wrest happiness out of even the most unfortunate situations, then fulfillment will have a real chance at us. 

Right now. Not in six years when the time is right and we have enough money saved. Right now. 

Look, at some point, everyone finds themselves in the middle of circumstances they didn’t want. But we cannot allow the conditions of our life destroy our ability to reinvent ourselves. 

And so, ask yourself what is going on right in front of you that you might be missing. 

Channel your uncommon human sensibility to see through this apparent reality to some other part underneath. 


Which inside job are you still trying to outsource?

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.

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Author. Speaker. Strategist. Songwriter. Filmmaker. Inventor. Gameshow Host. World Record Holder. I also wear a nametag 24-7. Even to bed.
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