The other day, I was using some sheet protectors to preserve some hand-written work that I had done. I thought of protecting or preserving those jewels and I aligned it to insulating our souls.
Our soul houses our deeply felt emotions that we attempt to hide from the world. In Paul Laurence Dunbar’s poem, We Wear the Mask, he reminds us of that human condition. Here are a few lines that I have borrowed from that prolific poem:
“We wear the mask that grins and lies,
It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes…
We smile, but, O great Christ, our cries
To thee from tortured souls arise…
We wear the mask.”
Though we may smile through it all, that late night’s sleep or lack thereof, truly reveals or exposes our bare emotions. Those closest to us are privy to our fears, pains and concerns. That is when our cries, whines and battles with the adverse forces are most apparent. These are the ties that bind because those in close proximity know what a brave face it takes to continue on at the breaking of dawn as we face the new day.
We find outlets and forms of self-expression to serve as balancers so we can remain buoyant as we navigate those choppy waters. We might take a dance class, attend a ballet or concert. We may write, sketch, paint or go to a sporting event. Or we may simply take a stroll, power walk or jog. There are so many ways to refocus on the beauty of daily life itself.
We could have a good, hearty conversation with a trusted friend or loved one. They can help us put things into perspective that appear askew. Or we may take to social media and converse with close ones in that format.
And oh! Never forget to add some music. It will always increase the brilliance of light during those times when things look dim. It could be rock, R&B, spiritual, jazz, classical or whichever type of music matches the mood or brings levels of delight.
Samuel Butler, a British poet, reminded us that “Self-preservation is the first law of nature.” We can find a myriad of ways and methods to put that loving shield around ourselves for those feelings of security. It is like being wrapped in special blanket or quilt made by the precious hands of a loved one.
Then, we can pull back the curtains on a new day and easily claim, “I’m good to go!”
November 16, 2015