Sunday, January 13, 2019

Cure for the Cluttered Soul

When we get all those Christmas presents, we need time to absorb them. Clothes find a spot in the closet or drawers. Gadgets get plugged in or stored in cabinets. If you don't get those things in their proper place, you can get disorganized.

When we move, we pack everything up in boxes, truck it all to our new home, and find a place for the contents in the new place. Sometimes we live in chaos for months, until we process all that stuff. The clutter makes life feel scattered.

When we fly on airplanes, every person and suitcase goes through a central processing area, the air terminal. It all gets sorted out, people and luggage go where they should. Well, it's supposed to work that way. When it gets fouled up, it causes problems.

We understand the importance of a clearinghouse for stuff. It needs to get processed, organized, put in place.

There are also non-physical kinds of stuff. We all experience stuff: joys, challenges, accomplishments, injuries, insults, hardships, disappointments, improvements, illnesses, betrayals. Sometimes we receive these experiences; sometimes we give them to others.

Where does this stuff go? Into the soul. It just piles up there until we process it. Whatever is not processed contributes to clutter and chaos. Ever felt like there was clutter in your soul?

Catholic thinker Richard Rohr says, "Contemplation is the 'divine therapy' and the clearinghouse for the soul." He further defines contemplation as, "the deliberate seeking of God through a willingness to detach from the passing self, the tyranny of emotions, the addiction to self-image, and the false promises of this world." (What the Mystics Know, p. 79)

When my soul is cluttered, I need to process. I need to contemplate. I need the space to put it all in place. Seeking God puts it all into perspective.