(How's that for shameless self-promotion?)
Twenty years ago, I began a journey I didn’t even know I needed to be on. Some call it adult development. Others call it the pursuit of well-being. Some simply call it growing up. I have found it is all of these things and more. As I crossed the threshold into adulthood, I found a daunting invitation waiting for me, begging me to embark on a journey of growth leading to a destination that was not clearly defined. Over time, I have found a name to describe what is necessary for this journey of becoming. It is called Soul Care.
I’ll be honest, this journey has been exhausting at times. Maturing as an adult does not happen overnight, nor does any deep change occur without prolonged intention and effort. At times, I have wondered if this journey is worth it. And then I remember the 24-year-old version of myself and compare it to the 44-year-old version and I know without a doubt that this journey is not only good, but necessary.
The ‘thinness’ of my 24-year-old Self could not bear the weight of raising adolescents. The depth of my 28-year-old Character could not have handled the complexities and ambiguities of midlife. My 35-year-old Morality needed to expand beyond my limited “justice-for-me” stance and proactively embody a “justicefor-all” lifestyle. (Even as I type this, I recognize I still have a long way to go in this area).
The point is: Adulthood is an ongoing journey of necessary formation and a thickening sense of Self
(thank you Wendy for that perfect phrase). This journey is not for the faint of heart. The moral nuances, ramifications of decisions, and weight of responsibility one navigates along the way have exacerbated the exhaustion I spoke of earlier. However, a dual process has been occurring deep within me even as the surface of life has been tumultuous and trying.
It is to this second process – this deeper life – that I draw your attention to in these journals.
Most adults focus on how they are buffeted by the waves of life. They kick like hell to keep their heads above water. They beg for the sea to calm itself. They scan the horizon for the latest lifeboat. In their panic, they sometimes grab on to others in a way that causes both to sink. What these folks don’t realize is that there is a deeper life hidden just beneath the tumultuous surface. All they need to do is slow from their panicked state, take a deep breath, and go into the deep. At first, the intense quiet of the inner life is terrifying. Many swim to the surface for instant, familiar air and life. But for those who courageously stay and learn, the deep teaches them many things.
I invite you to take a deep breath and come explore your inner life. It is in this place that you will discover opportunities for profound growth and development that are experienced in this journey of Soul Care.