Soul cramps

Have you ever done some new exercise, then realized later that you were sore in places you didn’t know you had? I remember countless times with various exercise programs or martial arts classes that I’ve taken that have left me feeling all wet-noodlelike and then sore in new places for the following days. As I get older, it seems like that limp exhaustion occurs at unusual times: I know my body and what it can do. But then I wake one morning and find a weird cramp with no knowledge of how I earned it. Cramping is the body’s way of telling you that you did something new and engaged in it a little more strenuously than you should have. For the times when I recall the movement, I remember the sense of joy and power to be able to move in a new way.

I think the soul is prone to similar cramping.

John Maxwell said, “If we’re growing, we’re always going to be out of our comfort zone.” On a physical level, that most likely resounds with something you’ve experienced at some time in your life, like growing pains. As a college instructor and long-time student, I both witness and recall the sensation of “tapioca brain”: when you’ve absorbed so much information and those little synapses have made so many connections that you are as fatigued as if you have tried to run a marathon uphill in the snow with lead in your shoes. I keep thinking that I should be terribly thin from all the times that I have had to stretch my brain that far. Unfortunately, mental exercise does not equate to any type of  a physical workout.

Did you know that your soul can get growing pains, too? Says who?

Says me.

I have gone through some intense growth in the last short while, and I find myself feeling completely exhausted, but not on any physical, mental, or emotional level. Just weary from my journey. Part of me wants a break from the growth so I can catch my breath and allow the cramp to ease a little.But how do you take a break when there’s such beauty to discover? How do you tell that part of your soul of which you have just begun exploring the beauty and depth that you need a break?

That’s where I find myself this evening. Soul-weary from accelerated growth, but astounded by the beauty and potential that I see before me. I want to simply float for a while, but I’m too excited to rest. What’s around the next bend? What other doors can I find– and where might they lead?

The potential is dizzying with its wonder. For now, however, I’m going to go curl up with some light reading and let the night ease my body and soul for a while.


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