An artist’s address: let your soul shine

As I sit here on my bed, draped in my dressing gown, inadvertently going through my Facebook news feed (come on now, we’ve all been there!) trying to decide what to write about, I come across something sweet. It is a post with a female figure, illuminated from behind to make it seem like a shadow. She has a great bush of hair falling below her shoulders, cupping an invisible face, and with both hands punching the air. There, written across it, is the sentence “Let Your Soul Shine”.

Let us assume, just for argument’s sake, that we have a soul and that it is our vital essence, which, whether or not we believe in reincarnation, survives past our body’s death. Secondly, let’s also assume also that it can “shine”. What, then, can this mean? What does it mean when we make requests of each other to radiate from inside?

I have recently been realising how important friendship really is. No matter what happens to us in our lives, what lovers enter and leave, which kinds of people trawl through our personal journeys, sometimes sharing them with us as intimate friends, and at other times as acquaintances, these are our rocks. These are the sources of eternal strength, support, love, acceptance and kindness, which cause our souls to shine, surely. Or do they?

I am not sure. I have found that it is only love that awakens my soul and brings that light into my eyes upon which others remark. Sometimes friends fall from grace, and friendships are outgrown. There are also times when nobody can reach you, no matter how hard they try, and so we are alone with our struggles. What then?

This, to me, is the pinnacle of human existence: when we have to become our own friends. Those times when we are scraping the barrel because we have lost loved ones, or ideas, or our dreams, and we find ourselves truly and utterly alone. Why do I think this? It is only because, for me, the test of our true strength is in how well we love, and this is most sincerely tested when there is no one who can love, accept, support and encourage us but our own selves!

So when I saw this sign, the girl with both her hands punching the air and a sense of jubilation about her, this is what I felt: Here is a girl, a person, a soul, who knows that the only way to truly let your soul shine is to love yourself. Now, maybe you think I am just an artist with an ideological mind, which has no bearing on your or your life, and you would not be wrong. Yet, I am a human, an individual, a being within a world where the only truly reliable source of substance has to be one’s own heart. Otherwise, we are always only dependent on the light of others to feel like we can let our souls shine, and where is the joy in that? Where is the freedom and truth? Indeed, where is the courage and adventure!

Is it not preferable to find ways, myriad ways, of undressing the ideas of one’s mind? To step eagerly into the light of our own self-consciousness and begin to see where the light which emanates through our eyes truly comes from, so that we might actually begin to let our souls shine?

Johanna Thea
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