Soul food. Do you know what it tastes like? Do you like it?
I’m not talking about the ethnic cuisine of the rural south, which is some of the tastiest comfort food ever created, or the cultural movement of “soul food” in the 60s that nourished the spirit and united millions of African Americans.
I’m talking about food for the soul. Food that nourishes our mind and spirit and lifts our heart with love and hope and possibility. They are unique, one-of-a-kind recipes for each-and-every one of us, just as diverse as the nature of our backgrounds.
Healthy Soul Foods: joy, love, laughter, gratitude, self-love.
Unhealthy Soul Foods: fear, anger, hatred, self-doubt.
What’s common in my soul food recipes is my deep-rooted love for the people, old and new, who are a part of my life and who I easily run to for a dose of life-restoring soul food.
It’s my parents, siblings, close friends or a family member that have been with me since childhood. Know my imperfections, failures and struggles as I was growing into the person I was meant to be. Even then, they gave me healthy doses of laughter, joy, gratitude and loved me, imperfections and all. Their love helped me love myself, unconditionally as they did, and we all know how challenging this can be while we’re growing and messing things up because we just don’t know any better!
It’s these guardians that were with me more than anyone during my developmental and young adult years and saw me through my hardships and triumphs and stood by me like a rock, unmoving! Their support and encouragement told me I could become whoever I wanted to be and got firm if I needed a reminder to be true to my values as I was building character during those younger years.
Many of us move onward from our hometown and our family and childhood friends lose their proximate impact on our life. Here is where it’s wise to move cautiously as we make room for new friends to help provide our spirit’s comfort food. We step out from the protection of our childhood village and learn who to trust with our precious soul. There’s no denying that as we grow through the years we find fewer people worthy of revealing our souls to and that, I’ve realized, makes them even more precious to me!
Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom. ~ Marcel Proust
I urge everyone to be diligent in seeking people that hearten our life outlook, and don’t drain or derail or deprive our vitality.
Seek individuals that remind us of what is good in us, good in our life and invigorate our gratitude.
They are the friends that help us create joyful moments and moments of laughter and stand with us against fear, self-doubt, hatred or anger. They’re there beside us to help strengthen and reinforce our barrier to these enemies to maintain a healthy life force.
They are the friends essential in helping us see clearly as we strive to add the appropriate actions, events and people that will help our life flourish in our adult years.
I guess what I’m suggesting is to seek and take care of the relationships in our life that nurture our emotional wellness because “soul food” is nourishing, replenishing, energizing and these are key ingredients needed to help our spirit soar and create the best possible human experience. Make room for this and make it a priority. Enjoy!
Keep it Simple,