“There will likely be times in your life when your soul evolves more quickly than your circumstances.” –Madisyn Taylor
Maybe that’s what has been happening. My soul is evolving. It doesn’t really hurt, not like the growing pains I remember from my childhood that seemed to only be fixed by my father’s deep tissue massage as I sat, crying, with my legs aching. You can’t see it like I see my own children evolving from baby to toddler to child to teenager, leaving behind a wake of outgrown clothes and outgrown phases. No one else seems to notice, just as no one really notices weight loss at first, there’s just a sense that something looks different (new haircut? new glasses? new shirt?).
It is hard to identify when you are in the thick of it, because evolution isn’t announced with trumpeters and fanfare…it crawls out of the muck and finds its land legs, gradually becoming less amphibious and more reptilian, protective scales and all.
But my soul is evolving. I don’t feel it when it’s on the upward swing, but rather I notice it when old habits come and wrap themselves around me like a worn sweater. I feel the absence of the evolution. I look in the mirror and see all the flaws. I speak out and hear all the misspoken words and watch the faces around me not understanding what I am trying to say. I swirl in my own miscommunication. I move from one space to another and wonder how to shrink my presence so that I am almost invisible. And after each of these moments, I am struck by the contrast between who I am and this person that I have always been.
I want to shake off the sweater, but this time I don’t want to just toss it in the back of the closet. I want to be brave enough to pack it up and Marie Kondo that thing out of my existence. And yet, I know, that even though I no longer have gills, there are aspects of my past self that are integral to sustaining my future me. All of it is connected and dependent and part of the larger whole of who I will ultimately become. My soul is evolving…it always has been, I just didn’t really notice.