“I am a soul. I know well that what I shall render up to the grave is not myself. That which is myself will go elsewhere. Earth, thou art not my abyss!”
“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science.”
Over the course of the past two plus years after I have given a presentation, or assisted in getting a person back into treatment, or in general, just remaining open to a greater journey no person is meant to understand, a number of people have approached me and said words to the effect of, “Morgan is smiling right now,” or “Morgan is looking down upon you and is happy.”
After reflection, my response now is perhaps not what you may think. Now, my response is, “I hope not.” More often than not, this response surprises or confuses most people. Don’t I believe Morgan is at peace now? Is her soul “happy?”
I believe the universe, as part of Creation, is an incredible, too vast to comprehend adventure which is meant to be explored. I hope Morgan is exploring. I hope her soul is free from pain, from the chains of our existence. Her soul … Her soul.
This raises the very question, what is the nature of the soul? Is it an incorporeal, indefinable essence of some greater power within us? A light that can never be extinguished. Has it always been in existence and in this instance, just manifests itself in our frail bodies?
Certainly there are some who believe no such essence exists. That upon drawing our last breath, our bodies degenerate into corruption and the earth becomes our final abyss. Others believe in the concept espoused by some organized religions wherein there is a grand and glorious heaven and eternal damnation awaiting in hell. Choirs of angels. Armies of demons.
But more often than not, the fundamental question, “what is the soul” is not addressed.
For that matter, what is spirituality? Is it a belief in some power, being or essence greater than us? Is spirituality a “thing,” an “object,” some substance beyond our comprehension giving a greater meaning or purpose to our existence? Maybe it is something that cannot be analyzed or dissected in a logical manner. Perhaps it is something as simple as the dimensions of existence which have no boundaries. However one wishes to define, believe or not believe in spirituality or the existence of our soul, our history is replete with inexplicable, unexplainable powerful events which defy rhyme or reason and yet which fill us with … hope, with faith. And sometimes with fear.
“Spirituality” for the most part, is not included as an important consideration in programs offered by most eating disorder centers, hospitals and professionals. There are exceptions. Timberline Knolls has begun to advertise “The Grace Program.” It states, “This program was created to treat women and girls struggling with co-occurring disorders, eating disorders, trauma, mood disorders and substance use disorders in order to reconnect them with their Faith.” The Selah House in Indiana advertises itself as a “Christ centered eating disorder treatment center. The Renfrew Center offers a non-denominational optional, Christian based programming. Canopy Cove in Florida advertises that it offers Christian based programming. Undoubtedly, a few other programs offer “faith based” services as part of their programming.
And yet, there are no “evidence-based” studies indicating the effectiveness of spirituality in eating disorder treatment programs. Nor can there ever be. After all, spirituality is not based upon logic or logic based assumptions. Spirituality and the soul are not based upon hard and fast scientific research. Spirituality, by its very essence, is not based upon demonstrable facts. It is based upon Faith.
You cannot see Faith. You cannot test Faith in a laboratory. Facts do not define Faith. Faith stands upon its own. And sometimes, when all else Fails, Faith comes to us in our greatest hour of need and it strengthens us.
I could go on about Faith, the soul, and spirituality. Instead, absorb it from the brain, the heart … the soul of a person who struggled mightily from eating disorders and yet during her greatest struggles, she found … Faith. And perhaps her Soul Found her.