We seal our driveways and we seal our teeth. We wax our cars, we polish our furniture, we spray our leather boots. We slather sunscreen on our skin. We spend countless hours and dollars protecting our investments and even protecting parts of our selves. But what we seem to have not figured out is how to protect our souls.
Some would argue that faith protects the soul. Others might say a healthy body helps. Love seems like it would be good for the soul (but only when things are working out.) Work distracts the soul, and substances like drugs and alcohol mask the soul's pain. But the soul is the deepest part of us, the center of our very being. To protect the soul would be like protecting the center of the earth. Impossible, right?
In a recent workshop, women who barely knew me or each other revealed their inner pockmarks and potholes. All were in the midstage of their lives; all had lived and loved and lost. On the outside, they'd seemed successful, content, pulled together: they sported that image we're all expected to maintain, an image we all spend years cultivating until its aged to perfection. But the image, much like driveway sealant, is limited in its strength. It doesn't last forever and it's not completely impenetrable. Cracks begin to surface, and once that happens, the driveway's integrity becomes compromised. It's vulnerable to more cracks and bumps and over time can even break down. Same with the cavities that form in the tooth when the sealant fails. They eventually deteriorate.
And when the soul deteriorates...well, that's bad.
It may seem we need to invent a soul sealant, but I believe it already exists. I think that when we all come together and bind ourselves like bouncing little molecules in a solvent, we can protect one another's souls from deterioration. Someone said, "when people come together, good things happen." Of course, this means setting aside egos and agendas and judgments and competitive aspirations, sometimes only for the good of one single solitary person, one lonely life. It sometimes means giving in to things that don't always make sense and letting go of ideas that we know are better than others and even sacrificing time when there's no guarantee of payback. But in my mind it's the ultimate investment. What could be more valuable than a soul?
The driveway and the car and the furniture and the boots are nice. And yes, the skin and the teeth are pretty important, too. But I would give up all the sealants in the world for these things if it meant I could bring enough people together to protect just one soul.