And, that’s the course in a nutshell.
Human beings are meant to be fully integrated with Physical, Mental, Emotional and Spiritual acting as a team, with the Soul in charge. The other three always seem to have a particular axe to grind. Whatever your faith or religious beliefs are or are not, I believe we can agree that each one of us is far more than just physical, mental or emotional. In the West, mental has always been King. We pride ourselves on logic, frequently apologize for an emotional reaction and end up suffering from paralysis of analysis.
When our bodies hurt or we become ill, we say we’ve “caught” a cold or we’ve got a headache, or we’ve developed a disease. The very word “disease” can be broken down as “dis-ease”. We know now that each part of us needs a workout, not just the physical. As attorneys, your mental field gets a better than average workout each and every hour of every day. What about the rest of you? How well developed are your emotional and spiritual muscles? Each part of us holds the key to the entire pattern of our being. You can be a mental wizard and an emotional coward – it’s lonely being a genius in a vacuum. As we grow older, it becomes automatic to slot the various parts of ourselves into neat compartments – when your soul is hungry for a connection that your mate cannot possible satisfy and your mind cannot answer, yet your heart is aching for – that may be the time to stop and listen to the yearnings you’ve dismissed as impractical or time-consuming.
The deepest, most important secret we keep from children is that frighteningly thin line of authority. Every parent knows that moment of holding your breath and wondering if this will be the day your child calls your bluff and what in the blazes are you going to do?
Well, we have done the same thing to ourselves. We find ourselves working extraordinary hours because this brief is critical or the senior partner needs it first thing in the morning — until that time comes you can no longer ignore the voice within that wants to know why? When is it your time? All our time-saving mechanisms have achieved very little except to allow you to work longer and harder and you still are going to want to know why. The knowledge comes sooner or late that there is no authority to govern who you are, what your actions should be other than yourself – you are the final arbiter. How long can you meet your eyes in the mirror?
Note: This is part of the AWOL Manual, “When to Lay the Weapons Down,” copyrighted 1995, renewed 2008