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The Howling of the Soul

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January 2010
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The Howling of the Soul
by D. Royce Fitts, D. Min., LMFT

always, it seems, as the winter winds whips across the prairie, i am drawn to wonder about her…i wonder how she is…what she ended up doing…did she heal…enough?

i recall, one day in a session…she was quite, emotionally frozen…weeping softly…it seemed that any movement i did would startle her beyond repair…in her silence, i thought of a scripture story…a jesus story, one that today, eludes me as i am writing…something about gentle compassion, i am sure…something about the yearning and healing of a soul….

so, i quietly say, “i am going to move to my bookshelf…get my new testament and read you a story”…in whispering movements, i walk across the room and take my favorite, wrinkled paperback new testament and let the pages fall open to this now forgotten story…i remember reading to her…wanting her to just stay still and know…what?  that she is more than the anguish she feels…that she is accepted just as she feels…that someone, maybe me, maybe jesus, maybe herself most of all, will accept her wounded, yearning soul to become alive again…

and that is how she described herself, not alive, but dead…

dead in her soul…

and, now as i am writing, i remember the jesus story!!

the story…lazarus!

the dead guy that jesus rose from the dead, that jesus cried about because, it seems, jesus was a good friend of lazarus, maybe even a cousin, i hear…

and, the story goes, that when jesus heard about his friend dying, jesus wept…that’s all…

just wept,

simple, painful, beautiful tears…

jesus wept…

“the shortest verse in the bible”, we were taught in sunday school…

of course, as the scripture legend goes, it does not end here, or there…that jesus broke the rules of life and death…that jesus went to the tomb, perhaps, sobbing…and jesus bellowed out his grief…”lazarus, come here!!”…and the folks around, family, friends, others yelled back, “no! he stinketh!  for he has been dead three days!”…but, it did not matter…the rules of death, and the rules of family, friends, others did not matter…

lazarus came forth, from the voice of a loving friend and cousin…

“unwrap him!” jesus yelled…for he was all wrapped up, as a mummy…unable to freely move…breathe…live…

one deep winter night when she could not sleep, when, even in indiana where she lived, the winds blew fierce through the forests and across the farmlands…she wrote in her journal,  “i can’t sleep…all i hear is the howling of the wind…it feels like my soul…”

“the howling of my soul…”

haunting, haunting this was to me…and that was near twenty years ago…

and, now, the howling of the winds blows across this january land…bringing wonders and prayers for her…

and for all of us who know what it is like to die and come back to life again…

before i left indiana to come here to this priarie land, she renamed herself…unwrapped the bonds around her soul…she created a new family, new friends, new rules to live by…she called herself from her own tomb, with a new name, a new self…she called herself (and this is not her full new name, for her privacy and identity are preserved)

“free”…

yes, free…

and, on this deep winter january day, to her, i bow…


Dr. D. Royce Fitts
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Thanks!
D. Royce Fitts, D. Min., LMFT
Spiritual Counselor and Psychotherapist
email: drfitts@livingwithmeaning.com
PO Box 363
Gering, NE 69341
Tel: (308) 436.2224
Cell: (308) 631.2398

One Response to “The Howling of the Soul”

  • Jenie Knode:

    Greetings from your hilltop friend! I really enjoy your writings! This “Howling of the Soul” reminds me of a trip to Florida where we met friends from North Dakota who came down for Becky’s wedding. We stayed in a beach house on the ocean front and sat on the beach every morning to watch the sunrise. My friend asked her 17 year old daughter what she thought of the ocean, this being the first time she had experienced it, and she said “it sounds like the wind back home”. Now, sometimes when I sit on my deck or in my hot tub and listen to the wind howl, I imagine it is the ocean rolling in. I’ve found that it helps me deal with the seemingly never ending supply of wind we get up here. Along those same lines, I find it useful to repurpose my feelings….using anger as a positive energy for positive change, sadness as insight into what is needed/available for happiness, changing grief into gratitude for the love /realationship//experience that I am now grieving about , regret as another change agent and an opportunity to view what I might have missed if I HAD done things differently…..

    Melissa, through her difficult journey this last few years with all of her changes and all of the things that she realizes that she can’t change, has adopted the saying “it is what it is”, but I still prefer to believe “it is what you make it (into)”. Repurposing (negative and/or annoying)thoughts, feelings, sounds, relationships….just another way to enhance our precious time here in this world.

    Namaste’ ~ Jennie

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