The human soul, probably so much more than the human body, is utterly vulnerable. Unprotected, unmeasurable, dwelling somewhere, somehow, in human form. Despite the masks we wear, the layers of defences we erect, the protective veneers in which we wrap ourselves, the soul – the essence, the anima, the human spark of life – feels everything, sees everything, is everything. No matter how we hide it from each other, no matter how we hide it from ourselves, there is nothing hidden from our souls. No joy that doesn’t cause it to swell and strengthen; no blow which does’t reach it and leave its mark; no fear which doesn’t cause it to cringe within us for all we tell ourselves we’re unafraid.
Any human soul, no matter how well-protected, is scarred and bruised and beautiful. Uglied by the ugliness of life, harrowed and hallowed, as small and vulnerable as a wren and unutterably beautiful. Shining with the purity of its own being, o matter how tarnished it is by what it has been through, what it has done.
We seek to protect it and sometimes we are successful. We learn to detach ourselves, to switch off, to dissociate. We call it desensitisation, healthy distance, good self-care. We fool each other into believing that we are known, and understood. But we so rarely allow each other to see the tarnished, scarred beauty of our souls, and the light and darkness that they hold – and when that is the case, we find ourselves surrounded by people, and utterly alone.