• Kirstyn Oliver

Sense the Soul

These two words have been laying in my head for a while now. I try to understand exactly, not only the meaning of each word, but also how each person experiences them. Yes, you´re right, I shall never know, because every single person has a totally subjective/personal experience of life and everything in it (we should all know that).

I did however look in the Collins Dictionary to see what the written definition for each word is. As a result, our senses are our conscious awareness of something. It´s the awareness, which we experience through one or more of our senses (sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch). The senses send the information to our brains in order for us to understand and perceive the world.

So, people with sensory processing disorder, can find it challenging to process and provide appropriate responses to the demands of the environment. This doesn´t mean they don´t have senses or cannot process the information their senses give them. It is just different, and their awareness is experienced differently to mine, but subjective to themselves. (However, if their way of processing information was the norm, i´d be the one labled as different).

Going back to the definitions, according to the Collins dictionary, there are many different definitions of the word “soul”. It can be what consists of your mind, character, thoughts, will, emotions and feelings; the spirit or immaterial part of human beings; But it doesn´t stop there, it also says it´s “the essential part or fundamental nature of anything” and under Christianity it´s “the part of a person, capable of redemption from the power of sin through divine grace”.

So, do we sense our soul? Are we aware of it? It´s not a static belief, because the human being is in constant development, therefore to sense the soul is a continuous process of human life, it is also a personal and intimate experience, because even though we all have five senses, we experience things differently , through different dimensions, giving meaning, stability and purpose to our own life.

All in all, the understanding and awareness of our souls is a critical component of human development and well-being, particularly due to interpersonal connectedness, which is found to increase emotional well-being. For a good quality of life, it´s important that we have a good balance of body, mind and soul. The subjective experience, living conditions and personal values are the key factors that determine this quality of life and balance.

Let´s agree that we all have a unique way of experiencing this world and we all learn and develop at our own pace and in our own way. Educational systems and religious communities can support people along the way, but at the end of the day, it´s a subjective matter. So, those who have sensory processing disorder, can sense their soul, even if support is needed for that person to learn how to self-regulate their senses. There are so many different and creative ways of exploring and connecting with our soul, it´s amazing.

Therefore, people with autism and people with sensory processing disorder, as much as people without those conditions, can experience, connect with, become aware of and sense their soul. As the definition goes, the soul is the most essential and/or fundamental nature of something.

We are all, with or without a disability, with or without autism, human beings, made in the image of God, by God, therefore the fundamental nature of human being is God, who breathed life into us, who gave us our unique path with challenges, obstacles, blessings and victories, in all different shapes and sizes, to be experienced in our own personal way. We are all living souls, learning, developing and experiencing God in us.

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