How much space is within the soul? Is each soul a different size? Does the soul expand or contract? If it were a circle, how far would its radius be? What’s inside the soul? How did it get there? Can something leave the soul and then come back? Is there something that never leaves its space?
These are hard questions to answer, for sure. But what I would like to do is explore yet another question: what opposites exist within the soul? There is sadness and happiness. Fear and courage. Peace and chaos. Power and weakness. Left and right. Up and down. And so on—infinitely?
I would like to take two opposites and take a look at them more closely: Brokenness and joy.
Take brokenness. Take a measure of it and push to a greater measure. Make it larger and larger until it pushes against the walls of the soul, until it stretches your soul and begins to rip—but not break. At this point, the soul is stretched so that its sides begins to tear like the threads of a garment. And yet it does not break apart.
Where is the exact location of the wound within? It’s there, you know it’s there, you can feel it there. You can feel the punishing. Your soul gives way to the very point of shredding.
What is happening in the struggle? Why make the point? Can such an event exist? It hurts. It’s darkness. It desires to split you into two.
When I look at the brokenness of my own life: the disappointment and despair, the people that loved me, that scarred me, that wounded me—forever the rawness and permanence of it—why look there? What am I looking for?
The hope that is only found in knowing the reality of brokenness. My very brokenness is evidence of its opposite—joy.
By looking at what I know, what I cannot deny: the pressure of the darkness pushing me to my limit, by seeing its very existence, I see the proof of its opposite. The reality of brokenness is the assurance of utter joy.
Everything that exists has an equal and greater opposite. As far as you can go left, you can go right, and even farther. If you stop at the point of going right, and go left again, you can reach a greater point in the opposite direction. Switch to the right again, and all previous points can be exceeded. Continue the process of going back and forth, and it will continue into eternity. Choose your direction, left or right, up or down, or anything in-between, and the distance traveled between the two poles will go on forever. One thing cannot exist within you without its opposite. You cannot have one without the other.
By seeing the distance of brokenness, I found assurance of a greater joy. The “down” of brokenness always has the opposite reality: the “up” of joy.
Joy was there, already within me; it just had to be actualized. There was no impossibility of what I so desperately longed for. I was close to it, it was there—it was present within the space of my heart.
For everything that exists within us, there is an equal and greater reality. It looks like this:
- Everything that exist has an opposite reality; there is never one without its other.
- All the greatest things that can ever exist in this world, exist within us.
- Thus, every experience within a soul has an opposite and greater real experience.
- There is the experience of brokenness.
- Therefore, there is a greater experience of joy.
There must always exist an opposite experience that we already have within ourselves. Within sorrow is the very proof that joy exists. It is truly hard to see hope in darkness, but there is no place that hope does not light.
There is no denying the existence of wounds, and in that sense, brokenness is surest place one can look to find the hope for joy. Hope for joy exists in light, and in darkness, and so it follows that joy can exist anywhere, and at any time. The hope that our pain brings, the proof of its scream, is not extinguished by where it’s found.
In sorrow there is an equal and opposite reality that can be felt, that is yours, that is already within you, that only needs to be realized. Every experience within the soul corresponds to the opposite experience within the soul. “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. To everything there is a season, a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.” God makes harmony out of opposites.
Pain hits the wall of your soul, bounces back to a new middle, and then to the opposite direction. It’s that transcendent feeling, that moment of love where you feel like you can hardly take any more, that instant of joy where you feel you can burst, so you burst into tears.
“He will bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning.”
The circle of the soul grows larger and larger, until its upward projection pulls us into the purpose of eternity, a space where joy can be boundless, a space for us to experience the blessedness of all of reality. Until then, when we love, the circle of our souls become one so that we enter into heaven’s space on earth. The kingdom of God is within you—is within us. Infinite joy is already present inside the Love we feel. And that, we do not have to wait for…it is heaven on earth.