Soul care yields a happy mind. After over thirty years of professional practice in depth psychology and over forty years of personal dream tending, I've come to the conclusion that caring for the soul takes us into a strange realm of contentment and well being. Happiness of this sort is not common. Soul care requires patient and tender devotion to the psyche. As we cultivate such devotion through sensitivity to self and others and by consistent dream tending, there comes a gentle but definite knowing that all is well.
I've heard colleagues and acquaintances argue about happiness, some saying it's superficial or irrelevant. Their fierce manner and twisted expression betrayed an underlying frustration. Often, in hushed tones, they'd complain about disturbed sleep, chronic conflicts, and a host of physical ailments.One psychoanalyst recently commented, "Well, after all, Freud did consign us to everyday misery being about the best we can hope for." I knew he had missed out on a vital facet of life experience, evidently unknown to Freud....happiness. Happiness, when denied and thus never integrated, turns south and morphs into legions of suffering.
Patients who heal and learn to tend soul gradually, sometimes incrementally, experience consistent happiness. The archetype of happiness reveals herself in dreams as a flush of oneness with self and the world. My own Native American influenced cosmogony (my grandmother Pueblo Indian and medicine woman) looks at unnecessary pain and disease, to include unhappiness, as resulting from a disruption in harmonious cosmic patterns involving gods and spirits, people and animals, the archetype of nature herself.
Tending the soul by asking what caused imbalance, what disrupted natural life harmony, may yield corrective insight so that we return to a harmonious cooperation with nature and life that brings soulful well being and happiness.