We live in a world that focuses so much on what the meets the eye … everything you can see, touch, measure and evaluate. From as early as when we are toddlers all we hear is how well you can speak English, how good you are in class, the grades, the quality of work you get done and the list goes on. From early in our childhood our grown is measured by physical matrices like weight and height and everyone is really interested in how we are growing tall and fitting in the expectations of physical growth.

There is so much interest in what we can see, so much care and passion for what we can touch, so much commitment to making sure that we get these aspects right. The idea of what perfection looks like from the eye and how that defines success, happiness and fulfillment is a key pillar to how the world looks at and treats us. Funny how the world is nothing apart from us, we are the world, we are its culture, we are the fabric that make its color and texture. Our choices and priorities, whether individual or collective, rarely our own, determine the foundation on which the very essence of the world is built. The world is all about what is physical, tangible, and measurable and rarely, if at all any time, about perceiving beyond what meets the eye, to understand beyond what we see, to feel deeper that what is inspired by tangible results and … to get to purpose and identity.

We wake up daily and chase the idea of the physical and tangibles that make the ‘perfect’ definition of success, happiness, or fulfillment. We hurry off into the world to secure better schools, more lucrative job opportunities and more fruitful investments and businesses. We are socialized to look appropriate, behave in an acceptable manner and fit into the pockets of life that we are ‘assigned’ or deserve based on several factors. We are going through life more than half the time doing the best to fit in and merely be who the world expects us to be.

In all this, there is also a process of fixing and making people who seemingly do not fit into what we think is the ‘best’ version of themselves. We have defined for them what their ‘good’ life looks like and with or without their consent we need them to fit in. We need them to lose weight so that they can be a certain size, we expect them to be strong when handling grief because that is what men do, we expect them to provide for the family because now they are graduates, there is pressure to get a car because that is what everyone is doing or expects them to do … the list is endless.

In addition, there is the comparison between people that is nicely weaved into this culture, siblings, classmates, age-mates etc. i.e., when they got married? … How many children they have? How many houses they own? … How much they make per month? … How many degrees they have? … and sometimes it’s whether they are are in a stable relationship or not. The list of the many physical and tangible expectations that we look for in people and consciously or unconsciously lamp on people is endless. The things we expect them to do perfectly to fit into our definition of ‘a good person’ in a world that does not care enough to see beyond what meets the eye is simply a mystery.

Everyone talks about how people need to fix their lives, maybe someone needs to stop being an alcoholic or a womanizer or a ‘loose’ girl … without realizing that beyond what we see as acts that are deemed unacceptable there is a soul. There is more to the acts than what we usually see, and we rarely care enough to know the why … we focus more on fixing the stage forgetting the script where the act is defined. We look at the person and forget that there is a soul behind all that meets the eye … and that while we may try the best that we can to change the success matrices, what the person may really need, if at all, is ‘Soul Surgery’

Sometimes it’s not about the ‘problems’ … but about a broken soul that has never been attended to because everyone is busy with everything tangible and measurable. It’s not just about the fact that someone is seemingly good or perfect but also about the place that their soul is at … i.e., the peace, sense of belonging, acceptance, and sense of worth. There is more to what we see with our eyes than our minds can perceive and more to understand than the problems we focus on fixing … because while we work so hard to fix performance, success or change metrices … if we do not take care of the soul (the why) all our efforts are done in futility.

We need to move towards creating an intentional safe space to allow the naked soul to undergo authentic surgery. We cannot treat a disease we have not seen or have the courage to face and confront, it’s in the truth and depth of determining the root causes that we are empowered to truly love and support each other in growth, success, and fulfilment. It’s in building a culture where we allow people to bring their authentic selves to the theatre (life) that we are truly able to understand and support each other towards individual and collective growth and change (script). This is a call for intentional and consistent soul surgery, something that most, if not, all of us need at one point in our lives, as we got through life and its seemingly challenging experiences. As they say, its rarely about anything material that we struggle the most, its mostly about who we are, our self-worth, sense of belonging and authenticity.

It’s the why and not only the what that matters.

It’s the safe space that counts

You and I can be that difference.

It’s the soul that needs the surgery