Are you wearing shoes with no soul?

Are you wearing shoes with no soul? June 5, 2024


DallE Image For Patheos
When your old shoes no longer serve the soul!

Four years ago, I parted ways with 173 pairs of shoes. Yes. You heard me, correctly. The roster included fashion-forward sneakers, stilettos, thigh-highs, and everything in between! While I stood to profit bountifully by re-selling these beauties, as most remained impeccably preserved, the deprivation of COVID-19, along with my spiritual evolution, propelled immediate liberation. Besides, the mere thought of purchasing new shoes did wonders for my soul! Taking a deep inhale, I toted several shoe boxes along with tons of footwear spilling from plastic bags and rested my gently worn, fully-priced, designer shoes out front my apartment building. I’ll admit, it proved therapeutic, as I had, for years, underbid my sole by squeezing my 7.5 (US) extremity into a 6.5 frame. I’d unintentionally personalized an ancient Chinese tradition. What else I hadn’t realized was in re-framing my foot size, I’d help stunt my spiritual journey.

Matter-of-factly speaking

Somehow, I’d become enamored by the false allurement of small, slinky, shoes as a form of beauty while ignoring the immediate pain and longterm-aftermath. In hindsight, the pain incurred wasn’t worth the desired result. Not to mention, I inherited pointe feet without ever having danced on pointe. At least ballerinas are lifted to elevation by virtue of foot extensions. Sadly, the disproportionate pain symbolically steepened my proverbial terrain.

Emblematically speaking

Personally, truncating my shoe size inordinately distanced me from my aspirations… introducing extraneous steps towards my intended goals. Shoving my feet into tiny shoes also distorted my Earthly purpose. To compound matters, my past was ever-present, therefore, stunting development.  Seasons emerged where time-sensitive blessings seemingly evaporated, as God-given dreams escaped my psyche, while constant cycles of confusion pervaded my progress. It wasn’t until deep self-reflection revealed I’d restricted myself to old spaces… for compromise sake. Yet, I desired more from life. Perhaps, my soul was leaning on old grooves expecting new answers? Some may call it self-sabotage. I’d prefer the term sole-sabotage.

As a track star uses their feet for forward momentum, the right shoes produce greater stride, pristine gesticulation, and a speedy trajectory… all of which propel one to said finish line. The opposite is also true. Lack of potentiality in physical movement translated, for me, into a compressed narrative across all aspects of my life, ultimately, sanctioning cyclicality of immobility due to centripetal forces at work. Professionally, promotion seemed inevitably unattainable. Even my love life was negatively impacted by a string-of-short-lived, lack-lustered, novellas. Intuitively, I knew inadequate shoes hampered my personal growth resulting in destiny delay.

Metaphysically speaking

As a costume designer, I know firsthand the importance of characterization through adornment. I believe the same is true of everyday wear. One’s attire poses the potential to transport one into otherness. Otherness in this case is the spiritual territory of a person’s being. Clothes effectuate transformity through thoughts, feelings, and emotions, and/or ethereal proportions.  The Bible is riddled with verses concerning accouterment and garments, as well as their proverbial meanings.  (Examples: Genesis 3:7; Isaiah 61:10; Ephesians 6:17; Isaiah 59:17; Deuteronomy 22:11; Leviticus 19:19; 1 Thessalonians 5:8; Exodus 29:21; Leviticus 6:11; Ezekiel 44:19) In addition, witches capitalize on clothing spells to manipulate unwitting constituents. As garments hold symbolism, the body parts they adorn are preponderantly affected by these representations.

When placing the final set of sneakers… Air Force-1’s by a local recyclable, following the larger overhaul, a sense of release enveloped me. A closing chapter unveiled the birth of a newer journey. Soon after this experience, I began purchasing size 7 shoes, slowly acclimating my feet to its organic size.  I also possessed a few larger-sized shoes purchased during previous mall runs when 6.5s were out of stock. So, between walking on the backs of old sneakers to run-to-the-store, searching for newer styles over the net, and adding an additional .5 to the sizing, it’s been working out just fine.

How about you? Are the warm insoles of your shoes making you uncomfortably comfortable? Safe? Protected from the bitter-cold/harsh world outside? Are they outdated, worn or like mine… too small? I challenge you to step out of those shoes and into a new pair, a better pair, that suits you at this exact moment. Embrace the shift this season by dreaming bigger and/or completing a dream you’ve begun in years past.

About Dr. Nicole Elaine Avery
Dr. Nicole Elaine Avery earned her doctorate in Art & Art Education from Columbia University in 2017. She’s an award-winning educator with over 25 years of experience across curricula: art, dance, drawing, ELL, English, literature, math, physical education, science, and social sciences. She’s facilitated instruction to preschool through college. You can read more about the author here.

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