Has a Piece of Your Soul Been Squelched?

Has a Piece of Your Soul Been Squelched?

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Once upon a time, I was happily conversing with an imaginary friend when the neighbor boy snuck up and overheard me. Since he was two years older and so very much wiser, he pointed out (gleefully) how foolish and childish it was to talk to people who were not actually there.

Despite my tender years, I had no desire to be thought foolish, especially by my neighbor and primary playmate. So I bowed to his superior knowledge of socially acceptable behavior and quit conversing with imaginary persons. (At least out loud.)

I’m not sure if I made this change after being “caught in the act” once, or if the scenario was repeated many times. I am sure the neighbor boy would have happily teased me about it until I stopped. And if he didn’t, other kids would have.

I suspect all of us have habits or tendencies that others have tried to squelch. Maybe you were prone to daydreaming. Maybe your friends teased you about always having your head in the clouds. Maybe well-meaning parents and teachers scolded you for not paying attention.  Maybe you decided that it was bad to daydream, and you did everything possible to stop so you would no longer feel ashamed.

While it was important to learn when certain behaviors are and are not appropriate, I fear many of us allowed certain parts of our childhood souls to be squelched permanently.

After being teased by my neighbor, I could have allowed him to squelch more than the habit of holding imaginary conversations out loud. I could have allowed him to squelch the lively dialogues that filled my brain. I could have allowed him to squelch my delight in imagination of any kind.

Thank God I didn’t—at least not completely. I did go through school pursuing sensible subjects like math and science rather than fluff like English or art. But after working in manufacturing for a while, doing practical but not very fulfilling jobs, I rediscovered my passion for inventing and acting out stories.

My imagination and love of story is a large piece of who God made me to be. Allowing it a place in my life has resulted in fulfillment and purpose, along with opportunities to speak encouragement into others, (especially teens with a bit too much imagination and a bit too little coolness). I am glad I never allowed those around me to squelch my passion for imagination.

What have others tried to squelch in you? Are their pieces of the person God created you to be that have been shoved into a deep dark corner because others teased you or didn’t approve of that particular behavior?

Maybe it’s time to breathe new life into those neglected parts of your being. It’s highly likely that the slightly odd passions or behaviors others tried to squelch in you are the very things that will make you most authentically who you are meant to be.

About Lisa Betz

Lisa Betz writes from an empty nest perched on a wooded Pennsylvania hillside. When not volunteering at the church or library, she blogs about intentional living and writes historical mysteries.


  1. The desire to celebrate God-given eccentricities has been growing stronger with each passing year! When I am filled with joy, I want to dance. Maybe it’s time for me to earn the title of the “crazy old lady down the street!”

  2. That’s a title you should wear with pride! Crazy old ladies have way more fun, and live a more fulfilled life.

  3. Laurie Driesen says:

    Great point Lisa! Thanks for this post. I’m sure Satan loves to squelch our gifts. I am feeling that now. Your post put what I’m feeling into words!

  4. May the Spirit breathe new life into your gifts today.

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