Everyday Spirituality

~Tethered Soul~

A tether is a cord or fixture that anchors something movable to a reference point which may be fixed or moving. There are a number of applications for tethers: balloons, kites, boats, pets, and live stock.

 Tethers serve a purpose unless the tethers are keeping your soul from its final destination… union with God in heaven.

Tethers by design hold an object securely keeping it safe from harm.



Perhaps a tethered soul is under the illusion of being safe.

What are the tethers of the soul? Tethers of the soul can be fear, family issues, future plans, anger, and unfinished business.  Tethers of the soul are those things that block us from peacefully letting go. Tethers of the soul hold us in place with little movement possible.

Several years ago while teaching elementary science we were fortunate to have a tethered hot air balloon visit. It was fascinating to watch the heated air rise in the balloon lifting it off the ground; only to see that it was not going to fly. I must admit it was disappointing that we were not going to experience a real hot air balloon ride. Tethers prevented the balloon from rising more than a few feet off the ground.

 A hot air balloon is designed to FLY! 

It is not designed to be held in place.  When you hold a hot air balloon in place it will generate many great forces on the structure of the balloon that will greatly stress the balloon. 

 One hour of tether time on a hot air balloon is generally equivalent to 2.5 to 3 hours of normal wear on the aircraft as if it were in normal flight operations.



Our soul is designed to return to God! It is not designed to be held here on earth. When the soul is held…tethered, it will generate considerable internal stress and turmoil. Unlike the balloon tethers which are very visible, the tethers of the soul are not visible with the naked eye. Many times these soul tethers go unidentified as the source of discomfort.

Hot air balloons fly only with the wind.


They typically lift off early in the morning when the winds are more calm and gentle. 

Dawn…the beginning of a new day…

death is the beginning of not just a new day,

but the beginning of something much more…




 Hot air balloons may need wind to fly,

but souls ‘fly’ with holiness steered by currents of grace.

When the tethers are finally released the soul is free to rise into the loving arms of God. Un-tethered souls fill with love, experiencing who they were created to be…

God’s Beloved Daughter or Son.

To launch a hot air balloon there is a ground crew as well as a pilot. The ground crew is responsible for making sure all tethers are detached from the basket.

 Perhaps a ground crew for a loved one’s soul has merit. I am willing to serve as part of my loved one’s ground crew.

Lead me, Lord.

Is there a way to help release all of the tethers, a way to free the soul? 


 Maybe we are not capable of untying our own soul tethers…that’s what friends are for…to be part of the ground crew gently loosening the tethers.

Guide me, Lord.

Richard Rohr says, “God walks with us into our fears, to feel them…” in his book Job and the Mystery of Suffering.

Teach me, Lord, to trust enough that these ‘soul tethers’ will silently slip away allowing the soul of my loved one to soar into the outstretched arms of God.

You are the Divine pilot! I know you are here, Lord.


Comments on: "~Tethered Soul~" (3)

  1. God is good all the time and your tether/balloon post is precious… we all rise eventually. TY!

  2. My mom went to be with God, a year ago next month. It started with my oldest sister, Claudette & Art, celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. They invited us all to join in their celebration. I was the youngest in the family, and was also the flower girl in their wedding. Susan, another sister told me that mom mentioned that we should all be there, because it would probably be the last time that we would all be together. Coming from my mom, that comment did not surprise me as she always wanted her children to be together. I’d had surgery that summer, so decided not to go. After the celebration, my mom took a nosedive health-wise. She’d had a problem with a valve in her heart, but had that for years. She contracted shingles in her scalp, a urinary tract infection, and also started falling down. She was put in a nursing home so that someone could watch her full time. The nursing home was her deepest fear, and she quickly got worse. Susan and I both told my other sister, Cecile, who lived with mom, that if they took mom out of the nursing home, we would each spend a couple of weeks taking care of her. Susan was there for about a week, and called me. They thought that mom would not make it another day. I ended up going a week early. I stayed with her for 3 1/2 weeks. She got better, and loved the attention. She also had dementia, and although she forgot some things; she knew that I was leaving. She told me to stay, because I would have to come back. She said to me, “I didn’t realize that it would be so hard”. I know that she was talking about letting go (of all the tethers). I knew when I left, that I would not see her on earth again. However, I told her that I would see her in heaven. She died three weeks later. If I would have known that she was serious, (saying this with a smile on my face), I would have stayed with her longer. However, I don’t think that was God’s plan. I will always cherish the time that we spent together. God is Good, and he is our pilot.

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