This I Believe

Lisa - Milford, Connecticut
Entered on May 11, 2006

I believe in the power of my soul.

The power of my soul urges me to connect with others. The power of my soul wants me to acknowledge its truth, to follow its guidance, to nourish it and to trust its resilience in the face of heartbreak. My heart simply provides the rhythm for the power of my soul.

On a Manhattan subway recently, my soul directed my eyes to a child despite the many other distractions at hand. As our eyes met, together we eased the corners of our mouths into knowing smiles. Our souls had connected.

It was my soul connecting with my husband Tony as he lay heavily sedated in the final stages of lung cancer. From his soul to mine, I heard the truth: It was time to release Tony from this life. The foundation of the grief that followed was a stillness in my soul. I know I have honored the truth of my soul when peaceful silence prevails. In that peace, I still reach for Tony and connect with his wisdom.

The power of my soul provides wise guidance through a fleeting feeling, an urging or a simple word that comes to mind. I recall selecting “slimy” as I rummaged internally to describe an executive who had just interviewed me for a job. Yet there was no apparent reason for this word! The executive was smartly dressed, neat and polite. Why did my soul say it? That day, I denied its right to speak because I wanted the job. But as I packed to leave that job three months later, I painfully relived my denial. My soul had been right.

Laid low by that experience, I considered for the first time my obligation to nurture the power of my soul. While my soul had shared its undeniable wisdom and truth, how many of my 50 years had I spent nourishing it? What had I done to renew the strength of this mighty friend and guide?

So I made a list of things that feed my soul. There were no surprises; they all made me happy and fulfilled. The list became known as my “soul food:” My son, David; the company of friends; my home; animals; the outdoors; children; and sports. With all the power of my soul, I vowed never again to settle for a destination where “soul food” is not served.

In spite of myself, I believe – indeed, I have experienced – the powerful resilience of my soul. It is my soul that persists in loving, healing, trying and hoping in the face of brutal disappointment and injury. The power of my soul pushes me toward others when my heart and mind coax me toward the safety of the the shadows.

My soul unfailingly insists on connecting again. Therein, I believe, lays the power of my soul.