I incarnated into a wonderful family as a first-born child in the United States early in the 1940’s.  My upbringing was quite normal for that era, with good, nurturing, open-minded parents.  My father, in particular, always encouraged my young mind to wonder, to explore the big questions—like the nature of God. I see now that the soul was active in my early life, selecting the setting in which I would receive the foundations for later life, although I was not consciously aware of this at that time.

In my mid-thirties, I experienced a series of events in my personal life that propelled me into a crisis. I became desperately unhappy and felt lost and confused. In my mid-twenties I had abandoned all my religious beliefs, except the belief in a Creator—but I was even unsure about that. At the time it seemed that I had nowhere to turn.  One day, as I sat weeping, I heard myself crying out in desperation, “If there is anyone out there—Help me!” At that point, something deep within me began to shift.  Help came. I began to work with a transpersonal psychotherapist who suggested that I might engage in daily meditation for a month, and then return to him.

EarIy in the meditation practice, I discovered deep within myself a quiet place, totally silent and calm.  As I breathed, the feeling of peace expanded until I felt enclosed in a safe, light-filled space that felt like a big balloon against which I could lean and feel totally supported.  The quiet space was filled with golden light, as warm as honey; it soothed and healed me.  Gradually I began to feel better within myself, and my experience of the light-filled loving Presence became what I thought of as the ‘Presence of God’ within me.

One day during meditation, doubt and uncertainty surrounding the teachings of Christianity began to trouble me, when suddenly, the presence of the Christ appeared before me in an inner vision. As he looked at me, I could feel the Love and forgiveness shining through His eyes. In that blessed moment I felt all my concerns evaporate and knew that I was totally loved and accepted by Him. I didn’t have to understand, I could just accept it.

During the daily meditations after this wonderful inner experience, I began to connect more easily with the spiritual part of myself.  I saw the interconnectedness of us all, and of all life. I knew I was being led towards my true Home and I was so very grateful.

After these life-saving incidents, I began to read more extensively on everything I could find concerning spirituality.  Eventually, I was guided by my soul to enroll in an esoteric school and continued with the daily meditation practices.  By then, I understood clearly that I was not just a physical body, feelings, or a mind.  I knew I was a soul, wearing a dense physical body like a spacesuit, so that I could live on earth and learn what I was meant to learn.

This realization, however, didn’t mean that I was able to live as a soul all the time. Sometimes I would still get caught up in arguments or some other dilemma, but I did learn to take my questions into meditation and into my journals, where I could quickly see other points of view, or where my errors lay, and which old patterns were being triggered. Observing my faults more clearly in these ways, I would sometimes groan inwardly, realizing how far I still had to go. My soul certainly gave me lots of opportunities to practice forgiveness, unconditional love, and humility.

In time, I began to work as a chaplain in a local hospital.  Within the first couple of weeks I became so exhausted that I felt unsure if I could do the work. There were so many people sobbing in my arms.  I spoke to the inner presence I had come to know, and said, “Lord, if you want me to do this work, you have to show me how.” Later that day, I opened a book and there on the page these wise words appeared as if spoken to me, “If you want to do this work, you will have to learn to work from the level of the soul.”

I began to understand more clearly that our personalities often get stuck in emotions, and in this way our energy levels are easily exhausted. The Soul, however, draws on fiery energy from the spiritual realms and is more quickly replenished. I learned to live more vitally from the consciousness of the soul, drawing on my spiritual connection to bless those I visited, to support them emotionally, and to find the right words to pray for them and their families.

Today, I am more conscious when I am living as a soul, which expresses kindness and generosity and sees the bigger picture. The soul reveals the possible reasons behind someone’s behavior.  I receive inspiration from the soul and realize what I need to be doing. I care about humanity as a whole, and our earth and all of life, and try to do my part to assist wherever I can.