Most every family has a member who is different, one who is misunderstood—the oddball, the black sheep, the one who never quite fit into the mold laid out by the generations that went before it. In my family, I was and it. My fellow members of the oddball club know what I’m talking about. It’s not an easy role, but somebody’s got to do it.
As I reached young adulthood, it became quite clear to me that the traditional Christianity in which I had been raised was not my path. Please understand that I do love God and I do love Jesus the Christ, and though I deeply honor and respect the value of Christianity, it is simply not the right one for me. But what is?
This question led me to conduct a little survey in which I asked about 30 people if they thought they had a soul. The answers were equally divided among yes, no, or I don’t know—what’s your definition of the soul? To the soulless, I asked what they thought would become of them when they died. Squish. Just like a little ant. The lights go out.
The third answer sent me further into my self-quest. What is my definition of a soul?
The question unveiled layers of deeper issues to ponder. My need to define soul in a way that makes sense to me is similar to trying to define God and seeking to discern the difference between personality and ego. What’s true? Where do I fit in?
Today, if I repeated the same survey and replaced the word soul with heart, of course those 30 people would say yes. They may even agree that the same physical heart that keeps them alive also registers the profound feelings and emotions that guide them in determining what lies in their best interest, if they will choose to listen. That sounds a bit like the job of a soul, doesn’t it?
Though I imagine students of theology and esotericism may heartily disagree, I have boiled down my definition of soul to a one-word definition that works for me. That word is heart. Ahh.
My heart sustains my life on this earth. My heart knows what is best for me. It is the container for the all-pervading love of God, the seat of wisdom that leads, guides, and protects me. It lights my way as I travel along the quagmire of a confusing return path to my spiritual home. It is my human connection to the Divine. Hmm. Could heart and soul be one and the same?
Finally, here’s what my heart knows beyond a shadow of a doubt. Though we may travel upon different paths along the way, we will meet at the end of the road and rejoice in the Lord that we have each finally found our way to our True Home. Hallalujah!
Meanwhile, I hope to meet a few other oddballs to keep me company in my travels. My definition of oddball: World-serving, light-working, kindred-spirits in love with the world and all of humanity.
Note: The photo above is courtesy of New Waves of Light, a website designed by anonymous individuals around the world who share the intention of bringing light and love to a world of darkness and chaos. (newwavesoflight.org or NWOL.us).