"Here's a test to find if your mission on Earth is finished:
if you're alive, it isn't." -Richard Bach
This painting came to me in a dream. It is a timeline of my soul's journey through this life.
On the left, the pink dot represents my soul on the day I was born, simple and small. The white space represents my earthly life, and reflects the way my soul has expanded and grown over the years. At the end of my life, as shown on the right side of the painting, my soul will transition into something new and different, much more complex than it was before, and will continue on in ways that I can't begin to imagine.
When we are born, we come from heaven, and into our newborn bodies are planted our tiny souls.
We know this because we've experienced the incredible mystery of newborn babies.
When we hold their tiny bodies and look into their searching eyes, we see
We are deeply and profoundly touched by the connection we feel through newborn babies to some sort of Great Power, and we don't need a formal religion to explain this to us.
We experience a baby's spirit and we know that they - and we - must surely be creatures of some deep and powerful place, which we sometimes call heaven.
* * * * *
Yet we are also creatures of this earth.
And so, from our very first days, we grow and learn and change in earthly ways -
building up our biceps,
losing our baby teeth,
learning to throw a baseball,
as we journey toward adulthood and the full flowering of our earthly strength.
If we survive, we hit our physical peak somewhere around age 25, and ride the top of the wave for maybe ten or fifteen years till we start the long slide toward middle age and the unspeakable beyond. Our bodies age and decline; our brains strain for telephone numbers and street names that used to pop to the surface in a snap, we do the horrifying math that tells us we likely have more birthdays behind us than we do ahead.
* * * * *
Because I'll tell you what. Life goes fast. And if we're not careful, we can spend the later years of our lives focused on the decline of our earthly power - the falling arc of our lifetime's competencies - and waste valuable years of our lives feeling broken in body and declining in mind.
I refuse to do that.
I will not look upon my physical body as the measure of my life's work.
I know in my bones that the real journey we take here on Planet Earth is more about growing our souls than our physical bodies.
We're here to learn about
love and compassion,
loneliness and pain,
wisdom and joy,
anger and grief,
and it's when we look past the limits of our earthly strength and into the depths of our souls that we can truly live.
* * * * *
I believe that my soul will continue to grow until the very last breath of my life.
And then, rich and full, my soul will return to wherever it came from.
To the Great Power.
(I don't need a formal religion to explain this to me.)
And believing that this is true makes me very excited to be alive.