Stories of Kindness from Around the World

Uncovering the Naked Beauty of My Soul


--by pulse, posted Feb 15, 2009

There is a story that I want to share with you. It may not change your life, nor may it move you to tears. But there is a chance that it may touch that space in you from where the fountain of life springs from, in all of us. The place from where it all began. Where the entire history of mankind, of the universe, we can all feel inside of us - in the content of our souls.

This was a few years back when I had left for the United States from India to study at a prominent college and then pursue a career. At a professional level one could say that I was well accomplished as a young woman in a foreign country.  There were many physical comforts and privileges that money could buy.

But somewhere, there was a strange kind of emptiness engulfing me all the time.  There was a pain inside but no emotion to name it.  This void did not seem to be caused by external circumstances.  It seemed to emerge from somewhere within me.  Everything appeared very limited and measurable.  We strive for degrees, jobs, relationships, money, name and fame and then one day we die. Whole of existence dissolving into the silence of nothingness. Cycles of pain – pleasure - pain follow us like seasons of nature. This it seems is life. An ever-changing insecurity; an uncertainty where every moment is a transition point only for another to take its place. What is the meaning of being alive? 

As time passed, these questions became so irrepressible that the only place left for me to go was within!  So I put in my resignation at work, stayed home and spent many days alone in silence.

Somewhere my faith in life had still not left me. There was a part of me that believed that "Life is fair." That was the foundation of my journey from the known to the nameless. I thought that if life is really fair than we are not supposed to go through even a trace of suffering. We should be equipped with all that we need to live a life that is absolutely happy and peaceful.

In the period that followed, the inquiry got only more intense. There was an unknown force fueling my search. I was traveling to places within myself that were never visited before. I felt like for the first time in my life I was looking at the naked beauty of my soul.

In this time, silence helped. There is something deeply sacred about silence. I felt that when I was truly alone, I was one with all.  Obviously, this pilgrimage within oneself is endless. But I started feeling more awake than ever before. And a day came, when it felt like my heart broke open.

Something totally illogical came over me. Most things I had done in my life were all measurable and calculated. Almost everything was only to benefit myself. But now I had to do the exact opposite and see what happened. I wanted to be illogical and unreasonable. And the most illogical thing I could do was give without getting anything in return. That which could never be calculated.
It was like setting free irrational acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty into this world. It was like writing poetry in the prose of life. It was like allowing the inner universe to dance.

My world started changing dramatically. I started sharing the skills that I earlier charged thousands of dollars for, completely free. I started volunteering for long hours with different non-profits. In the year that followed my experiments took me to places I could have never imagined. I cleaned public bathrooms and collected trash with the women who did rag-picking for a living. I ate food with the homeless, spent time with the terminally ill, painted with the mentally challenged, danced with the young and the old; and shared insights with complete strangers.
 
Now, Love was no more a temporary sense of pleasure or comfort. Love is emptying your entire being – and offering the whole of yourself. It is breaking open every barrier in the heart so that generosity could flow. It happens when the entire breadth and depth and beauty of your life releases into one passionate communion.

Suddenly I started seeing the homeless woman on the street in India as my own sister. It felt that in some strange way my own happiness was tied to her wellbeing. It felt that by serving her I was facing my own fears, aversions and in some inexplicable way healing a part of my own soul. I realized that the only way for me to make myself complete was to share with others unconditionally.  By working together - a paradox blossoms. Service becomes an opportunity for us to become whole again; to grow in love. Service becomes Gratitude!

I see today that it is really about the spaces in-between. A flower blossoms somewhere outside but my heart seems to release the fragrance inside. It is no more about you and I… but the spaces 'in-between us.' The energy that brings us together in that moment. Today service for me is not something that is limited to a certain section of society.  Working in the slums of India or even listening to someone with complete attention can be an act of love. Just like the chair we sit on or the air we breathe is serving us. What service teaches me is that every single moment is filled with divine compassion and goodness and the more I am alive to it, the more I am affecting the world around me in a positive way.

There is something in me that softly whispers today: 'Just let go.'
I send away my soul into the invisible. It flows into a directionless expansion. The scattered instant becomes whole again. 

There is stillness inside. I am living, and dying and loving, all in one sublime moment.

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Readers Comments

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Thanks!


Always yours,
Z
iferlamb wrote: I too feel the need to give. It is unstoppable. I feel myself growing each day. I am also learning that we are all connected and all of the answers we seek lie within us! Thank you for sharing.

Smiles.
An wrote: Wow, you are such a beautiful soul! Don't ever stop! :) thanks for spreading some rays my way.
FWhiteC wrote: What u just shared its an amazin way to think,to live. Its really incredible that someone can think like that,u give me hope,and im sure im not the only one that feels like it. U truely are someone w/a beautiful mind.
Yesdee wrote: Extremely nobe thought ,probably you have acheived too soon the pinnacle of success in life!
sethi wrote: I am touched , moved and inspired for what you have experienced in life. There are lots of lessons to learn. Thank you for sharing.
deepula wrote: Pulse.

I merely hear the pulse.

I think we all go through this at some point of our lives, but you followed the spirit and have seen the other side of it. I am happy for you.

Keep writing pulse :)
vineeth kuruvilla wrote: Nice to feel and c that people lile you still live in this universe to share the noble thought of life in this busy world, hearty regards 4 the touchin the hearts of every1.
Rose wrote: The magic phrase let go. It is amazing how when we let go of all those things that we think we should hang on to --- we get filled with something so fulfilling, so gratifying, so strong, something much higher than moneym wealth, power, status. We have all and more - just by letting go!

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