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We all have a choice to make. We must decide where we want to live.

Do we want to be people of self or people of the soul.

The place of self is one of material things. It is filled with ego. Its focus is on money, power, property and the collection of stuff. It is all reality TV and pop culture images. It moves fast and doesn’t listen. It’s a place like Time Square in New York City or any of the 24 hour news channels. It is a place sheltered from the importance of truth by flash and glamor and shiny things. It has a certain wealth but that wealth comes at a price.

The place of the soul is a place beyond time. It is a place full of imagination and thoughtfulness and hope. It is a place of inspiration and artistry. It is a place of courage. It requires leaving the place of self behind you. It is a place of daydreams and a place of wisdom. It is a place that lacks judgement.

These two places are probably not entirely exclusive of one another and all of us have probably lived in one or the other during our lifetime. But the real question is, where do we spend most of our time?

Where we spend most of our time is the place we live. And the place we live reveals something about us – for better or worse.

I’ve lived in both worlds. Prior to my illness I admit that while I was aware of the place of soul, I spent a lot of time in the world of self. I was a striver. I had a big important job. I was the boss. I made a lot of money. I pushed myself. I had a hard time listening. I was focused on shiny things.

But since my sarcoidosis diagnosis, I have been forced to slow down. I gave up that big important career and made a very conscious decision to focus on my physical health and as I did this, something unexpected happened, I become a resident of the place of the soul.

I still have nice things. I still like nice things. I’m human. But I am not focused on gaining them. Today, I find my mind filled with words and colors and ideas. A creativity has burst open in me and while I fight physically, I am freer now than I ever was before.

Today, I prefer living in the place of the soul. There is a warmth and comfort here. I am more aware of the needs of others than I am focused entirely on myself. I am better equipped to be of support and I no longer judge so easily or harshly that which I know I cannot possibly understand.

In a strange way, I am grateful to my disease for showing me how to live in this wonderful place. I am happier here. I belong here.