By Christian Chensvold
What do you have when you have nothing? According to ancient teachings, you still have one thing, the one thing that can never be taken from you. Potential comes from the Latin word for power, and when you feel like you’ve lost everything, you still have the potential to access a power capable of achieving the impossible.
The three-part organization of a human being into body, soul and spirit is known throughout the world’s wisdom traditions. Your body is the earthly vessel, much of which runs on its own involuntarily. It also carries around an emotional layer of the joys and sorrows you’ve experienced, moving us from the physical realm into that of the soul.
But when you’re weighed down by fear and melancholy and sweating through the dark night of the soul, it becomes possible to see the third part, the golden needle hiding in the messy haystack of your disordered self.
Consider George Bailey in It’s A Wonderful Life, ready to jump off a bridge to end his life. Someone else splashes down, and without thinking, George leaps over the railing to save him. Instinct governs the self-preservation of the body, which would have kept George safely on the bridge, so he couldn’t have jumped for that reason. Something else must have made him take the plunge, as if divine intervention sent him to an appointment with destiny.
Now think of a critical juncture in your own life when you faced a choice between comfortable misery and a terrifying step into the unknown. Your mind just wants to go home and curl up in the fetal position, but a strange force inside pushes you, everything becomes a dizzy blur, and next thing you know you’ve done it and your life is headed in a new direction.
Years later, after everything worked out and you’re embarrassed for having been so scared, you find yourself wondering about that strange force that seemed to just take hold of you and act of its own volition. It certainly wasn’t your timid body, nor was it your trembling soul, which was busy rationalizing why you shouldn’t do it.
It was that elusive third part of you, the supra-human invisible intelligence capable of taking over, in vital moments related to the potential written in your stars, to act on behalf of what is good for you.
So if you ever feel like you’ve got plenty of nothing, plagued by problems impossible to solve, never forget you still have the Spirit. You’ll be surprised what it can do for you.