Find Your Soul

In my forthcoming book, The Layman’s Guide to Surviving Cancer, I speak about the need to “find your soul.”  In the course of a cancer battle, as we trudge through difficult treatments, moments of doubt and fear, long nights and onerous side effects, it’s easy to get discouraged and feel lost.  It can be hard to see the experience in a larger picture; to determine what cancer means in terms of our position in this world and, if you are so inclined, our relationship with the Almighty and the spiritual world.  It’s easy to lose a sense of soul.

Yet, finding that soul, that core of belief or commitment, that recognition that we are interconnected, is something I believe is essential to cancer patients in their battles.  It helps us recognize that the difficulties we may be experiencing are simply one microcosmic speed bump in our life and the lives of those we love.  And, it can be overcome.

Last week I was in Jerusalem with my family.  We attended my nephew’s wedding, toured the Old City and saw relatives and friends.  I believe, as I write in my book, that, sometimes, we find our soul in certain places; that there are locations in which we feel energy flowing through and into us.  On this trip, we visited the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron and Rachel’s Tomb along the way to Bethlehem.  It had been a long time since I had been there; the last time being several years before I was diagnosed with leukemia.

In Jeremiah, it says that “Rachel is weeping for her children.”  Legend has it that, as the Jews were forced into exile, they passed by her tomb, and she wept for them.  There has long been an emotional connection to Rachel as a mother figure for all Jews, and it is customary to beseech her to intercede on our behalf and offer specific prayers at her tomb.  So I recited certain sections from Psalms and then, head bowed against the tapestry covering her tomb, I beseeched her to intercede for me and my family; that we should continue to enjoy good health, that my children should grow into wisdom, find happiness and be guided on their path in this world, and that I should continue to be cognizant of the additional life that I have been given, my connection to those around me and my obligation to help others along in their journeys.  And at that moment, in that place, once again, I was able to find my soul.  Where do you find yours?

In healing,



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