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Who Are Your Little Souls?
by Sue Ellen Allen

I have fallen in love with a children’s book that has taught me more about adversity than anything I have ever read.  Have you ever had something really awful happen to you, and when it was over and you survived, you looked back and thought it was a strange gift? The Little Soul and the Sun is a beautiful little book by Neale Donald Walsch that explains how that works.

Picture heaven. It’s just what we imagined, lush colors, fluffy clouds, lots and lots of brilliant, beautiful Light, and lovely little souls who delight in the joy that surrounds them. They know who they really are. They are the Light. But then one of the little souls (there’s always one, isn’t there) decides it wants to be who it really is. That’s serious, and the Little Soul goes to God to find out what it feels like to be the Light. Problem is, to know yourself as the Light, you have to know Darkness. Think about it. To know Warm, you have to know Cold. To know Up, you have to know Down. There’s no Left without Right, no Here without There. We’ve got to have those contrasts and those conflicts.

The Little Soul has an inspirational conversation with God. (I imagine every conversation with God is inspiring, don’t you?) God says that the Little Soul can experience just how special it is by choosing a special part of special. “It’s special to be kind. It’s special to be gentle. It’s special to be creative.” The Little Soul wants to experience the specialness of forgiving. It wants to learn about forgiveness. That’s not so easy in heaven. After all, everyone there is perfect. What’s a soul to do?

Suddenly a Friendly Soul comes out of the crowd of Souls and offers to help. “I will give you someone to forgive.” This light, beautiful little soul offers to go into Life together and do something heavy and bad so the first Soul will learn to forgive.

 “I will do something really terrible, and then you can experience yourself as the One Who Forgives.”

 Then the Friendly Soul asks a favor. “In the moment that I strike you and smite you, …in the moment that I do the worst to you that you could possibly imagine…in that very moment…Remember Who I Really Am.”

 “…because, you see, I will have been pretending so hard, I will have forgotten myself. And if you do not remember me as I really am, I may not be able to remember for a very long time. And if I forget Who I Am, you may even forget Who You Are and we will both be lost. …”

Think about someone who has hurt you. Shouldn’t be too hard. Might even have a long list. But did the hurt create an opportunity to learn? Did your divorce teach you to stand up on your own two feet? Did the death of a loved one teach you how to be compassionate to someone else who is grieving? Did a terrible injustice teach you what is really important in life?

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This beautiful story has made me think of all the Little Souls who have helped me grow and learn Who I Really Am. When you’re in the middle of a hurricane, you don’t thank the wind. In the midst of prison, nobody says, “Oh, great, I’m learning so much. This is fantastic.” No, it doesn’t work that way.

I served seven years in prison. I didn’t love it. I didn’t think, “What a fantastic experience.” But now I know that prison was a journey I was meant to take, exactly when I took it. It gave me my passion and my purpose, which I know are key to a happy life no matter where you are.

Wherever you are, find your passion and turn it into your purpose. Your life will have a great depth of meaning. You will be like the Little Soul and know Who You Really Are. Inside or out, you can create meaning in your life. You can become your own best friend, learning and growing. You can become the friend of many as you learn to serve others. God has sent us nothing but angels and some of those angels are the Little Souls who have promised to help you find out Who You Really Are.

This beautiful little book helped me realize that in prison (especially in prison) or out, we are surrounded by Little Souls to help us become our best selves. Don’t forget who they really are. Love them for the love they are showing to you. Thank them for that love.

By the way, The Little Soul and the Sun was published in 1998 and is still available on Amazon. It is a book to treasure and to give away. If you are inside, see if you can get it in your library. Ask someone to send it to you. Share it. I think of it every day and now I look at people differently. I hope you will too.