I recently turn sixty-two. There is something about getting older that makes you think about your life. Some days, I wake up and hit the ground running, and some days I just seem to crawl. I feel like I’ve been running for a long time. My life’s journey has been an unfiltered and authentic experience.
My run began at five years of age when I was first removed from my home. I soon learned there were others just like me who were running. Even today, there are so many runners that I can’t count them. I’m not sure if they even know they are running. There’s an invisible force we are running against.
It was difficult to identify the runner beside me; for years it directed the course of the life. It controlled every aspect of my speech, my emotions, and my thoughts. Its goal was to cause me to end the run early. This runner, as invisible as it was, had such control of my life. A smile, a hug, or a look could trigger this invisible runner to rise up and fill my mind with evil thoughts.
Through a series of life-changing events in 2005 and 2006, I discovered this runner beside me. In 2007, I came to identify the runner as “the invisible soul.” It’s a part of every human being’s fabric. It’s an outside invisible influence that, if given permission, will steer the course of our lives. This runner never runs out of breath and it never sleeps. I’m not talking about the Spirit of God, our spirit, or even our soul. I’m not even talking about the dark spirits of this earth. I am talking about an invisible soul that no one ever sees and is hidden deep in our personality DNA. Of course, there is no scientific study to prove this. The only proof of its existence is the destruction it leaves behind. The death of our innocence and the death of ourselves.
It’s what has been introduced to us during our formative years. It seeks no good in our lives as it desires to portray a fake image of who we are to the world, but never our authentic selves. It causes us to run off course from God’s plan for our lives. To demystify the invisible soul, it’s a dynamic and resonant voice that screams to us to make the choices we make but also whispers ever so softly. The invisible soul wants us to follow and not lead.
The invisible soul has been accelerated into fame by the invention of social media. Its pace is rapid, running alongside countless individuals who may not even be aware of its presence. It runs with those aspiring to be more than what they were created to be. It runs with those who have a double life, one visible and one concealed. It echoes the dynamics of the platforms we navigate today.
Why would anyone let an invisible force be so dominant over their life? The answer is simple but complex at the same time.
How can you run and never know you are running? How can you be in a race but never know there is a race going on? How can something be invisible but identified at the same time? These unseen forces are tangible with the goal of either elevating our sense of achievement or suppressing us so deeply that we decide to end the run early. There is no simple answer to this question. We don’t control the invisible soul; it acts on its own accord.
After a two-year journey with an incredible ministry, I was able to come face-to-face with this invisible soul. It wasn’t until 2007 that I knew this invisible force existed. I fought hard for these two years as the force was almost too much. The events that took place were seemly directed right at me. Death and destruction were all around me. Then, some thirteen years later, I would confront a force so strong that it almost caused me to end the race. It was as if this invisible soul had laid dormant for years, studying me and observing me, calculating my destruction.
This time was different, though. I had help. For years, I handled things on my own, never seeking help from anyone. It was the way I learned at an early age to deal with myself. In 2007, I believed that unveiling the invisible soul would be the catalyst for its death; that was far from the truth.
My help came from my beautiful wife of forty years. Over the years, I learned to share with Lisa and lean on her; we discovered things together and brought light to what was going on in my inner thoughts. Lisa calls it checking in with me.
Through this process of checking in, we discovered I was once again dealing with a force that was not friendly with me. I told Lisa that we had a friend I thought could help to deal with this and put this invisible soul in the grave for the last time. I contacted my now close friend and shared the situation with her, and she agreed to meet with us. She had read my book by then, so the term “the invisible soul” was not a new concept to her. I detailed this encounter in a previous story called “Perspective.”
After being in therapy for over two and a half years now, I feel like I am evolving to my purpose and discovering my true path. The run is not so blind; I see now that the path is clear. I have been broken to pieces but put back together with understanding and love. I am more than blessed to have hope in my heart and discover new and exciting truths about myself.
There is a level of hope in my heart that is not measurable. My soul will now live unhindered by an invisible force. I’ve been lost, but now I am found.
Sometimes I feel guilty for being so free because I know so many who need help. They either refuse or deny the help or they just don’t know they need help. It took me years to discover this invisible soul that sought nothing but destruction for me. As the therapist says, “Keep writing; it may help others.” Knowing someone has gone before them gives hope to the hopeless and brings love to those who may discover this kind of grace. Love is not deserved but given.
Because it’s so, I will live.
Keep running and recognize those who run with you, seen or unseen. This world needs you! Keep running!