A clean cut of happiness.
In December 6th of last year, I gave up a materialistic matter with a big subject hanging on it. I didn’t realize how it was going to affect me. It was like I became a kind of Saint Nicholas when I handed it over.
As the object left my hand and my hand touched his hand, this is what happened: I felt in the middle of my chest – almost in a square shape – my heart actually opening up like a – Big Beautiful Daffodil Flower.
I thought to myself, What is happening? Am I going to explode?
I was feeling my heart opening. This was overwhelming to me. It super scared me at first. I’d never felt that way — it was a clean cut of happiness.
I knew the moment the object left my hand that I had made the right decision. I had given back what did not really belong to me. I’ve never experienced physically the happiness of the soul — but my soul was talking to me. I did the right thing.
How often we forget the power of our soul – manifested through just an act of kindness. It’s such an overwhelming feeling that you want it again.
It’s like the heavens opened up and said, “You’re on the right track. You done did your homework, old girl.”
In my mind I did obey.
It’s been three years since I became a widow. My husband’s estate was closing out. My husband’s son wanted his father’s Citadel college ring.
My late husband’s request was that he wanted me to have his jewelry, which was really not much. He was not a jewelry man, and his jewelry consisted of a watch and this ring. I never questioned him.
Then his son told the executor of the estate that he wanted his father’s ring. I ignored this request for almost three years. I really thought I was doing the right thing by obeying my husband’s wishes. And in my mind I did obey.
But sometimes things have to change to improve one’s life and I’m not going to let something materialistic interfere with my growth of self-loving.
This ring became a problem for me.
So when the executor stopped by the house on December 6 and I handed the ring over, I was suddenly aware of it how bad it had become.
I realized I was clinging. I was hanging on to him.
In my heart, I know he’s all around me so I don’t need his ring to know this.
I guess I gave myself (my soul) a gift by giving a gift of kindness.
This was my Christmas present to me.
To my soul.
Now I can tell you the impact of holding on.
There is brown room in my home where my husband’s life-sized portrait hangs just outside our bedroom. I see his portrait so many times a day. Sometimes I stop and stare at it and study his face and the framing and everything about — it is nothing new.
We decided on this portrait together 18 years ago — I know every inch of it. It is a handsome and distinguished portrait with his hands across his lap and his reading glasses in his hands. He looks like a judge.
When he made the request for me to keep his jewelry, he said, “Keep everything on my left arm.” I remember looking in our picture album and saw his Citadel ring on the left hand. He didn’t wear a wedding band. The fact that he had made such a specific request was why I must have insisted in my own mind that keeping the ring was carrying out his wishes.
A couple days after giving away the ring, I was walking through the brown room and stopped to look at the portrait. And I looked down at my husband’s hands, I was blown away — there it was plain as day — the Citadel ring — on his right hand.
Now I can tell you the impact of holding on — and I can tell you the impact when you take your blinders off and you truly see.
As many times as I had looked at that portrait, I never saw that ring on that right hand. I promise.
More than ever I have learned to go with my gut feeling. I realize now my gut is my beautiful soul.
Trust in yourself. Go with what you feel inside – your gut – your soul – this is the right thing.
And when you do, you will get a gift for your soul, too.
Deborah DuBose is a white widow who grew up in the South in the 1950s. After the death of her husband, she began a journey of learning to see the realities of gender, race and class inequality that allowed her to claim her own deeper, spiritual power and begin to pass these lessons on in her writing.