Dear Reader,

What are a person’s three basic needs? We all need: 1) food, 2) clothing; and 3) shelter.

These basic needs metaphorically represent three levels of our soul and our abilities to connect to its powers.

We’ve all heard the expression, “You are what you eat.” We say that about food because it’s swallowed and ingested into our digestive system, and thereby literally becomes a part of our bodies. It gives us energy to act.

Food is an analogy to the conscious level of our soul’s powers that are controlled by our minds and emotions, and that make us take action. So when we act kindly or charitably even when we don’t instinctively want to, we are tapping into these conscious powers of the soul.

Clothing, on the other hand, is not part of the body; it’s worn over the body. But articles are measured to fit the body so that they are not too large or small. They say, “Clothing makes the man,” because our clothes project our image, revealing something about our style and ourselves.

Clothing is an analogy to the soul’s encompassing powers that are further away from us, and are more challenging to reach, but are still within our grasp. This part of our soul is actuated when we stretch ourselves, against our very nature, to experience a greater part of our selves.

And then there’s our home, which completely surrounds us, to the point that many people can live under the same roof. But when you close that front door and relax in your own home, you can kick off your shoes and really express your true self.

The home corresponds to the powers of our soul that are much harder to access; they transcend who we are (or who we think we are not). But if you can reach this deep part of your soul, then you can transcend your toughest limitations and discover your essential, greatest self.

This is the highest part of the soul—the part that is far harder to reach because it is an actual part of G‑d. This is the part of us that is never blemished; it’s intact within us regardless of our present level and always remains untainted.

Tapping into this awareness allows us to vanquish our greatest challenges and illuminate the darkest darkness.

So how do we finding this essential self? Ironically, through our absolute surrender of self, through the realization that it is not me who is fighting my battles, nor is it me who is succeeding in my triumphs. It is entirely G‑d.

It’s not easy to experience this level of our soul, and we might only tap into it in rare or special moments of inspiration or excruciating challenge. But through this absolute faith and ability to “let G‑d take over,” we hold the keys and prospects to transform ourselves and our world.

Chana Weisberg

Editor, TJW