These "soul stories" were penned by Leslie Escoto of I.N.S.P.I.R.E.D.

We all think of a soul connection as being with a person, an animal, or even a location. I’ve had my share of soulmate experiences with all three.

Many years ago, when in a training class for my job, I became friends with another of my classmates. He was not someone who, if I had encountered him on the street, would not have piqued my interest, but we were captives of the class so we spent time getting to know each other. Have you ever, serendipitously, encountered someone who seems to the other gender's exact copy of yourself? It's like being able to see what you would be like as the opposite sex. What we found was that we were connected, so very connected in almost every way… that our souls were like one, shared between two people, who on the surface had nothing in common, but at the soul level were mirror images. We shared many a heartfelt moment, talking, laughing, sharing our pain, sharing our joy and marveling at the serendipitous nature of our encounter. After class, he went his way, I went mine and we subsequently lost touch. Every once in a while I search but have yet to find him. He still resides in my heart and will forever.

In my thirties, a time long long ago and far far away, I had a beautiful little American Eskimo dog named Toby. As a puppy she was just a tiny little ball of white fluff: lively, sweet, and loving. As she matured, she and I seemed to have a special connection. She would lie between my legs while I was sleeping; she would jump to my lap every chance she got, and she would follow me everywhere. I just had to look into her deep, dark eyes to see how much she adored and treasured me—and believe me, I felt the same. Toby was horribly afraid of water and so when we put in a swimming pool she would never come close while I was in the water. She would stand back about ten feet and just stare at me as if she was trying to say, “Mommy, come out of there, it’s scary.” I tried many times to bring her into the pool with me so that she would know how to function if for some reason she fell in but she wouldn’t have it and scratched and scrambled until I would let go and she could escape. As we aged together, Toby began to experience female health problems. They got worse and worse until my vet was at a loss what to do. I could tell she was in agony so I did my best to alleviate her pain. One day, while I was sitting in the Jacuzzi, out of the clear blue sky, Toby walked right up to the edge of the water, looked me straight in the eye and whined. It was as if she was telling me that she couldn’t take it any more and I needed to do something. We connected at a soul level and I knew that it was her time, that she was begging me to end her suffering. That afternoon, my husband took my dear Toby to the vet and had her euthanized… there was no way I could do it. I was heartbroken but knew in my heart and soul that Toby and I were soulmates and that I had done right by her.

About five years ago, I traveled to Ireland. My maternal Grandmother was a through and through Irish lassie and I adored her; she was the woman I dreamed of being. Her stories, her Irish jig, her heart and spirit always made me crave finding a connection to the land that spawned such an amazing woman. When I would attend Irish faires, people would always tell me that if you have even a tiny ounce of Irish blood there is some mystical connection to the land and a compelling desire to experience the country of your heritage… something beyond explanation and felt deep in the soul. So well into my fifties the chance to travel to The Emerald Isle was given me and I grabbed it and away I went. The moment I stepped out of the airport and onto the soil of Eire, I was in love. It felt like I was where I was supposed to be, where I needed to be… I was home, at peace with my soulmate.

Now I have found a new soulmate experience… a passionate, heartfelt, respectful, enticing, and spiritual connection… one of dreams and fantasies: a soulful love of the written word. I can travel through words to places my heart yearns for; I can meet people who touch my soul  and spirit; I can inspire my dreams with feelings of joy and pain and laughter and love. The words of others lift me up, show me a better way, expand my mind, fill my heart. And I have learned that my words can do the same for others and the love that is bestowed upon me by those who read my thoughts, my musings, my stories, my life, fills me with bliss and peace as does any true soulmate in one’s life. For now, my passionate relationship with words shelters me, provides me an understanding ear, warms me when I am cold, lifts me up when I am down, soothes my heart when it is broken, and holds my hand when I am afraid. And the most important thing that my soul connection with words has done, is that it has provided me the opportunity to open up my self, let out all that troubles, wounds, and hurts of my life. It has taught me that there is hope, joy, and love out there, that I am worthy of all of it, and that I am the soulmate for whom I seek.