Until I started the journey I celebrate in this book, I felt like a swimmer struggling to stay above the waters of a reality that always seemed to run counter to the song in my soul that whispered of love, hope and faith everlasting, telling me that happily ever after was more than a fairytale or a childhood dream. This book is the story of how that changed. I started writing it as a personal journal written after I reconnected with a long lost friend. Over time, it morphed into a descriptive itinerary of the unexpected journey that followed. Perhaps better said, it became more like a series of word postcards sent from that journey. I share it now because I believe that the love, hope and faith our soul sings, however quietly, is truly real and must not be forgotten. Its reality is so much more than just a dream or a child’s fantasy. ... .
This book celebrates the return of a long lost friendship—and the unexpected journey that unfolded as I stepped through the door that friendship opened. I offer it in the hope that it may affirm for others what it affirmed for me: that the Infinite Light and Love singing in and through our soul is both literal and accessible.
Each of the book’s four parts is written in “real time” over a period of several years as I was living them. Together they trace the unfolding of a spiral path that led me from where the dreams my soul sang lay silent and disembodied, shattered by earth’s illusions, to where their music once again rang loud and clear, reawakening my believing and renewing my felt sense of Infinite Light and Love.
The journey I share in this book started as I reconnected with a long lost friend in whose presence my soul’s song reawakened. At first I believed all would change back to what it’d been before the notes of my song had faded. After initial moments of insight and great joy, though, I’d find myself stuck back at places where I’d been before, needing to learn once again what I believed I’d already mastered. Slowly I realized that my journey’s path was spiral, not linear. My understanding of its spiral nature came slowly, in bits and pieces, its trajectory becoming clear only in hindsight.
“Yet, one day, unexpected and unhoped for, the world we had thought irretrievably lost may be returned to us. In a moment of insight—a sudden opening of the heart—we may glimpse again the mysterious reality we took for granted as children. We may once again experience its wonder and delight” (I. Zalewski, Who Is God). This book tells of the author’s unexpected return into that reality, believed to be irretrievably lost as childhood was left behind. It was written in real time as each step of that return unfolded its challenges and gifts. Its message of “making believing more than making believe” is shared for all who remember or hunger to remember and relive that same reality in their own lives that it might inspire them to listen for and live into the love, hope, and faith at its core.
About the Author
A lifelong spiritual explorer, Isaura Barrera lives in San Antonio, Texas. She has lived in Buffalo, New York, where she obtained her Ph.D. in educational research and evaluation as well as in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where she spent twenty years as faculty in the special education department at the University of New Mexico. She retired as professor emerita from that university and is now following her bliss and pursuing a master’s degree in spirituality from the Oblate School of Theology. She has co-published two books focused on skilled dialogue, an approach she developed for communicating across diverse perspectives and values. Though her previous work reflect her own spiritual perspective, Beloved’s Gift: Following Soul’s Song into Love, Hope, and Faith is her first book with an explicitly spiritual focus.