Describe one of the most soul-opening moments of your life.

Being the youngest child brought on an allowance of things I couldn’t have gotten away with had I been either of my two older siblings. Not that I could get away with more, but because I learned from their mistakes and covered my tracks more efficiently when I was being mischievous. All this turned into a little punk kid who felt he could do no wrong, who was invincible and without consequences and accountability. I lived a life like a young kid lived life, having a series of meaningless relationships one after another without a clear understanding of what I wanted from life or any relationship.

Me and my dad Alberto when I was a baby. It's my favorite picture with him.

Me and my dad Alberto when I was a baby. It’s my favorite picture with him.

Nothing much changed until June 11 2003, eight days before my birthday, when my father died… You see, my father was not the greatest man alive; he had faults and shortcomings, far from perfect. But he was my father, strict and stern when he had to be. He was physically strong and powerful but also the sweetest, kindest and most gentle man I have ever met. He seemed hardened and unattached from a rough childhood filled with pain and poverty, but all those who knew him would laugh at that because they knew of a man who lived to serve his family and loved ones. He had sweet and loving nicknames for me and my siblings that only he was to call us by.

I could fill pages detailing my father and what I cherish of him during his life. But it was his last seconds on earth that defined what I believe is love. On that day, a minute or two before he passed, he became restless, tossing and turning; at this point cancer had won the battle and his soul prepared to leave his body. He was restless because the woman that had spent over three decades by his side was not near and he desperately needed her assurance that he could go in peace.

As my mother rushed into the room, I stood in the doorway seeing the greatest man I had ever met, the man who protected me, loved me and taught me many lessons, lying there helpless against this disease and I could not do anything for him. I was heartbroken and torn inside but still had a calm that he taught me to have in one of his many lessons about difficult situations. My mother went to his side, held his hand and asked if he was okay as she ran her hand across his face gently and lovingly. As all this happened he leaned his head back as if her words and touch were a strong painkiller, stronger than morphine: her love. He mumbled a few incoherent words, gave three deep breaths and passed away.

That instant I knew that life is a series of independent moments linked by their continuity. I realized that, at that last moment in life when I give my last breath, I want that person I love, not perfectly but purely, holding my hand letting me know it is okay… My soul-opening moment was when my father gave the last lesson he would impart on me: “No matter how strong a man or woman is, he or she will need to be comforted by the love he shared with someone else.”

This is me and my sweet mom. She went with me to memorial Sloan Kettering cancer center where I donate platelets every so often for cancer patients.

This is me and my sweet mom. She went with me to memorial Sloan Kettering cancer center where I donate platelets every so often for cancer patients.

What qualities do you feel a soulful relationship has?

I think two of the qualities are understanding and compassion. You cannot love someone if you do not understand why they do what they do. We all have a reason that makes us behave in a certain manner; when we look at someone we look at the behavior and not the reason for it. The behavior makes us judge, the reason shows us the why, and when we learn the why, well, that’s compassion and it allows us not to try and change someone but accept them for who they are.

What do you feel your soul’s purpose is?

I’d be lying if I told you I know when sometimes I’ll stare at my fridge for ten minutes wondering what the heck I’m going to eat for breakfast! I don’t know what the purpose of my soul is, but I do know that I need to help people. I don’t have the means to help all the people I would love to help, but doing what very little I can do for those who need it most—that’s what I feel I need to do and maybe someday down that road as I’m helping in whatever I can, I’ll figure out what my soul’s purpose is.

Connect with Dixon, who hails from New Jersey, through twitter at @wildebeast82

Thank you, Dixon, for sharing a little about your life with us. ~Mali & Joe, authors of The Soulmate Experience: A Practical Guide to Creating Extraordinary Relationships52 Prescriptions for Happiness, and the upcoming book The Soulmate Lover, and creators of Mantras for Making Love