I am the sort that reads all the books and takes all the classes to understand a concept. I like to delve into the depths of topics and know all aspects. I like being masterful in my knowledge – it makes me feel safe. Unfortunately, when it comes to spiritual practice, that tendency is ultimately going to keep me separated from moving forward with my awakening. I can’t know everything and learning spiritual principles in an intellectual manner will only get you so far. I realized that at some point I was going to have to stop my quest to understand spiritual ideas and start living soulfully.
But, how do I do that? I haven’t finished reading all the books and taking all the classes yet! I was really struggling with the idea of learning to live from the guidance of soul rather than the control of ego. I understood that surrender, forgiveness, non-judgment, love, and devotion where all required to live from soul, but how do I actually do that? How am I supposed to know whether the voice in my head is my ego talking or the divine? How am I supposed to shift my thought process, that I have been practicing for decades, and live in a way that seems inconsistent with the world around me?
It dawned on me that I already knew the answer. We all do. It is simply a choice to identify with soul rather than ego and to act consistently in a manner that honors that choice. We are given constant feedback from our feelings, emotions, and intuition telling us whether we are living in light or choosing to lurk in the shadows. We know when we are not in alignment because we feel terrible – emotionally and physically. When we reflect on our behavior, we know that we were living in ego if we feel hurt, regret, embarrassment, guilt, shame, blame, anger, and defensiveness.
We try to deny that pain and those awful feelings through excuses, secrecy, lies, stories, and justifications. These fabrications are the ego speaking – to justify the advice from the ego that caused you to take an action that resulted in the feeling of pain, regret, embarrassment, guilt, shame, blame, anger, or defensiveness. The ego justifies your actions to make the negative feelings go away. The ego wants to numb your body’s alarm system so that you continue to choose to act according to ego in the future and remain out of alignment with soul.
However, the feelings themselves are not inherently bad. The feelings are the messages from soul telling you to make a different choice. You do not have to feel that way. You do not have to feed the ego by ignoring the feelings and covering them up with the stories of the ego. You can, instead, say, “I am no longer interested in feeling crappy. I want to make a different choice.” That is all that is required – willingness.
Be willing to ask yourself:
- “What is so upsetting?”
- “Why does this hurt so much?”
- “Why do I need to be right?”
- “Why do I need to repress my feelings?”
Rather than building a story to defend your behaviors, actions, and thoughts, look at the truth of what your feelings are telling you. Make a choice to forgive yourself and then patiently and lovingly make a decision to listen to the message of soul. As you learn to listen and change your focus there will be less need to forgive yourself and get back up because you will fall down less frequently. If you are consistent in listening to soul to begin with, you will make choices that make you feel good. The feedback you will receive from your body – your heart – will be of harmony, peace, love, joy, serenity. You will feel wonderful and know you are in alignment.
Are you allowing yourself to live from ego?
Or, are you committed to living from soul?
Embrace your emotions to identify with your true nature.