Ego and Spirit

Suppose you were offered a choice between a beautiful, delicate, finely braided gold chain bracelet or a twisted, knotted, tangled bracelet.

If you don’t like bracelets, imagine you can give it to someone else who loves them, so the decision about your choice is still worth making.

Which would you choose?

I suspect that unless you love the challenge of untangling things, for the joy of success you feel afterwards, you’d probably choose the first option.

Changing directions a little…

Suppose you were offered a choice between living a life of freedom and ease, or a life full of unmanageable tangles and knots that complicate everything for you.

Which would you choose?

Again, I suspect that unless you thrive on facing challenges and difficulties, you’d pick a life of freedom, one lived fully in the present rather than one with heavy baggage that would weigh you down.

As I sat back and thought about these two options it seemed clear that the first one was far superior to the second. And yet I realized that I often choose the more difficult route through life. Perhaps at times you do as well.

I could not avoid the obvious question…why? Why would I choose to complicate my life in this way?

It didn’t make any sense to me.

That is, until I allowed myself to move deeper into the question. It was then that a beautiful clarity appeared in the form of individual voices representing my physical, emotional, mental, spiritual and ego selves. Each one speaks to me and offers insight about the whole of me.

I know this may sound a little over the edge, but give me a chance to explain, then decide what you think.

I believe that each part of me contributes something to the whole. Sometimes those contributions are helpful and sometimes they are harmful, in the sense that they affect the amount of joy I experience in this life.

When one part is overwhelmed, it tends to adversely affect the other parts and the whole of me suffers. This happens most frequently when my cultural training kicks in. Throughout my life I’ve been influenced by those around me to believe certain things. In effect, I’ve allowed myself to be programmed, that what I’ve been taught is correct. During some of my rebellious phases I’ve railed against some of this programming, but much of it still persists.

I realize my ego plays a key role in my life. Its primary function is to protect me, and it does this by performing threat assessments and taking what it believes are necessary actions. Over time, ego has created numerous default settings, which lead to automatic responses to the same or similar events. Unfortunately, my ego may treat all threats in the same way, and not see any distinctions. The truth is that some threats are real (encountering a bear in the wilderness), and some threats are false (I will catch a cold simply by being cold).

If I want to experience an untangled life, some interpretation is necessary. I have to be able to see beyond my ego’s misperceptions.  

I need to hear from my spiritual voice. So, I invite it to come and share its profound insights with me. I want to know how I can tell the difference between what is real and what is false.

Spirits appearance comforts me deeply. My breathing changes, slowing down, calming. A soothing feeling pours over me, and my ego relaxes and patiently awaits guidance.

Spirits voice is clear as it speaks to ego saying, “I love you and treasure that you try to protect me. I want you to know that you are precious and necessary. You can relax now. Together, we can share the load you carry. The truth is that our protection needs are few because we are safe. I see that there are other things you need to know, and I will tell you. For now, be patient and rest easy.”

Ego kicks back a bit, letting go of the gas pedal. It knows answers are coming and it believes all will be well.

More will follow in the next post.

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