It’s interesting, the input we seek to help us make our everyday and life choices.
We seek input from friends and family, from social standards, from FOMO (fear of missing out), and from a million other benign or irrelevant sources. One of the inputs that really tend to get me into trouble is my own internal validation system.
We have two entities operating within the mind: the ego and the watcher, or self.
Consider that we can watch ourselves think. Thus, there are two entities involved. The constantly processing, considering, evaluating ego-mind, and the watcher—our true self or spirit-mind. The watcher, or self, has no interest in the outcome of things. It already knows the end result: this body will pass away and we will return to love energy—what we truly are. The ego-mind, however, cares for things of this life: the body, our image, and social acceptance. And it’s the ego-mind with which we operate unless we do the work to associate and function more from the self.
Now, this is where we get into trouble. The ego-mind doesn’t have our best interests at heart. It seeks only to be right, look good, and selfishly satisfy its passing desires. It never operates from a space of love, as even these mental constructs are wrought with underlying selfishness—like doing something kind in expectation of recognition or a “thank you.” But without awareness and maintaining practices to remind ourselves from which mind we are to operate, the ego-mind takes over and runs the show as it has done all our lives.
What this looks like for me is that I end up getting myself into situations that do not serve my higher good. From many ego-based perspectives, the situation may look glorious. And from that “evidence,” I allow my ego-mind to validate, justify, and convince me that I’m pursuing something in alignment with love. And it even goes so far that I can convince myself that I’m honoring me in the process. It’s only in hindsight that I can look back and say—as often happens—”I knew I shouldn’t have gotten involved with, signed up for, or went along with that!”
Perhaps you can relate.
So, what are we to use as our guiding light if the habituated ego-mind isn’t what will lead us back to our truth?
The “instrument” from which I guide myself and my clients to operate from is our “peace-meter.” I access my peace-meter by tapping in to the still, small voice within. It’s always there and always available for consultation. I simply have to get quiet enough to hear it. I get quiet through meditation, or by simply pausing long enough to move beyond my ego-mind and feel what my gut is telling me (which happens to get easier with more meditation).
The problem I tend to run into is when my peace-meter doesn’t tell me what the ego-mind wants to hear.
The process for me typically is that I check in and the answer is immediately there. I don’t have to do any incantation or special ritual, it’s simply there for me to access at any moment. But often, the answer is “no” or “not yet.” So then what? Well, then my ego-mind jumps in and all-too-easily convinces me that I must have heard wrong. And then I’m off and running with why it’s okay for me to go ahead with a “yes.” I jump up off my meditation cushion, go about whatever it is that my desires have convinced me I’m clear to go do, and then I crash and burn. I end up back on my meditation pillow saying, “I knew better!”
Now, please keep in mind the perfection of how things play out in our lives. We get the lessons we need to get in order to realign ourselves with love. And, sometimes, we have to run through these lessons several hundred times before we start to get it. Then a few hundred more to really get it out of our system. And that’s fine.
The game has already been won, ultimately. It’s simply waiting for us to catch up. But the benefit of getting the lessons sooner than later is peace. Honoring our true self rather than the ego-mind will always keep us out of trouble and in alignment with our own truth.
I share this today to remind you and myself that all the input we need in making choices in life is within. When I look to externals, to include my own ego-mind, I’m headed for some level of suffering. But I always have the choice to turn inward and seek the highest council.
I know, love, and honor the place within me that still needs to screw up regularly. And I know each time only brings me closer to eventually choosing my truth.
May this serve you.
Author: Mikela Rae Bowers
Editor: Catherine Monkman
Photo: Rin Johnson/Flickr