Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Lesson #5: Distinguishing Between Ego and Higher Self

Last week we began the series: Following Your Own Guidance. If you're not sure what that means, you're not alone. Most of us grew up with multiple inner voices---the introjected voices of our parents, siblings, friends, teachers, religious figures, and society at large; as well as our own various ego voices and Higher Self voices. Add to that the gentle whispers of our angels and other spirit helpers, and you have a potential mob scene inside your head. How are you to sort all this out?

In order to follow your divine guidance you must learn to distinguish between these many voices. This doesn't mean that you need to identify all of them, although sometimes that can be helpful. More important is that you learn to distinguish between those who are pointing you to your highest good, and those who are keeping you distracted with ego-based opinions, worries, judgments, compulsions, etc.

The general rule of thumb is that you can differentiate between higher and lower voices by the way they make you feel. The guidance of spirit is loving, supportive, usually gentle, nonjudgmental, and positive, even when warning you of danger. Spirit-based messages are consistent and repetitive, and encourage forgiveness, gratitude, win-win situations, being present in the moment, and fulfilling your life purpose. The voices of spirit make you feel confident and secure.

On the other hand, the voices of the ego (which are sometimes influenced by darker energies from outside of you), can have an immature tone and be quite critical, competitive and selfish. This guidance can feel cold , and is full of rationalizations. the voices of ego encourage worry and blame, and are fraught with complaints and impulsiveness. Ego voices can be demanding and abusive, and can encourage you to behave rashly before you've had a chance to consider options or weigh consequences. They tend to focus on the past and the future.

This week please spend some time noticing the way you feel. If you're feeling great then you know Higher Self is in charge and all is well. If you feel aggravated, depressed, etc, it means ego is pulling you down. When this happens do something healthy to break the cycle. Take a few deep breaths, go for a walk, call someone who loves you, or just say no to the ego.

When my ego is trying to justify ill feelings toward someone, I like to respond with,"That may be true, but I forgive him anyway," or, "I may have behaved badly, but I love myself anyway." Try this and see what happens. And have a peaceful week.