Most of us live in a bipolar state and I don’t mean bipolar disorder. We live between two polarities – the Ego Mind and the True Self. You may have heard me say before, that the human race is experiencing an evolution. The more we embrace this evolution by being willing to grow and become present, the more we will be living as our True Self. Nothing happens overnight however, unless we are lucky enough to be struck by the wand of enlightenment in our sleep – and it does happen for some, such as Eckhart Tolle (after much suffering may I add). However most of us will be dipping in and out of our True Self. Sometimes our Ego Mind will dominate and sometimes our True Self will be in charge, and that’s OK and normal. This is where awareness is very valuable.
What is the difference between the ego mind and the True Self?
Our ego mind is our false self – the conditioned self – who is not in touch with who we really are. It feeds on the vibration of fear and lives through a paradigm of Win/Lose (I win and therefore you must lose – also known as competition). When we are in ego we will feel contracted and small and “all alone”, and so we seek POWER. Ego power can feel good and it’s very addictive. Think of times when someone has hurt you and you seek to “get your own back”. It can feel wonderful at the time, but the good effect is short-lived, and often regretted.
The ego mind can also be needy. It does not want to lose anything and so it clings to people, places and situations. When we are in our ego mind, we will be dominated by the emotions of envy, jealousy, guilt, anger, resentment and other toxic emotions as well as loneliness. We can also experience feel-good emotions – excitement, elation and ecstasy, but these never last. When they go, we drop down to the same disconnected, lonely feeling that existed before, which can feel devastating. So the ego mind will have us experiencing an emotional rollercoaster of ups and downs. The ego doesn’t like to feel bad and so it looks for quick-fixes and is the basis of all addictions. The ego worries about what other people think of us and acts from an outside point of view as opposed to being self-directed, and just as it fears judgment; it also judges others, creating separation, loneliness and isolation.
We can easily be tricked by the ego mind – convincing us that revenge is justified, that our judgments of others are realistic, that our greed is just a healthy desire and that extreme vanity is an expression of beauty. The ego mind gets overly attached to outcomes and to expectations, and can feel angry or disappointed when things don’t turn out as expected or hoped for. It fills our mind with “random inner dialogue”, a lot of it negative, and much of it pointless.
So to sum it up, the ego mind is insecure and keeps us in perpetual misery!
By contrast, the True Self is who we really are and is connected to the All That Is. It is always in the vibration of love. It operates through the paradigm of Win/Win (I gain and you gain – also known as co-operation). When we are living as our True Self, we feel a sense of expansion and we know that we are significant but not in an egotistical way – this feeling is quietly powerful, humble and connected. While we may experience negative emotions and thoughts, these take place at a more superficial level because underlying these emotions is a foundation of love and a state of awareness that we are not our emotions or our thoughts. We are something far greater.
When we are operating from our True Self, we experience a state of neutrality most of the time – a feeling of inner peace and serenity – while the movie of life plays out just as it may when we are in our ego mind, but we are not “in it” like we are when we are our ego mind. It is simply a movie and we don’t have to step aboard the roller-coaster of thoughts and emotions that the ego mind would choose. The True Self knows that in life, things are forever changing – people, places and situations come and go, sometimes we get what we want and sometimes we don’t – but it makes no real difference to our sense of inner peace. This is true personal power! And it is the basis of true happiness.
What is true happiness?
There are a lot of books out there on happiness. True happiness is the state of inner peace and serenity. Some of us don’t recognise that this is happiness – so conditioned are we that we think happiness is excitement, elation and ecstasy – but these emotions are always short-lived. As human beings, we do not have the energy to sustain such a state of being for that long. What comes up must come down. The more we seek thrills, the more depression and despair we also experience. Our lives will certainly include moments of peak experiences, but the more in touch with our True Self we are, the more we do not identify with the thrill. We can enjoy it for what it is, but not cling to it, or hope that it will last, or take it too seriously, knowing that “this too shall pass”.
How can we begin to connect more with our True Self?
We can only start this journey to the True Self from where we are today. There are no shortcuts. We need to fully embrace who we are right now – we don’t get anywhere by denying our ego. The only way to transcend the ego mind is by:
- Bringing AWARENESS to it
- Realising there is a SPACE between the ego mind’s desire and our action
- Choosing to transcend the ego’s desires with the vibration of LOVE.
Asking the question “What would love do now?” is a powerful question.
Here are further ways of becoming present and getting more in touch with your True Self :
- Practise presence and observation – Whenever you can, become aware of the present moment – right here, right now – and simply observe it. Simply observe without thought. Set an alarm on your phone two or three times a day, or put a few signs around your home or work space with the word PRESENCE or NOW to remind you to make contact with the present moment right now.
- Meditate – Sitting with yourself and observing your thoughts, emotions, agitations and distractions is a highly effective way to become self-aware.
- Pay attention to your breath – This is a great way to become more present. Again, if you’re new to this, set an alarm on your phone two or three times daily to practise.
- Feel your body – The body is not the busy ego-mind. Feeling the inside of our body brings awareness. The body is constantly talking to you, telling you the truth. When you connect in with your body, you disconnect from your busy ego-mind.
- Observe nature – Simply by sitting and observing nature, you are connecting in with the Universal Source.
- Yoga/exercise – Undertake exercise in a self-observant way. Notice your breath, feel your bodily sensations, observe your thoughts. Stay present.
- Do something you love or do something creative – When you are fully engaged in a create activity that you enjoy, you can feel totally present and connected, and the ego mind falls away. Paint, write, build, decorate, sew, knit, garden, colour-in, play – whatever gives you joy creatively, make some time to do it.
Learn to Be Yourself
We are all unique and have a special purpose. We must stop comparing ourselves to others and honour our own uniqueness. Healer and author Catherine Wilkinson refers to the True Self as Spiritual Purity and has this to say:
”There is only one pure thing that you can be – and that is a pure you.
When something is pure, it has a strength and an effect it could not otherwise have. Think about a laser. A laser is a very pure form of light – so pure that it consists of just one frequency. This purity gives it extraordinary power. A laser can travel for miles in a straight line. It can vaporise tissue and cut through metal. Ordinary light such as torch light cannot do these things. Ordinary light is not pure; it is many things.
When you are “pure you” do not expect to have the same effect on others that another person might have. Your individual nature is different from theirs. How you affect people is a result of your individual nature. The important thing is to become you. Just you. The real you.
Every time you take on the goals, attitudes, thoughts, dreams, feelings or expression of another person, you risk diluting your purity. You will no longer be 100% you. You may become 78% you, or 45%. Some people have almost entirely lost touch with their True Self. They have so overloaded themselves with the expectations and thoughts of others that only a little of them remains, perhaps only 3%. Such people live lives of quiet desperation and their bio-magnetic field (aura) is extremely weak.”
So begin to spend quality time with yourself and listen to yourself! Become aware of how much you take on other people’s energy and beliefs. Your True Self already knows what you want and what will make you happy. Honour those things. Steve Jobs said:
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most importantly, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary”
So begin taking the first step in knowing YOU, and enjoy the journey. Forget about the destination – or rather, detach from the destination – which is your vision, your goal. It will happen in good time if you believe in it and you trust. BUT all the fun takes place along the journey. Just ask Dorothy, Alice, Gulliver or any other main protagonist in any story. The end of the book isn’t nearly as good as what takes place in those middle pages.