We are souls in physical form, and we have an ego that is meant to serve us in specific ways. Frustration happens when we get their needs confused (or ignore them) rather than have them work together.
Let’s look at some ways to differentiate between ego needs and soul needs.
Ego serves us in ways that move us to take actions in our daily lives, actions meant to keep us alive and, hopefully, thriving. Ego seeks to feel a certain way, often motivated by material demands that originate outside of our soul desires; and this need leads to good choices and not so good ones. It follows logic, sometimes self-logic that desires to avoid pain at all times, rather than our emotional heart. It speaks to us in ways like, “Gotta make a change!” From ego, we may sometimes be forceful in striving for and achieving our aims.
Soul does not respond to force. It recognizes that painful or unpleasant emotions are facets of all we are capable of feeling, like needed colors in a rainbow. Soul knows we are always in flow, that our experiences have purpose for us; and its aim is for us to thrive as whole beings within the bigger picture of life. It asks us to pay attention to everything we think, feel, say, and do or don’t do. It asks us to seek what fulfillment means for us in all things, to listen to what our emotional heart tells us. Soul speaks to us through our emotional heart using intuition and positive and negative feelings. Negative feelings are as much a part of our soul-self’s communication system as positive ones.
Mainstream dissuades us from remembering that our emotional heart is another form of intelligence we possess, one that knows us intimately; whereas logic focuses on what the (usually fearful) ego wants. Ego wants to fill any void with whatever it believes will make it feel good or better. Soul wants us to empty out what no longer belongs inside us and to feel our way to what it is that truly needs to occupy that space as what will allow us to express our true selves. What fills our ego needs may not fill our soul needs. What fills our soul needs takes care of our ego needs.
Ego believes power comes from winning, from creating and having positive experiences. Soul knows the truth of our power and seeks to integrate our inner and outer power through learned wisdom into a desired collaboration between soul and ego as a way of life. Soul knows nothing is lacking, and it strives to remind us of this through sadness, frustration, depression, serenity, and joyful appreciation . . . so that we seek the truth and live from it.
Ego says, “Get rid of any negative feeling immediately.” Soul says, “Be with your feelings in a gentle way so you can get quiet and hear my message.”
Ego pushes us to look outside ourselves to define who we are. Soul asks us to know ourselves and to fearlessly reveal who we are to others through our words and actions, our talents and abilities, our visions and goals. Ego says, “I don’t love who I am, so I have to pretend to be what I believe will be acceptable.” Soul says, “No pretense ever lasts. Be who you are, who you came here to be, just as you are now and are becoming.” Ego says, “Fake it till you make it.” Soul says, “Start where you are and evolve deliberately.”
Ego wants emptiness filled in a hurry because it cannot tolerate it. Soul knows that the fastest way to fill emptiness is to allow emptiness, to surrender the ego needs about it when it shows up, and appreciate whatever value and guidance it presents. Your soul knows that appreciation of what is, is always responded to with more to appreciate. Balance of soul and ego happens when we align our inner perspective with ego’s ability to take action that’s in our best interest and for our higher evolution.
As you move through this holiday season, and as we approach not only a new year but a new decade, consider exploring how to create collaboration and alignment between ego and soul, with thriving as their common goal for you, and see what gets created from it.
You are what you practice.
© Joyce Shafer
You are welcome to reprint this article as long as you use my bio as it is published here.
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