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, ego hopes, thriving. Ego seeks to feel a certain way, often motivated by material and external demands that originate outside of or aside from our soul desires, and this need leads to good choices and not so good ones. It follows logic, and more often than not its own brand of logic that desires to avoid pain or discomfort at all times and at all costs, rather than conferring with our emotional heart. Ego speaks to us in ways like, "This has got to change! Now!" From ego, we may sometimes be forceful in striving for and achieving our aims. Ego does not always act from conscience: it wants what it wants when it wants it.
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 or the largest box of crayons. Soul knows we are always in flow at that higher level, that our experiences have specific and significant purposes for us; and its aim is for us to thrive as whole beings (body, mind, and spirit) 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 and 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 feelings are. Soul always acts from conscience and conscious awareness, and nudges us to strive to do the same.
Mainstream dissuades us from remembering that our emotional heart is another form of intelligence we possess (in fact, our truest form), one that knows us intimately, because it is us; 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 as quickly as possible. Soul wants us to empty out what no longer belongs inside us (to heal our wounded selves) and to feel our way to what it is that truly needs to occupy that space that will allow us to express and be our true selves. What fills our ego’s needs may not fill our soul’s needs. What fills our soul’s needs eventually and inevitably takes care of our ego’s needs, most especially by calming them.
Ego believes power comes from winning, from creating and having positive experiences. Soul knows the Truth of our personal power and its true Source, 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 truly ever lacking (only a belief in lack or believing we deserve it gives lack “life”), 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 and who you came here to be. Love yourself just as you are now and are becoming." Ego says, "Fake it till you make it." Soul says, "Start where you are and evolve and expand deliberately with unafraid honesty and integrity."
Ego wants emptiness filled in a hurry because it cannot tolerate it; it is disquieted by the unknown. Soul is not concerned with the unknown; it trusts Source and has the spirit of adventure and discovery. Soul knows that the fastest way to fill perceived emptiness is to allow emptiness, to surrender the ego’s needs about this when emptiness shows up, and appreciate whatever value, guidance, and inspiration it presents. Perceived emptiness is like dark matter in space: we can’t see it but it has its function or purpose for being there. 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 highest evolution as we take next steps on our personal path.
Explore how you can create collaboration and alignment between your ego and soul, with thriving and flourishing on all levels as their common goal for you, and see what gets created in you and your life from this. It’s a good practice, one you’ll appreciate.
Practice makes progress.
© Joyce Shafer