(Excerpted from “A Shaman’s Path To Inner Healing,” a fourteen part video series to help you with your own healing)
In spiritual circles ego gets kind of a bad rap. It’s true that it insulates you from your real feelings and inhibits real intimacy, but it’s doing these things for a reason – to protect you from situations you haves deemed to be too threatening.
The alternative to the ego is to be a place of compassion, what I call “The God Space.” Now that’s a great idea except that it means being totally open – vulnerable. And most people just aren’t ready to go there, yet.
But the thing is, you cannot be in the ego and hold The God Space at the same time. The two are incompatible.
So life is a learning arena for the transition from the ego space to the God Space. That’s why there is nothing permanent here except your learning. Life is a process to help you move from fear-based self centeredness to a safer place where you can move to a compassionate, more inclusive, “we” based perspective.
That transition means coming to terms with your beliefs, looking into where they came from and how they keep you from enjoying life. The applies especially the beliefs you hold about yourself.
When you leave the realm of compassion and replace it with the self-protective and non-loving feelings that originate in the ego, what we shaman call your shadow, you are hiding behind a mask.
Now the ego is tricky. I see some people, for example, who say they love their partners, and I am sure they do to the best other ability, but they are really trading – compromising what they need – in order to have what passes for a relationship. This is because they feel that they don’t deserve to be loved, fear what real intimacy would ask of them and because they fear rejection.
But it’s not the real thing. But because it’s all they have ever known and because they are unable to be as vulnerable and open as real love requires, they call this substitute, love. But it’s not. And they end up cheating themselves and their partners.
Let’s look at where that comes from.
The one who holds your emotions and therefore drives your needs, is your inner child. This is where your emotions reside, where your feelings and fears originate.
Now for those of you that are saying, “I’ve worked with a psychologist and I’ve done inner child work,” or think you know what that is, let me say that you don’t. Psychology doesn’t come anywhere near where we are going to go.
And emotions are very powerful forces, so the upshot is she controls virtually all of your power. And as we will see shortly, she does not live in the same world you do. You get to balance your checkbook and decide where you want to go for dinner, but when it comes to an emotionally charged situation, that’s her territory.
When you live in the world of ego – of not love, you feel vulnerable. You must build defenses to protect and hide the part of yourself that feels unworthy or unlovable.
As I said, you must live behind a mask.
We all do it, but doing it is sort of an exercise in futility. We think there is this defective and vulnerable place we must protect, but in truth, it isn’t there! It isn’t real! It doesn’t exist.
You cannot be unworthy or unlovable. But, you can believe you are. And that’s the great struggle of not just yourself, but of all humanity.
Every person on earth, every person you see struggles with these same issues. Perhaps not all in the same way, but they are all driven by the insecure feelings of unworthiness and unlovability that you struggle with.
By contrast, in the God Space you feel safe and secure. You have nothing to hide and nothing to hide from.
A magician’s illusion appears mysterious until you understand the deception. For most of us, life is like that. A mystery that is filled with emotional upheaval.
It is a mystery because, caught up in our fears, we are unable to see the bigger picture. As a result, we fail to understand what’s going on.
Now if I look at you, I am going to see what God sees – a beautiful, special being. One who has problems from time to time for sure, but a beautiful and special being, nonetheless.
But when you look at you, you are going to see something different. You will see flaws, cracks, imperfections.
You may see some good things, but there will also be the shame and guilt from the things you’ve done, the mistakes you’ve made, the too heavy thighs, wrinkles around your eyes, the emotional scars left from your divorce, your issues about your sexuality and your regret about some of your decisions.
You see these things as the result of flaws in your being, as defects of character. It isn’t that these don’t exist, they are real, but they aren’t permanent.
But most importantly, they are the product of what you have come to believe about yourself, not who you are. Beliefs are built from fear, who you are comes from the God Space.
And this is The Great Misunderstanding that plagues humankind.
God sees your beliefs as places where you have gone because you were scared, not because you were flawed or defective. She knows the perfection of your soul. And She also sees the beliefs that cause you to hide out in your ego space.
The difference is that God sees these places as opportunities for you to learn and grow.