A question I
often hear relentlessly ask is “How do I know the difference between when my ego is guiding me versus when the universe is?” I have spent years pondering this one and I think I have finally come to recognize it for me. The first step was to become aware enough to recognize there was a difference. Once I understood that, I began analyzing the data. (very scientific, I know.) I noticed that there was this constant push and pull happening and it often sounded like this:
Universe (gently leading me by the hand) – “Come this way child. This path leads to growth.”
Me (eyes wide open in fright) – “Are you sure? That doesn’t look very safe.”
Ego (yanking me backward forcefully) – “Of course that’s not safe. Stay here. Right where you are. You aren’t smart enough, pretty enough, or competent enough to go down that path. What are you thinking even entertaining that idea? Do you have any idea all the things that could go wrong? What if you lost your job? What if you lost your husband? What if you went broke? What would people think? They would see you as the loser you know you already are.
Me (eyes even wider) – “I don’t think that’s true. But, it feels pretty true. Ego, maybe you are right. No, you are definitely right. What was I thinking? This is too much for me. All of this is too much. I think I need a drink.”
Universe (gently holding me up) – “You’ve got this. I believe in you. I have your back.”
Me (shoulders dropping) – “That feels real good. Probably too good to be true. But maybe you do have my back, Universe. Maybe I can do this.
Ego (with snarky voice) – “Of course it’s too good to be true. Why would the universe support you? It only supports people who are worthy. You are nothing in the grand scheme of things. There is no higher power, no such thing as unconditional love, only hard work and suffering.”
Me (questioning things a bit) – “But, I feel like there is something more.”
Ego (using intimidating voice) – “Understand me, your fear is real and you are too weak to walk that path. Look at you, you can’t even control yourself enough to not yell at your kids every day. You don’t have the strength to confront this supposed path to freedom. Who do you think you are? The only people strong enough to walk that path are the spiritual leaders you read about every day. Don’t you think there is a reason you are only reading about them and not experiencing the amazing life they are living? Because you can’t compete with that. Don’t even try.
Universe (peacefully smiling) – “Freedom is waiting at the other end of your fear honey. If you choose, I will be with you to walk the path. If you don’t, I will be loving you anyway.”
Me (stoic) – “I don’t know what to think. This is all too much.”
Universe (Calmly) – “I’m here. You’ve got this.”
Ego (Expecting triumph) – “Stick with me. I will keep you safe and comfortable your whole life long. This world is more than a sensitive, insecure person like you can handle. Nothing ever has to change if you remain right where you are. I will continue to help you puff up your chest and pretend like we may do something about our lives, but we never have to.”
Look at the energy ego has to use to convince me that safety is the most important goal. Yet, that safety still contains fear. The Universe barely has to say a thing. There is just this peaceful, loving presence despite the fear. Even during the times that the Universe is urging me a little bit harder, it’s a more of a parental push than a bully’s attempt to manipulate me into a decision. I’ve learned to recognize the feel of each. The ego feels forceful, fearful, and manipulative. The Universe feels peaceful, loving, encouraging, and kind. If I am following the path of the Universe, I may still get scared, but there is this inner strength that urges me forward. That. That is what it means to have Faith. It’s knowing the Universe has your back even during – no especially during – the hardest times of life.
If you find yourself in this push and pull of ego versus Universe, get as still as possible. Listen to what is being said and feel what it feels like. Before you know it, you will begin to recognize the difference between the two for yourself. From there, life begins to open up in ways you never could have predicted. You get the choice, live life from a place of fear or faith. I know for a fact the Universe hopes you choose Faith. I hope you choose faith.
With love and light,