This is a continuation of last week’s post.
Tactic #2: Ego tricks you into thinking it’s furthering your spirituality.
Earlier this year, I decided that if my book business didn’t break even by the end of this year, I would stop writing blogs, making presentations and considering new book concepts. I told myself that I was getting older and it would be wiser to put money toward retirement. So, I set goals and devised an action plan, and started moving forward. Or so I thought.
Every task was difficult. Even those I’d done before—like writing posts—had become a challenge. I set aside time for my business, but I’d just stare at the white screen for long periods of time.
Nothing came together. My frustration soared.
Then a friend gave me The Mystic’s summary of John of the Cross’ “Dark Night of the Soul.” While the original poem was written in the 1500s, it was relevant to my current struggle—I discovered my ego was trying to control my spiritual journey. It explained that the ego has the conviction that it’s the “doer” and it’s motivated to seek higher consciousness so it can amass even more power.
I realized by residing purely in my mind, I blocked my ability to heed heavenly inspiration. I couldn’t grow spiritually because I wasn’t living in faith in the Universal Power. My ego convinced me that it could get me to higher consciousness if I worked harder in the direction I’d predetermined. My actions screamed: “What did I need God for?”
Ego wants to create spiritual growth by its own means. This document explained, “Certainly, it [the ego] doesn’t want to be granted fulfillment by a power outside of itself.”
Ego wants to circumvent the Most Divine and take credit for my enlightenment!
Instead of setting an action plan for my business, I wished I’d prayed. Listened to my heart, the angels and the Great I Am. If I had, I’d have known that I never feel more alive than I do when I’m inspired to write a post or give a presentation that touches someone.
But residing in faith doesn’t mean living financially loose. I could’ve continued writing posts and cut down on website and marketing expenses, so that I wasn’t spending too much. That way the stressors about building a retirement account would’ve lessened and I would’ve maintained my spiritual integrity.
Faith is about being open and trusting the Most Divine. Ego is about barriers.
Let’s break down the impediments. When it comes to the important matters in life, let’s ask ourselves: “Am I operating from my head or my heart?”
A musician friend of mine used to say, “If you aren’t scared, you aren’t learning anything.” This was not news I wanted to hear. Now I believe it is the truth. Fear is the companion of growth (creative, spiritual etc.). Growth for me also means I am not in control and the rules are changing, so scary.
Money is my all-time bestest boogie man. So much so that I always think there won’t be enough money for whatever project I’m working on (a silkscreen, a quilt, a chocolate class). The money gets found, tho times might get exciting for a while. (I am just now learning to get some faith into the project planning process.) Another face of the money boogie man is the I-will-end-up-a-bag-lady drama. I tried to be aware when I was making choices that would impact long term financial goals—to accept the possible consequences of my choices. (Quitting a high paying job to go roady for muni band was an example). And yes my financial wellbeing is less than it could have been.
I have come to accept this money boogie man: he lives in my head, frantic to keep me safe. That is his job. I get to temper his shrieking voice with my need to grow and learn.
Great comment, Peggy! You’ve conquered one of the biggest hurdles regarding fear: figuring out what is a rational fear and what is fear of change and growth. All animals have the fear response to warn us against engaging in activities that will harm us. However, I know when fear pops up and it isn’t a rational fear, that, like you, I need to plunge forward and to have faith that this action will take me in a new, exciting direction. Thanks for taking the time to visit my blog and comment.