Starve your ego, feed your soul
June 24, 2018
I believe it’s possible to live fearlessly with the freedom to go after a life full of purpose & meaning. I believe it’s possible to immerse ourselves more deeply into relationships through a greater sense of connection & love. I believe it’s possible to feel a burning desire for life & the opportunity the future presents. I believe it’s possible to be able to forgive more easily & accept people as they are, without judgement or comparison. I believe these options are available to all of us, but it requires a different way of being to what most of us know. If we want to achieve what most people don’t, we must live more in tune with our soul & less in tune with our ego:
Our ego is best explained as the voice we can hear inside our head. Think of it as a sophisticated computer that is programmed to, first & foremost, keep us safe, secure & free of embarrassment. To do its job well, it has a negative bias & focuses on the difficulties on our path ahead. It doesn’t need to pay attention to the good things, they aren’t a perceived threat.
The safest place our ego can keep us is within our comfort zone. So, in an attempt to steer our behaviour away from challenges, our ego is quick to recall & remind us (through thoughts) of any negative perceptions of past events or experiences. Because we hear this voice loud & clear within our own head, we believe it to be meaningful & something that we should therefore pay close attention to. This is why our least risky option usually feels like the most attractive one.
As someone who lived to serve my ego for many years, my drive was to tick social boxes to fit in & fundamentally look good to others. I was disconnected from love, connection & what truly made me happy. Instead, my happiness came externally from chasing girls, parties, money & materialistic possessions. These times provided moments of happiness but when they passed I was left with an empty feeling that something was missing. On the outside I was “living the dream”, but on the inside I felt an overwhelming sense that there had to be more to life!?
Whilst the voice in our head sounds like a voice of truth & staying safe is definitely a good idea, our ego won’t lead us towards a deeply fulfilling life. Instead, we will be driven to compare ourselves negatively to others & focus our thoughts on the challenges rather than opportunities around us. This way of being can lead us to feel anxious & depressed. Furthermore, by staying within our comfort zone we aren’t tapping into our greatest potential.
Fortunately there is an alternative…
It may not be as easy to hear, but we also have a natural instinct inside of our body that isn’t bothered about comparing our life to others, external validation or having more money or possessions than we need, because it’s only concerned with living in line with our deepest values. This instinctive energy is our truth, it’s what we feel within our body when our soul speaks to us.
Unlike our ego, our soul isn’t influenced by external circumstances, so it can’t be impacted by other people’s opinions or external circumstances, it’s who we are in our rawest form. It’s happy when we are living with love, compassion & kindness, unlike our ego which wants us looking good, winning, buying possessions & staying contently in our comfort zone, safe & free from perceived threats (including change and growth). One way leads us to a sense of real pride & deep rooted fulfilment, the other keeps us safe & content but, without deep fulfilment, it relies on short term gratification fixes from external sources.
In today’s developed world, it’s incredibly challenging to move away from the allure of the ego & to instead be led by the messages from our soul. Having grown up listening to an education system that told me success was a good job, money, house, car and a wife, I was once doing well in achieving what I believed would bring me “success”, & with it, happiness. The reality was I didn’t know there was a difference between surface level happiness (short term gratification) which would come & go, & deep rooted happiness (fulfilment) that would have me feeling an inner sense that I was living a full & purposeful life.
So I believe our education system conditions us to live in line with our ego from a young age, & it takes a conscious & out of comfort zone effort to change. I was lucky, in looking to confront the issues I had around sex I had strong motivation to actively look for help to change. Without that motivation, there is a chance I’d still be living my ego driven life, vacant & disconnected.
If you want to make a shift from your ego to your soul, you’ll need to learn to process the messages within you hear within you in a different way. It’s important you learn to connect with the true values within your heart & soul, because if you don’t know what really matters to you, how are you meant to live in line with those things? Meditation is one strong technique to help us do this, because by quieting our mind / ego, we allow our soul to speak. We can also awaken our soul by spending time in nature, journal writing, by choosing to be open-hearted & authentic, & doing more things that you love.
Once we know what makes us truly happy, it’s about living true to yourself. That means being prepared to live your own life that serves you, regardless of whether this is the “norm” or not. It requires bravery and a deep connection, but soul living offers us inner peace & the ability to share our true potential with the world. On the contrary, if we stay stuck in our heads, we risk living an empty & anxious life, with a lack of meaning & purpose.
With more awareness & resources around mental health, I believe we all have the opportunity to work on ourselves & make the conscious decision to align ourselves with the deeper feelings from our soul. If we can learn to make that connection & act on the messages we hear from a deeper place, we tap into a source of unconditional love, courage, wisdom, fulfilment & joy. It’s something I continue to work on (and no doubt always will), but life has changed considerably for the better for me, I know first hand the difference it can make, I recommend to you all that this is something you consciously try to work on.
Your ego is the mask to the world. In a world full of masks, be brave enough to share your soul, its what makes you authentically and powerfully you.