Author Archives: Ego & Spirit
God—The Love Guiding Us To Be Truly Loving
The greatest of human experiences are those times when we are being truly loving. Times when we are manifesting a connective, unconditional, unburdened, and unlimited love with whatever we are doing and whoever we are doing it with or for. A loving embrace of life happening when we are caring for our children and loved ones, tending a garden, writing inspiring music or stories, teaching skills that lead to a better life for others, putting ourselves in harm’s way to protect others, and a million other ways we can be truly loving. The reservoir of Love serving as the source of this loving comes from within, but it is not of our making, as much as we may want to think or believe that. It is the Love—God Is, which we can choose to manifest in any way possible as it has no boundaries that can be placed upon it. It is the foundation for what become the loving thoughts, words, feelings, and actions we use to express this Love.
This Love is connective because there can be no walls or barriers that stand in the way of its connection to ourselves or others. But, we can create walls made from ego illusions such as separation, unworthiness, and inequality that make it appear as though this Love is absent or beyond our reach. This Love is unconditional as there are no reasons for which it can be offered to some and not others. Differences of race, religion, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, political affiliation, income level, intellectual capability, emotional stability, physical ability, and species have no place in this Love. This Love is unburdened as there is no challenge it cannot meet in order that this Love can be offered to or received by those in its need. This Love is unlimited and inexhaustible as it has no end and in its giving more is created to be given.
Some may disagree with the notion that we are not the source of our loving thoughts, words, and deeds. It is certainly an understandable belief that we ourselves created the manifestations of love and must be considered the source of them, rather than God. Unfortunately, this understanding becomes a misunderstanding when we believe that we can stand alone or apart from God. It also misses the intense intimacy we share with God and how much our life is being impacted by the Love, Life, and Energy—God Is, whether we know it or not. Every breath we take, image we see, song that fills our heart, taste we enjoy, and so on is the culmination of the Love—God Is, built upon the wisdom of the ages. God has made all of this possible including our capacity to be truly loving—we are not its source. The really good news is that this Love is available to everyone and at all times with which to fashion a greater life than what we have known. We can only become distant from it when our ego energy is creating distance from it.
When we default into believing we are the source of our loving rather than God we have opened the door to many distortions in how we know and show our love as well as our ability to accept it from others. Our loving thoughts, words, and deeds become fashioned through the prism of our ego energy. Our ego power, flexibility, and vulnerability when imbalanced can promote distortions of love that distance us from being the Love—God Is and can be quite twisted. We can think it is Ok to love some and not others. We can think we only have so much love to give. We can think we don’t deserve to be loved. We can think we must earn love. We can think others must earn our love. We can think that showing love is weakness. We can think that needing love is weakness. The Love—God Is, would not have us thinking any of this!
Our recognition that God is the source of our being truly loving not only has profound implications for ourselves but also for how we see our neighbors. We can see not only the humanity of their loving thoughts, words, and deeds—but also the Divinity. We can hear the voice of God speaking to us through them telling us about the Oneness and Unity we share with them. We can put aside the distraction of any human differences to see more deeply who they are and who we are. It is within this awareness that we can combine our human resources to address any of the challenges we face individually and collectively, when being truly loving. The Love—God Is, within our being will defeat any fear or weakness within ourselves or others as their source is only within our humanity. They cannot withstand the connective, unconditional, unburdened, and unlimited love we can meet them with when we are being truly loving of ourselves and others while being the Love—God Is.
In peace and love,
Nick and Linda
Love Our Neighbor—There is No Choice!
One of the most important messages we receive as children and throughout our lifetime is to love our neighbor. This message has been sent throughout the world for thousands of years. It is a central tenet of every religion or belief system seeking to promote connection to each other and God. A foundation for human and spiritual wellness and a game plan for the best life has to offer. This is a particularly important message in a world where technology and telecommunications has brought us into a more immediate and intimate level of contact with our neighbors, near and far, in ways that did not exist only a generation ago. Distance, geography, and primitive technology no longer stand in the way of seeing our neighbor or they us—for better or worse. Yet, despite its simplicity, familiarity, and significance, it is a message that is often not fully embraced at all times, in all places, and with all people. This message often gets diluted, lost, or forgotten when we encounter the differences that exist between we and our neighbors. Then loving our neighbor starts to become a choice for many, if it isn’t one we are already making
The weakening, meaninglessness, and absence of the message begins with the notion that loving our neighbor is a choice. It is a choice we may or may not realize we are making—but many are often making it. This choice is being made when we start to look negatively upon neighbors who differ from us in race, gender, age, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religious affiliation, income level, intellectual ability, physical ability, or emotional stability. Placing conditions or requirements on which neighbors we will love or how much is a violation of the simple, brilliant, and beautiful message to love our neighbor—all of them and at all times! When we fail to do so, we don’t understand the message at all and believing we do is only an illusion. Also, loving our neighbor isn’t something we can only think. It’s not just a good and wholesome idea. We must live it for the message to be real and not just an illusion in which we are only fooling ourselves.
Some may think that loving our neighbor is a choice and even resent the suggestion that there can be no choice. It only becomes a choice when we are losing contact with our Divinity and falling deeply into our humanity. A humanity which often embraces the notion that we are not our brother’s and sister’s keepers and do not need to serve them in their time of need. A humanity which allows us to stop loving our neighbor based on any of the differences they may have from our likeness. A humanity that allows fear and anger, rather than love, to guide one’s thoughts, feelings, and behavior toward our neighbor, particularly when they are being a lesser version of themselves.
Loving our neighbor becomes a choice when ego illusions of separation, inequality, and unworthiness become the filters through which we view our neighbors and loving them becomes more conditional. Loving our neighbor becomes attached to prerequisites involving the right beliefs and values, the right demographics, or the right physical, mental, or emotional characteristics. The notion of loving our neighbor is lost and the message has been rendered meaningless when choice has become a part of it. The Love—God Is, which exists within our Divinity is connective, unconditional, unburdened, and unlimited. It involves a Divine standard rather than a human one to be the source of one’s guidance. It does not allow for a choice where none can exist to be the essence of this love. Only an imbalanced ego in which power, flexibility, or vulnerability issues are impacting on our human energy and humanity can bring this about—making love a choice.
The good news is we can become more connected to our Divinity, if need be. When we awaken to the illusion of separation operating in our life and realize we are truly connected to all others the wall of separation can come down. When we awaken to the illusion of inequality operating in our life and realize we can only be equal and that any differences are not the making of deficiency or inequality, this wall can come down. When we awaken to the illusion of unworthiness operating in our life and realize that we and others can only be worthy because God dwells within each of us, this wall can come down. The removal of each of these illusions will lead to the removal of the notion that loving our neighbor is a choice. With the true meaning of the message “love our neighbor” being fully known and lived.
Again, the Love—God Is, is connective, unconditional, unburdened, and unlimited. When we sign on to loving our neighbor that is the love we are being. That is the love in which there can be no choice. That is the love in which we would want no choice. It is the love in which ego illusions involving separation, inequality, and unworthiness, attached to ourselves, others, or God can’t and don’t exist. Gandhi said, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” To the degree that loving our neighbor is a choice, we must seek to be that change.
Love Our Neighbor—There is No Choice!
In peace and love,
Nick and Linda
Fred’s Mom was Right—Look for the Helpers!
We are living through some challenging times as most of you know. The idea that terrible things could never happen “here” is now a relatively quaint notion which has been replaced by the awareness that soft targets—schools, places of worship, stores, concerts, sporting events, and shopping malls—can in an instant become scenes of unspeakable tragedy. That visit came recently to one of our Pittsburgh neighborhoods, the one Fred Rogers knew so well, at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Squirrel Hill. Eleven souls were lost to a man whose life spiraled downward to the point that death and destruction came to give some meaning and purpose to his life. A theme often present in others killing in places such as Orlando, San Bernardino, Newtown, Littleton, and unfortunately many more. The new normal is that it can happen here and we are challenged to heal from our pain. While, our leaders and legislators fail to address issues that make these tragedies far more likely and common here than in other parts of the world.
As Fred’s mom taught him, in times of great difficulty look for the helpers. The helpers are the healers. They cannot undo the incredible physical and emotional pain we have experienced. They cannot undo the loss of what could have been and should have been. They cannot make sensible what was senseless. That is not their purpose in our time of need. The helpers are those serving us while being the Love—God Is. This love is connective, unconditional, unburdened, and unlimited. It is far stronger than hate and its “father”—fear. This love will return us to living as we come to terms with man’s inhumanity to man. This love is our rock as we move beyond the darkness into the light.
We can find the helpers anywhere and anytime. They come in many different forms. The first place is within. We have all been endowed with the Love—God Is. This is why we are capable of doing incredible things and why when people come together they do some really incredible things. We were designed by the wisdom of the ages—three million years—to heal from within and be our healer. Tools such as sharing our thoughts and feelings, crying, laughing when we’re ready, meditating, and exercising are just some of the ways that resonate with the design woven into our being so that we can love, help, and heal ourselves.
The helpers are also found in all of the people surrounding us who are manifesting the Love—God Is. This love being reflected in their listening, kind words, compassion, and warm embraces. We must open our door to these helpers as the connective, unconditional, unburdened, and unlimited love they are extending to us resonates with our Divinity. Seeing the face of God in their reaching out to us allows us to reach inward and recognize the God which dwells within. This recognition helps us to know that we never walk alone on our life’s path even in the darkest of times and can surmount them with the Love—God Is.
Our helpers can also be found in those we have never met. But, who gave something to the world born of their being the Love—God Is. Their gifts may have been musical, artistic, literary, religious, athletic, scientific, or any other creation that resonates with our humanity and Divinity. Touching us in a way that inspires us to love, help, and heal ourselves. Each allowing us to experience a greater sense of connection to ourselves and others—humanly and spiritually.
The helpers can be found in nature’s gifts. Each created by the Love—God Is. Each showing us the breadth of love which surrounds us, waiting to be held to their bosom. Each speaking messages to us about the beauty, meaning, and purpose which remains as we walk along the healing path. Chirping birds, fragrant flowers, serene beaches, gentile rainfall, dog licks, cat cuddles, sunrises and sunsets, majestic mountain views, and tranquil forests are just a few of the messengers of love, awaiting the opportunity to be our helpers.
Ironically, those who perpetrated mass violence were surrounded by many helpers. They either could not recognize them or chose not to reach out to them. They had gained tremendous distance from the Love—God Is within others. Divisive rhetoric certainly did not help them to do either. It was present in the healers who served the killer at Allegheny General Hospital while working to save his life. The Love—God Is was present in all of the mass killers though they had gained an incredible amount of distance from it, which is what happens when one’s ego energy is significantly imbalanced, and life can only be understood in inhuman terms devoid of any connection to one’s humanity, spirituality, and that of others.
Yes, love is stronger than hate and fear because it connects us to all of our helpers and all of who we are—much stronger!
In peace and love,
Nick and Linda
Truth—So Near Yet So Far Away
There is nothing more important to our wellness and survival than truth—human and Divine. Despite its role in helping us to be grounded in reality and all of the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual benefits that come with being connected to it, most of us live at some distance from it. A distance that often is reflected in difficult relationships with people and particularly loved ones, inability to achieve and know our life’s purpose, difficulty growing our mind with truth, and inability to experience genuine happiness, to name but a few of the important life areas impacted by truth and its absence. We often settle for less rather than more out of ourselves and life. Our distance from truth often prevents us from fully realizing the Divine Gifts we have all received. The Gifts of our life, creating our life, eternal life, and God within us.
Often, it is much easier to gravitate to faulty beliefs, values, and prejudices masquerading for truth. Sort of like taking a short-cut in living our lives that doesn’t really exist. Sometimes out of ignorance because we don’t know where to look or find it. Sometimes out of comfort so we don’t have to deal with the near term pain it can bring which can ultimately bring forth joy and happiness as we meet the truth we needed to know. Sometimes out of convenience which allows us to live in the illusion of happiness and a better life built upon lies and untruths we tell ourselves and others. This isn’t pleasant, but the truth seldom is until it has become part of us that we are connected to. So near yet so far away until we have chosen to awaken to it—within us.
Some of the best examples of those living at a distance from human and Divine Truth are: dictators, narcissists, victims, martyrs, racists, authoritarians, sexists, ethno-centrists, religious extremists, political extremists, sadists, bullies, perfectionists, sociopaths, hedonists, and cultists. There are plenty more but we think you get the idea. Lots of ego rooted issues going on in which inequality, separation, and unworthiness form the foundation of the truth they know or want to know. We may not be one of them, but we live with many of them, and they do have a destructive impact upon our lives, as well as their own, and will continue to do so unless they and we build a stronger bridge to truth. The truth that lies within and which we can only access for ourselves.
We are intelligent, spiritual beings capable of becoming better human beings! The elusiveness of truth has nothing to do with an absence of intelligence or the absence of the Love, Life, and Energy—God Is, within our being. It has everything to do with our ego energy and how it works, despite our intellect, our Divinity, and our desire to seek truth, to block us from looking inward. So close that we can even “touch it” by thinking it, but cannot be it. It is when the “volume” on the power, flexibility, or vulnerability of our ego energy is getting higher or lower that we gain distance from truth, reality, and ourselves. It is when our ego energy is imbalanced that ego illusions lead us to find truth in inequality rather than equality between ourselves and other forms of life, particularly fellow humans. It is when our ego energy is imbalanced that ego illusions lead us to find separation and difference rather than connection and commonality with the people we encounter or those from other places. It is when our ego energy is imbalanced that ego illusions lead us to find unworthiness within ourselves or others rather than worthiness which is our birthright as each of us is a child of God. Too much or too little ego power, flexibility, and vulnerability will get us to any of those distant places from truth—human and Divine.
The task of finding and being connected to our truth is often easier said than done. Which is why many look to others to find it for them or are pacified by faulty beliefs, values, attitudes, and prejudices being passed off as truth. Unless, we have a “map” to better understand ego, our own ego energy, and how to heal it from within, we will remain at a distance from truth—human and Divine. The bridge to our truth is not built upon ego-related ideas alone. They are only a launching point and guide for where we must look to find the truth from within. It is these ideas that we must connect to our experiences involving key life areas such as relationships, self-acceptance, achievement, happiness, and others, that only we can fully know. To gain a semblance of the volume existent in our ego power, flexibility, and vulnerability, if we want to see it. To see more of the change we must undertake from within to get to our truth, if we want to know it. To narrow the distance between truth and ourselves, if we want to live it. The more we see of ourselves, the narrower the distance between ourselves and truth—human and Divine.
From the perspective of Ego, Spirit & You, when we are able to shine light upon ourselves where there has been darkness, we can see the lies we have been telling to ourselves and others, often unrecognized, but nonetheless impactful upon our distance from truth. Light and truth are intimately linked and once they are revealed there can be no distance between ourselves and our truth—human and Divine.
The Best of Our Humanity
Our Ego Energy is a mixture of three components—Power, Flexibility, and Vulnerability. The degree to which each is present or absent will impact the way we go about living our daily lives. In Ego Therapy: A Method for Healing Your Whole Self, we describe 125 different ego energies in an effort to help people find the ego energy they are living and determine if and where they need to undertake healing of their ego energy. From the perspective of Ego, Spirit & You, it is our intension to foster an awareness of all ego energies so we can ultimately live the great life we are meant to live! A life in which we are living the best of our humanity in concert with our Divinity.
This article is the one of a series to help you become more attuned to ego energy in the broader sense and to help you determine whether you or someone you know is displaying this ego energy. We believe that recognizing one’s ego energy places us an important step closer to understanding ourselves and each other which is integral to any healing which can occur—individually and societally—as well humanly and spiritually.
Ego Energy 63: Balanced Power—Balanced Flexibility—Balanced Vulnerability
This is the “ideal” ego energy. The one in which we are striking the healthiest balance within our ego’s power, flexibility, and vulnerability. A person with this ego energy has a healthy ability to interact with people. While being a follower or leader, depending on which is being called upon in a particular work, play, or social setting. We can approach relationships with loved ones in an interdependent manner. There are times when we can lean upon loved ones and lovingly depend on them for what they can offer to us or we can give to them. While, also being able to go it alone when necessary, without becoming distant or alienated from our loved ones. We can also love ourselves in healthy ways that allow us to love all others—known and unknown—as we manifest the Love, Life, and Energy—God Is, within our being.
We seek to achieve with all of the talents we have been given while undertaking our work with a sense of passion rather than burden. Within this effort we can see what we have learned along the journey and have been made better by it. We have no need to compare our journey with others, as such comparisons are meaningless. We have no need to build shrines to ourselves reflective of accomplishments for others to see. The service we are here to provide—human and Divine—has come into focus and we are realizing our life’s purpose.
The growth within the quality of our mind toward truth is healthy. It is within the flexibility of our ego energy that we can add, change, or remove thoughts, beliefs, values, and prejudices which belong or don’t belong there. The arbiter is always the willingness to be connected to truth rather than faulty beliefs. No matter how painful the reckoning may be. As we will ultimately be set free to live the greatest of lives by truth—human and Divine.
Our dealings with the inevitable personal, situational, societal, and technological changes that life will bring are in keeping with the understanding that life cannot and will not stand still. As the energy upon which it rests is dynamic rather than static. We work to manage change rather than avoiding, rejecting, or seeking to undo it. We embrace, honor, and follow worthy traditions which have wisdom to teach and serve us, while discarding faulty traditions that have been shown to be destructive and which were created to exploit people, wildlife, and the environment. We can also instigate needed change to address that which should not remain stagnant and unhealthy in our personal lives.
We can work with the adversity that comes in the form of failures, losses, and mistakes. Often, rooted in the imperfect nature of ourselves, others, and life which we have come to accept and learn from, rather than to avoid or reject. This work involves the ability to seek and understand relevant causes, owning what we must own in contributing to problems, and developing solutions which allow us to effectively solve problems and not just dealing with symptoms. The ultimate lesson having been learned that management of the problem is more important than the problem itself.
It is within this ego energy that we have the greatest opportunity to experience the abundance of genuine happiness that is available to us. We don’t accept substitutes for it in the form of pseudo-happiness. While understanding its ingredients include being at peace with oneself, others, and the world, being motivated by love rather than fear in one’s efforts, living in the present rather than being chained to the past or consumed with the future, and so on. Also, the gift of our other emotions including sadness, anger, fear, and guilt are playing their part in helping us to know when we are gaining distance from happiness or the direction we may need to take to get there.
The stressors and stress we encounter (e.g. financial, work, health, family, relationships, etc.) are being kept in perspective by our ability to understand and manage them. We react, rather than overreact or underreact, to their size, frequency, or seriousness, in ways that allow us to manage them, rather than letting them manage us and our lives. This includes the use of proven strategies, often rooted in the “wisdom of the ages” and the divine nature of our design such as healthy eating, exercise, rest, and recreation patterns, meditation, yoga, mindfulness practice, and cognitive therapy. Rather than quick fixes or approaches that often become unhealthy addictions including alcohol, drugs, over the counter medications, food, and cyber-related consumption.
Our management of conflict is healthy. We seek to use it as a tool by which to teach and learn from others. The difference between constructive and destructive conflict is well known and we disengage from the latter. Its signs include personal attacks and insults where nothing can be taught or learned, the focus of the issue/conflict/argument has been lost, and the emphasis is on “winning” while some degree of the relationship—if not all of it—has been lost. We can agree to disagree when no meeting of the minds can occur and remain friendly, if not friends. Never losing sight of the importance of cultivating or maintaining the relationship. EMNS-0/None.
If the description from this article resonates for you or someone you know, you may want to read further in Ego Therapy as well as our other books EgoSpiritualism: Awakening to Your Human and Divine Self and The Two Voices Within: Balancing the Energies of Ego and Spirit to Enhance Your Life. All three books are available on the Shop page Here.
In peace and love,
Nick and Linda