Hope you’re all having a wonderful week.
I read a book a couple of months back (well, truth is I listened to it whilst gardening!) and one of the phrases that keeps coming back to me time and time again is this: “the true freedom we all seek is freedom from our self.” I recall pausing the recording and pausing my gardening work and thinking “wow!” although not entirely sure I grasped the full meaning. If I’m honest I’m not entirely sure I get it all now!!! But this blog is an attempt to get my head around it.
What is interesting immediately is I just wrote “ourself” above and it had a red squiggly line under it, so I clicked and it changed it to “our self”. Yes!!! That’ a massive definition change. Why? Because, to me, ‘ourself’ sounds like us, our complete being, whereas “our self” almost implies there is a, or some, bits of us the operate independently of each other, which I know to be true. So freedom from our “self” means to be free from the influence and interference from this part of us.
Which begs the question: what is our “self”?
On the one hand we could argue that our “self” is that voice inside our head that is constantly talking, nagging, arguing with us and giving us good, and sometimes poor, advice. When we realise that “we are not the voice inside our head, we are simply the one who hears it” then we can listen to it and then decide if we wish to follow its lead or not. I think this is a really good first step to being free from our “self.” In fact, this level of consciousness can free us from bad habits, addiction, insecurities and even acting in the heat of the moment (which, in my experience, rarely leads to the most favourable result!)
So what else could our “self” be?
I think there’s something about “ego” here, is there not? If I consider freedom from ego, then that feels like freedom from the need to be loved, the need to be right, the need to be the best, the need to be the solution, the need to be “the one”, the leader, the boss, the most gorgeous, the best paid and to have status and possessions and attachments to prove it. When I consider the greatest world leaders of the last decade, there is often (if not always) something beyond their “self” that drives them and keeps them focused. Think Gandhi, Mandela, Mother Theresa, Dalai Lama…. Sadly, I cannot say that about most of today’s world leaders who seem uniquely focused on their “self” and their own interests (I don’t think I have to name these ones!)
Which asks: “how can we be free from our ego?”
As I sit here writing, I believe our ego is simply a collection of our insecure “thoughts” which we care to pay attention to. Like all “thoughts” they are not reality, just a figment of our imagination, and as such we don’t have to pay attention…but if we do “observe” them then this can be quite amusing for as long as we are detached from them (isn’t this “freedom”?). When we come to realise that there is a Universal Energy (or “Mind” in 3P’s language) that connects us all and creates order and balance in the world, and when we choose to trust this and go with this energy rather than fight against it knowing that it will all work out, then my experience is that I start to see and feel beyond me. When I am in this space, the intensity of connection with others, the space created for others to shift and the personal insights and success created are simply out of this world and usually “effortless”.
Are “Self”, “ego” and “our thinking” the same thing? Most probably yes…simply “thought”, and let’s not be fooled as it appears so very real!
A challenge for us all:- let’s try to transcend our “self” today and see what shifts that creates for us and others we interact with. Let us each try to be conscious of the voice inside our head, our thoughts and our ego and then simply ignore it (or laugh at it if you wish) and each have a deep sense of “everything happens for a reason” and “it will be OK”….and see what happens.
I would love to hear you reflections on this blog and also tomorrow (or later today) hear back from each of you as to what you actually experience when you have “freedom from your self”
Have a magical day