I am often asked, “How do I know whether it is my ego or my higher spirit beckoning me at any given moment in life?” At any given moment, you are choosing between two pictures or evaluations of yourself. Your choices include the one offered by your soul, or higher self, which I think of as the voice of God, and the one offered by the ego, or your false idea of yourself. The answer to the question above is, “If it brings you a sense of peace, then it is your higher self at work.” Your higher self is always nudging you toward a resolution of the conflicts that you experience in your life, so that you will have room for serenity and harmony. If you are living with inner turmoil, continually quarreling with yourself and feeling anxious and fearful, then you are allowing ego to dominate your life.
In every moment, you have the option to choose peace for yourself. Your false self thrives on inner anxiety because that is what it thinks it needs to stay alive. Ego promotes thoughts like these: I cannot be happy or content; I must be a bad person; If I am feeling peaceful then I will simply vegetate; I must constantly look at how others are living and performing in order to assess my value. The ego wants you Continue Reading
Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace.
— The Prayer of St. Francis
You can become an instrument of peace in any given moment of your life by deciding that you are not going to use your mind for anything other than peaceful thoughts. This may sound extreme to you when you take into consideration all the difficult people you have to deal with, your financial picture, the illness of a close relative, the inconsiderate boss you must face, the taxes you owe, as well as outrageous traffic delays, and on and on. Try taking a breather from your habit of continuously looking for occasions to be non-peaceful. Go to that quiet, serene peaceful place within you that is covered by the outer layers of your material life. It is here that you know what being an instrument of peace means. Here, your emphasis is on giving, rather than receiving, peace.
When you are an instrument of peace, you are not seeking anything, you are a peace provider. You do not seek peace by looking into the lives of others and wishing that they would change so that you could become more peaceful. Rather, you bring your own sense of calm to everyone you encounter. You do not go about viewing every circumstance of your life in terms of whether it meets with your standard of peace. Rather, you bring your peaceful countenance to the chaos you encounter and your presence soothes the outer turmoil. Even if the turmoil continues, you have the freedom to choose a peaceful thought, or to quietly remove yourself from the immediate scene. How do you do this? Continue Reading