Listening to my true self is hard sometimes. I rarely can distinguish from the voice that wants to bring me peace and the voice that wants to defeat me. It takes a still mind to see this distinction, and when I am focused I can see it clear as day. It is when I am distracted, when I am caught up in the whirlwind of events going on around me, that I choose the voice of fear by mistake. The voice that leads me to share that negative thing that I recently heard about someone. The voice that tells me not to tell someone how beautiful they look. The voice that tells me not to act that excited about what my younger brother is trying to share with me. The voice that tells me I am separate and different from everything around me. How many times a day do we have great, positive, loving ideas to share with other people, yet we often find excuses not to. We all have this voice inside of us. The tricky fact of life is that there is no easy way to put an end to it. It is a part of all of us, but some have more control of it than others. Although it never goes away, we can turn down the volume by simply treating it for what it is: a voice in your head. You still call the shots for all of your actions, as long as you have the focus and awareness to do so.
It’s like we have a terrified 10 year old with a temper who thinks he calls all the shots. He gets jealous when people have better toys than him, he hates when others get more attention than he does, he is mortified by embarrassment, and hes generally is petrified by the unknown. Some know this little child as the ego. He is the reason for all of our negative emotions, and why we make life so much more complicated than it should be. We are raised in this society to think that we need to kill our enemies, to uproot them from existence, but this does not work with the ego. The second you think that you uprooted your ego, the child is right behind you cheering, “We did that! We must be pretty special if we can get rid of our ego, NO ONE can do that.”
So how can we stop the child from having power, from making poor decisions that cause suffering in our lives? It may sound crazy but the best way is to open your heart and love that little terrified child. He is from the shadows of our psyche, the dark corners where the sunlight does not reach. We should treat him as we should any cranky child, to not take them too seriously but love them nonetheless. The most important thing is to cultivate the awareness to see the child for what he is, so we can make our own choices. By attaching ourselves to the present moment, we can be free to make decisions straight from the heart, for it is the only place where the child, fear, and suffering are unable to enter.