When we begin learning to trust ourselves and to live into who we are, we often begin to wonder if the inner voice inside us is helping us or hurting us? Is that my ego talking? Or is that my soul’s desire? How do we know the difference between being reckless versus expanding into our next level? We’ll go there today so that we can leave feeling more inspired and trusting of the inner voice and guide.
I’ve always been a fairly “safe” person. Maybe it was due to being raised in an Asian American household where I was first generation, or maybe it was due to me just not wanting to rock the boat. Either way, there was a people-pleaser inside me that was very good at regulating my desires. I have just never been that person who lost complete control or did something extremely foolish. That’s why when I started up-ending my life on my search for greater meaning and purpose, part of my journey included letting go of some of that control.
So I could listen to what I desired, my intuition and that feeling of knowing that I was making a decision that may not be entirely safe but was my own. In that process, I had to ask myself that very question about the ideas that started to take shape in my mind. “Can I really trust this desire?” If I wanted to buy nicer clothes for example, I could rationalize in a million different ways why I didn’t need them. Am I buying these things because I’m trying to satisfy my ego? Do I need external validation? Did I want to be looked at in a certain way or to be thought of as worthy?
In all of these behaviors, whether it’s how we shop, what we eat, who we marry, where we live, and where we work or study – there’s an aspect of ego as well as desire. How do they end up commingling peacefully instead of us running back and forth from one end of the spectrum to another?
Similarly, if we’ve been disappointed in the past or doubt ourselves, we’ll completely pull ourselves out of the game of life so that we won’t have to feel rejection or failure. We’re almost anti-something or another more than we ARE something or another. We rebel, we want to give it all up. Is the desire to give it all up better for me? Should I keep going or am I overriding my desires?
Many times, when I coach those who are overwhelmed and burnt out, they wonder if they could run away somewhere where they could escape the rat race. I’ve also wondered the same thing when I’ve had any particularly difficult human situation – the desire to give it all up. What I’ve realized, however, is that we are human beings for a reason, here to have a human experience full of duality of ego and desire, pain and pleasure. What is ego? The ego has a sense of self-identity and wants status, recognition and prestige. The desire that wants meaning, purpose, contribution, and fulfillment. How then, do we marry the two?
You Have To Know Yourself
The answer’s not as simple as saying follow your heart’s desires always!! Why not, you might ask? All the things I’ve heard tell me that my heart is never wrong! This may be true, but the catch is many of us are not as well connected to our heart as we may believe we are. We are still in our heads, thinking about the worthiness of ourselves, how to mitigate fear, how we can stay safe, and how to stop people from judging us.
What you really have to understand is that the heart is the entryway to your soul. If you begin to ask questions about that thing you desire, you have to step in through the door of your soul and begin to enter the different rooms of your soul. You have to see why you’re desiring this now, at this point in your life. What does it signify? What does it mean? And how does it serve you on your path. Your spiritual and psychological evolution is a process, one where you learn from experiences so that you know what it means to feel connected, disappointed, inspired and loved.
When you’re asking your soul about buying the nicer clothes, she’s going to tell you – you know it’s not about the clothes. It’s about what the clothes mean to you. When you know how the clothes are connected to your inner self through meaning, you’ll understand if the clothes are a bandaid – one that will never soothe the pain permanently – or if the clothes are the next layer of skin that grows on your body healing your wound and becoming part of who you’re showing up as in the world. That they’re fun but aren’t necessary.
The same goes for eating or living in a way that feels indulgent. That cupcake isn’t going to change your life, but if you see what it means to you to eat it – it can. Are you doing it from a place of fear? Are you eating the cupcake because you feel defeated, sad, bad, frustrated or bored – in hopes that it will make you feel better? Or are you eating the cupcake because you’re learning to have a life where you enjoy more pleasures without guilt, and you’ve been working on having more fun?
This is the difference between knowing which thoughts to trust. To know what’s truly a soul desire. To know what’s coming out of a place of fear or a place of love. What’s coming from a pattern of using an outside thing to control our feelings not a soul desire. What’s coming from our inner feelings that then takes shape in our outer world is coming out of soul desire. I know it may be easy to broad brush one single type of activity as soulless (think money) or soulful (think leaving our current lives and living by ourselves somewhere), but it’s not that simple. Anything done with fear and negative intentions can be harmful and a way for you to ignore a deeper wound. Suddenly, a vacation becomes a way to escape an unfulfilling daily life. Suddenly, that cake you want to eat is a sign that you have a pattern of eating when you’re stressed.
Anything, done with a positive intention, your soul’s desire, can become our inside world manifested into form. Suddenly that terrible job becomes wonderful or meaningful. Suddenly spending money on ourselves in a different way is growth and contribution on another level.
What matters more is what backs up that thought or desire? Is it backed by love and service? Can you feel that it will positively affect yourself and others? Will this be hard in the short term but better in the long term? Is this part of an unhealthy pattern to change the way I feel through something external to myself?
At the end of the day, we will make a choice and see where that leads us. Ultimately, we learn through our experiences so if you’re feeling something that’s been tugging at your heart, and you’re starting to explore your soul – it’s likely that this desire you have is coming from a place of self-discovery and making new decisions. We will often have to make new decisions in a life full of growth. We’ll spend money, energy, time, resources in new ways that we’ve never done in the past if we’re looking to live life differently. This is why it often feels like a full-time job to do the inner work. You’re spending time looking at the ways in which you are operating in the world, you begin to question and questioning is ok. Not only is it ok, it’s recommended. When you start to look at each piece of your life and whether it belongs here on your path towards higher consciousness or growth, you’ll feel like you’re not just accepting things as they are but you’re making choices.
Asking yourself if this desire is truly coming from your soul is the start of you beginning to learn what it feels like to set boundaries, to trust your intuition, to know how you want to spend your time, energy, and money. Play with it. Have fun with it. See what happens when you lean into your soul’s desires more and more each day.
It may start with a single conversation that feels really difficult, but necessary because you know it’s been too long since you’ve talked to your partner about the state of your relationship and you desire to have a better one. It may start with you deciding to take a different approach to your wellness because you desire to feel like you’re full of energy. It may start with looking at going back to school or pursuing a different career because you desire to understand how to use your gifts and to use them in this lifetime. It may start with you saying yes to something you know would move you forward on your new path.
Stay in Your Lane
One thing I’ve learned is that all our desires will be different because we each have different lessons we’re learning while we’re here on this planet. Stay in your own lane, stop comparing yourself to what others are desiring and start to hone in on your own special sauce. Why? Because everyone else is taken. If you haven’t already started, now is the time to start figuring out who you are and how to have fun along the way. Can you really trust your desires? Yes, when they’re coming from your soul, a place of love and compassion, and the energy that knows what is for your highest good and others. Do this often, as many times a day as you can and stand back. It won’t always be easy, but each alignment will bring your external world closer to your internal world. It’s as simple as listening and doing, over and over again. Your soul’s been waiting, are you ready to answer the call?
If you want help designing your life and uncovering your soul’s desires, you’ll want to join my free Design Your Day workshop. RSVP now to get a spot and I’ll share with you the strategies and tools I use daily to shift my mindset, change careers and improve my health. Together, we’ll start the process of designing a magical life. Go to https://mayempson.com/designyourday to sign up.