Do you ever seem to get frustrated and angry over something really trivial? I do. Yesterday morning, while driving to work, I was turning across the oncoming traffic to enter a side street. The stream of traffic coming the other way seemed to be endless. I couldn’t turn into the street. Cars began to queue behind me and I started to get mad. I was upset at all the other cars and started to think “This isn’t fair!” and “Why does this have to happen to me?”. I could feel the frustration and anger building.
Then I had a simple thought “What would your Soul do now?”, and that changed everything. Let me explain.
Once I thought about what my Soul would do in this situation I felt a wave of calmness begin to wash over me and flush away the anger. It was amazing. There was nothing in this situation that could irritate my Soul, it was only my ego that was getting irritated. This needs more explanation.
Soul versus ego
The Soul is our true essence. It’s derived from the single energy behind everything in the universe and this single energy has the qualities of being unlimited, eternal and free. It can also be equated with the concepts of love, joy, peace and truth all of which are also unlimited, eternal and free. It’s impossible to imagine that such a Soul could get agitated at all by a stream of cars on the other side of the road.
The ego is an image of ourselves that our mind has created. When we were born we didn’t have an ego. This is something that we’ve created as we’ve gone along in life and the main component that has gone into forming it is the things other people have said to us. Especially during our childhood, comments like “You’re not very smart!”, “Life is hard”, “You need to get a good job to make ends meet”, “Other people will kick you when you’re down”, are readily absorbed and used to create our egos. In simplest terms, the ego is our mind’s own definition of who we are.
The problem is our ego’s are almost always wrong. That definition of who we are is wrong. Our Soul is the true us, and we don’t need an ego at all.
At any point in time, the two voices we have in our head are coming from our ego and our Soul. Unfortunately, the ego is louder and often feels more comfortable.
Identifying the ego
How can we identify thoughts that are aligned with the ego? It’s really quite simple (but not always easy in a frustrated moment) if we just keep in mind that the Soul is unlimited, eternal and free and pure love, joy, peace and truth. Any thoughts that go against these qualities must be coming from the ego. Thoughts aligned with the ego will always be bad for us and they should be avoided whenever possible. The emotion of fear is meaningless to the Soul.
When driving the car this morning, I became frustrated because “life wasn’t fair”, “those other drivers weren’t thinking of me”, “I was going to be late”, “the drivers behind me would think badly of me” and so on. It’s easy to see the opposites of love, joy and peace in these thoughts as well as the concepts of being limited, time constrained and imprisoned. These thoughts can only be coming from the ego. The Soul would never think this way. The Soul would only be loving, joyful and peaceful and nothing that happens can ever shake that.
Siding with the Soul
When I had the thought “What would your Soul do now?” in the car this morning, I immediately imagined an unwavering force of love, joy, peace and truth and then I couldn’t imagine how a few cars on the other side of the road could annoy my Soul in any way whatsoever. It would only feel love for everyone else. It would only feel peace as it watched everything that was happening, somewhat detached from the busy-ness of the day. It would never feel time constrained or under pressure as it is free to do as it wishes at all times. It would never be fearful as it is eternal (having always existed and will exist forever) and unlimited (it’s actually everywhere).
What would your Soul do now?
Whenever the emotions of fear, frustration and anger appear, it’s good to recognise them as belonging to the ego. These emotions won’t help in any way and they can be discarded. Try asking yourself the question “What would your Soul do now?”, discard the emotions coming from the ego and settle into the emotions of the Soul – love, joy, peace and truth. Just watch the world go by from this vantage point of the Soul.
This sounds easy but I find it very hard. Often, when I’m caught up in egocentric emotions, I sort of know that I’m there but I can’t pull myself out of it. The ego has too strong a grip with me but I’m working on it. I’m gradually wriggling out of the grip of my ego and siding with my Soul more often. Meditation helps as it aims to stop the mind. When the mind is not busily working the ego is not there – it’s only a construct of the mind. However, the Soul is still there, as strong as ever, when the mind stops thinking. Meditation helps us find our Souls.
Next time you’re feeling frustrated and angry, you can try to consider “What would your Soul do now?”. I wish you luck and hope that you wish me luck too.
- Victim of a Powerful Ego
- This post (What would your Soul do now?) reminds me of a beautiful song from Jason Mraz called “What would love do now?“ – in the final line of the song this question is answered with “Love would love to love you now”. That’s just lovely. Click here to see the lyrics of this song.
- The Interactive Users Guide to Life
- The Power of Now