There is a plan (you get to choose whether you believe that or not), but it isn’t a given that we’ll fulfill it or fulfill it in a way that was intended. What can interfere with that plan are our beliefs — about ourselves, others, and life. Our beliefs are often limiting because most of them come from the ego and take us in the ego’s direction instead of Essence’s, or the higher plan’s. Without our beliefs, we can find our way much more easily to where we’re meant to go.
Isn’t it ironic that beliefs, which seem so true and valuable, are actually what can be most limiting? This is because most beliefs aren’t actually very true (or not the whole truth anyway) because beliefs are just conditioning. Conditioning is useful, but it doesn’t hold the key to how to live your life or fulfill your destiny.
Conditioning is meant to help us function, and some of it does that, but much of it just gets in the way of living life as the beautiful Being that we are. Many of our beliefs get in the way of being happy, which hopefully we can all agree is a worthwhile goal.
We all have a lot of false and useless conditioning. Our conditioning makes us think of ourselves in certain ways that can be limiting: “I’m not smart enough to succeed at that,” “My mother would have a fit if I became an artist,” “Girls cant do science,” “Making money is more important than doing what you want to do,” “You should carry on the family business.”
We have so many ideas about what we should do and what our life should look like, but are they true, and where did they come from? Is the source of these ideas trustworthy? What are we trusting when we trust our ideas? What happens when your ideas are in conflict with another sense of what seems true — with your Heart, with what you’d love to do? Then, what do you trust? What is more trustworthy?
People suffer when their ideas — their conditioning — are at odds with their Heart. This conflict can feel almost life threatening because often these ideas are ones we received from people we care about and are or were dependent on, from parents and others close to us. To not agree with these ideas feels like disagreeing with the truth, with the voice of God, with what’s right, with your parents!
Such ideas are not necessarily the truth even though others believe they are and questioning them feels dangerous. They are just what ot others believe and taught us and what we picked up along the way. They aren’t tailor-made for us. They are one-size-fits-all: They are supposed to fit everyone, but they don’t. And they certainly don’t fit all occasions.
When ideas that others close to us believe feel like they don’t fit for us, we often feel guilty, afraid, and even ashamed, like there’s something wrong with us or bad about us.
So what do you trust? Do you trust other people’s ideas and beliefs and your conditioning, or do you trust that little voice inside you that tells you something else? There seem to be two selves here: the conditioned self (the ego) that believes in following ideas and conditioning and another Self that feels differently.
Isn’t it funny how everyone knows what the ‘little voice inside’ is? We’re born with an awareness of something other than our thoughts that is at times in conflict with our thoughts or other people’s ideas. Even though this voice may go against our conditioning, we’re often encouraged when we’re young to pay attention to this voice. And if we didn’t learn to do this as a child or we don’t pay attention to this voice, we rather quickly learn that this voice does have something valuable to say! It can even save our life.
What is this voice? Well, it’s not actually a voice but a knowing, a nudging, sometimes an uncomfortable feeling when we go against it. It is our intuition, our Heart, the ‘still, small voice within.’ We all know it, but we don’t always listen to it because there’s often a lot of pressure from others and even from ourselves in the form of fear and guilt to follow our conditioning and other people’s ideas instead. However, people usually end up quite unhappy when they let their conditioning and other people’s ideas determine their choices.
Unhappiness is not a good sign, although it’s a common state. Unhappiness is usually a sign that we’re not aligned with our personal truth — with what’s true for us. We’re not listening to our Heart. Understanding why we’re unhappy is complicated by the fact that the ego is often unhappy and discontent even in the best of circumstances and possibly even when we are aligned with our plan.
The ego complains about anything and everything. It’s an ongoing voice of discontentment — the grass is always greener somewhere else. If we pay a lot of attention to the voice in our head, we’re bound to be unhappy much of the time. So there is the usual unhappiness that’s characteristic of the egoic state of consciousness, and there’s the unhappiness that is a sign we aren’t listening to our Heart or that we’re out of step with our higher plan.
The unhappiness that indicates we aren’t aligned with our plan is a deeper variety, a sense of our soul longing for something else, something more meaningful or more in tune with who we really are. This deeper unhappiness is often experienced as depression and often indicates that our life structures don’t fit our plan.
The cure generally calls for making different choices and possibly creating different life structures: changing our job or career, changing our relationship, moving, including something new in our life, developing an overlooked or a buried talent, or making some other important but possibly difficult change. This deeper unhappiness or depression is the ‘stick’ that is attempting to get our attention and move us in another direction.
Joy is the ‘carrot’ that says, “Go this way!” What a beautiful setup it is that joy is the sign that something is part of our higher plan! Do you want to know what your plan is? What do you love? Where is your joy, your juice, your excitement right now? The things that give you joy right now are part of your plan right now, not something that gave you joy in the past or something you think will give you joy in the future, but what gives you joy right now? All we can ever really know of our plan is what is true right now.
The fact that following our joy and doing what we love brings happiness and fulfillment is evidence that love and goodness are behind life. When joy and love are motivating us, the result is happiness, love, and goodness, not just for us as individuals, but for the Whole. Joy and love align us with our higher plan and with the Whole, and that can only be good for everyone.
Think about it: Has following your joy ever led to evil or harming someone? It just doesn’t. Other people might not approve of what you love to do, but you aren’t harming them by doing that, even if that’s what they believe. On the other hand, negative emotions, especially fear, lead to all sorts of addictions and harm. But love is the opposite. Following love and joy leads to happiness and more love and joy, not just for you but ultimately for others too. If what you’re doing is in your highest good, then it must be in everyone’s highest good — in the highest good of the Whole.
What a great formula for life this is! Life is prodding us to follow our joy and love by rewarding us when we do that. This is very kind of Life. In providing us with this guidance system, Life is being very loving. You could conclude that Life loves love and joy.
You could conclude that love and joy are behind life. This Intelligence that has a plan loves and celebrates love! What’s not to trust about that?
~ by Gina Lake, From her book: Trusting Life: Overcoming the Fear and Beliefs that Block Peace and Happiness