Growing up in a top-down society like ours, we learn very early to look to others for answers. Parents, teachers, bosses, presidents, religious leaders—we are taught that they have the answers, and we should follow their direction. God too is often presented to us as an external figure, a man sitting up in the sky somewhere who knows everything and whose commandments we should follow. Yet, so many of those directives and rules are man-made, created to keep people in line, keep them from questioning authority of any kind, so that the top-heavy status quo remains in place. But what if there is no authority higher than you? What if God, or infinite divine wisdom, lives inside you, inside all of us?
Gradually, cracks in the old infrastructure are appearing. As humans begin to awaken, they are realizing that they don’t want to be told what to do in every part of their lives. They want a responsive and interactive social structure. They want freedom and equality, not just lip service to it. In truth, genuine freedom and equality come into being when each person lives a life centered in authenticity, inner soul wisdom, and deep regard for and love of others. This is the world we are stepping into. These are the shifts in collective consciousness that are occurring on our planet. We are learning to look within for answers, share our insights with one another, and then create together a society that is based on egalitarian values and open-hearted kindness: each individual in balance with the whole, no one person more important or powerful than another.
How do we begin to live this day-to-day? How do we unlearn dependency on everything outside of us? I would suggest that it starts with a regular practice of looking inside ourselves for guidance. You probably have heard of the “higher self,” that entity that is connected to Source or Spirit. The higher self—or soul self, as I call it—is not just a new age concept. It is the part of you that is eternal, and more open and wise than the ego/mind, which tries so hard to figure everything out logically. The rational mind likes to organize, label, follow the rules; the soul exists in a place of pure being and divine connection. When we look to our soul selves—and in conjunction, our hearts—we are guided to the most expansive and loving responses to life and living.
In my own life, I am finding that soul guidance and heart wisdom are ever-present touchstones for living with integrity, joy, and deep regard for others and our beautiful planet. Lately, when challenges or conflicts arise in my internal or external life, I sometimes ask myself two key questions:
- Do you want to live in fear or do you want to live in love?
- Do you want to live in judgment or do you want to live in gratitude?
My soul’s answers to these questions are always quite clear and unequivocal. There is no doubt that the part of me that is infinite, eternal, and connected to All That Is wants to live from a place of love and gratitude. That doesn’t mean that I never experience fear or judgment; it just means they don’t predominate and crowd everything else out. When I remember to ask these questions (and it is a practice), I re-center myself in what is really important in life, in that which brings us all together rather than separates us. From the perspective of the heart and soul, there is nothing but oneness always; it is just our perceptions, our mental machinations, that tell us otherwise.
So, if you find yourself mentally spinning or emotionally off-kilter, at odds with life, take a deep breath and ask yourself, your soul self, for the answers. Come home to the deepest part of you. Whatever arises from that place is your own inner wisdom. It is uniquely yours, connected to the greater spirit of all things, and it will guide you perfectly throughout your life.