Fears? Doubt? Discouragement? Answers!
(Mike DePung — Post II.19)
When things get tough, Ego reaction works through mind (thoughts) and soul (emotions) to discourage, give doubt, and create fear.
What is the issue? Relationships, careers, health? Doesn’t matter. Whether we have responded to Heart and come to know self or not, we can know beyond any doubt that Ego works when we entertain those thoughts and feel those emotions.
Becoming self-aware is, in a sense, a science and an art. We can learn to identify behaviors, words, and emotions in a methodical way, but dealing with them on a personal level is an art, an art of Heart. I value competent mental health professionals, and I especially value those who have insight into the spiritual truths of awakening and help patients come to face and deal with Ego and accept Heart. When dealing with discouragement, doubt, and fear, oftentimes professional help is needed. I mention this because if someone lands on this post through my #’s, I want them to know if they need deeper help, they should not hesitate to obtain it. In the meantime, at the very least, be aware of these emotions and the thoughts they spawn. They can become a vicious cycle; however, we can develop an awareness that we can deal with.
Ego will have us judging and evaluating others based on perceived motives. Ego considers the projected thoughts and then interprets actions of others. When Ego starts that shit, we either become defensive and indignant at perceived slights, or we feel shame because Ego tells us to feel stupid because “they” were right. When self-deprecation speaks, it’s Ego. When we entertain fear, doubt, and discouragement in our soul, they are Ego. Be aware of that and tell yourself, “Okay, Ego, I recognize you. Not this time.”
It’s not that easy, but there is a solution. I would like to explore it through a poem of Walt Whitman’s, one I’ve referred to before, but it is so appropriate.
O Me! O Life!
O Me! O Life!..of the questions of these recurring;
Of the endless trains of the faithless, of cities fill’d with the foolish;
Of myself forever reproaching myself, (for who more foolish than I, and who more faith less?)
Of eyes that vainly crave the light, of the objects mean, of the struggle ever renew’d;
Of the poor results of all, of the plodding and sordid crowds I see around me;
Of the empty and useless years of the rest, with the rest me intertwined;
The question, O me! so sad, recurring, What good amid these, O me, O life?
That you are here, that life exists, and identity;
That the powerful play goes on, and you will contribute a verse.
In the poem, Whitman describes the discouragement, doubt, and fear that accompanies the workings of Ego in a soul. The ultimate Ego coup is self-deprecation. Whenever anyone begins slamming self, it serves no good purpose. There’s not a noble impulse about making everyone else better than you, about taking the lowest position because it’s somehow spiritual: “who more foolish than I, and who more faithless?” What effect does that have? It casts the narrator into discouragement, despair, maybe even depression.
Then, Ego questions the beauty and worth of other people and their works and society in general: “Of the poor results of all…” All is called into question: “Why does this happen to me? There’s no solution. O, what am I going to do? No one has any idea how to fix things, fix me!” What a crock of crap. But I would be sympathetic with anyone I was dealing with personally about this attitude.
In fact, I hope I would respond just like the last three lines, which sounds to me like Walt understood exactly how my Heart speaks to me — not emotional, mushy stuff, but honest, forthright, and helpful. The narrator asks the question, and Heart answers: “What good amid all these,” all the doubt, discouragement, and despair borne of fear of facing self. Those last three lines!
“Answer. That you are here. That life exists, and identity” This is Heart saying know me, know yourself. Each is here as a unique person, not “intertwined” with all the rest. Our own Heart identity is the real us. We came here to express that.
And that is the thrust of the very last line: “That the powerful play goes on, and you will contribute a verse.” We have that unique identity to express and impact this world for good, making a difference and writing a verse in the play of life. The solution, then, to discouragement, doubt of self and all of life, and the fear that is stimulated by Ego is clear: know yourself and take action to express that unique self, core Self, Heart identity.
Let’s recap! If we have Ego-induced fears, doubts, discouragement, we can recognize them, identify them. Then, we can take action: address Heart directly, awaken to the voice and identity of Heart, our true Self, and do something to express who we really are. Simple, but not always easy. However, we can always turn to Heart.
Be aware. Be filled with love of Self and this wonderful creation. Know that you are an integral part of it, really, that it exists by and for you. Fill it with that wonderful You.
Blessings, my friend!