This post is a follow-up to Hope's Wisdom Dialogues Episode Called "How the Ego Controls our Minds", written by Gail Florence.
One of the timeless questions asked is the existence (or non-existence) of free will. Some believe in it, the others don’t. Are we beings who simply follow the ebb and tide of life? Do we really make choices as we move along each day? Let’s find out more as this blog talks about the real meaning of choice.
We think we are making a choice when we choose between two things. For example, Am I going to eat chocolate or vanilla ice cream?,Am I attending to this event? Am I marrying this person? Am I going to work today? The list goes on but all these are just choices from the surface. They are simply illusions of choice, worldly thoughts that we give so much meaning and time. Hope Johnson enlightens us that there is a deeper choice – making, an orchestration from a higher place in the mind. It is listening and agreeing to the voices of our minds. There are two important voices we are offered - the ego and the spirit.
Ego provides with meaning to our thoughts
To put it simply, the ego provides us with meanings to our thoughts. It makes us believe that our feelings are effects of different situations. When we believe these illusions are real, we become vulnerable. On the other hand, the spirit provides us with the truth. It allows us to just feel our emotions. It also gives us choices where we feel happy, relieved, and content.
Naturally, we think of so many thoughts. It is the most automatic function of the mind. It is not about it being the brain or a bodily organ, but as its essence. Whatever thoughts pop out or flow, we don’t have a choice in them. What we can do about them is agreeing, disagreeing, accepting, rejecting, believing, or shrugging them off. It is where freedom of choice comes in.
Am Unconscious Choice
Are thoughts wrong? Are they a problem? No, it is agreeing with them over and over again that is the problem. For example, when we go through a rough patch in our relationship, a lot come into our mind – the events that lead to the conflict, regrets, happy moments with the person, depressing thoughts and so on. Continuously lingering in these things and allowing our minds to constrict because we choose to just believe them, creates the problem. Hope Johnson says it becomes “an unconscious choice because people don’t realize they’re making that choice”. In reality, we are choose to think of the relationship constantly and what came along with it.
What is truth then? What is reality? Reality is the state of being natural, simply allowing the flow of life in the stream of day to day. It is recognizing our feelings and returning to them. We don’t police ourselves all the time when we are thinking this and that. It is just an allowing to let things be until we achieve comfort and inner peace. Hope Johnson beautifully adds, “You’re always making that choice and to choose recognizing the truth just takes a little bit of willingness.” (Johnson, 2019)
Recognize that our freedom lies in choosing the thoughts that will help us go through the motion of life. Become aware of what goes thru your mind and if you allow negative ones only, you have the freedom to change them. Even if the norm will persuade you to continue trusting the ego, you can always lean to the comfort of the spirit. The spirit maybe a tiny voice at first but believe it is within you. It is up to you to lift it up in your mind and make it your focus. Allow yourself to be encouraged by Hope Johnson as she explains,
You're still always free...
“You're still always free to be yourself. You're still always free to make that choice that serves you and everyone else at the same time. … And as that self-belief is getting undone, you get to have all of the fun. You have to have more and more on things, get more and more joyful because there's not this fear of, ‘what's going to happen to me?’ … It's just a matter of it, of looking at that thought your guidance, with your good guide. You could say it with your good guide,” (Johnson, 2019).
We conclude by giving you something to reflect on. What do you choose? Will you give in to your thoughts no matter how they constrict you? Will you choose to linger in those that make you feel guilty, fearful, and anxious? Would you rather opt for letting go of what was and what will be? Will you allow yourself to feel and just let it flow?