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Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from Tristan Montoya of Student of Life.
Do you believe that what you do for a living is who you are?
Seriously, do you identify most with your job, your house, your car, the school you went to, or the city you live in?
Because these are some of the things we, as humans, identify with. Our ego selves would have us believe that we are our physical bodies, our past, our conditioning, our social standing in life, and even the material things that we possess. It creates its sense of value this way.
But the higher self knows better.
It knows that we are, in truth, spiritual beings.
If you’re concerned that you haven’t found your path or have strayed from it, I would tell you that where you are at this point in your life is not who you are — it is simply the situation you find yourself in, and have created, perhaps on an unconscious level. The situation is designed to teach you — as all of life is intended to do — and if you heed the lesson and understand its implications then you can begin anew at any time to recreate yourself. You are only pigeonholed if you believe yourself to be.
Your circumstances do not define you. Neither do your friends or your religion, for that matter.
You are a spiritual being and you are more powerful than you know — but you must re-member this truth.
You’re more than just another citizen, employee, social security number, and human being that shares space and oxygen with others on this earth.
You came into this world for a reason. And you brought with you a reason for being, a gift to give to this world.
You brought with you an intention.
And what that intention is, only you know.
Maybe you’ve already heard the call from within to pursue it. Perhaps you’ve ignored it, or sought means to distract yourself. But still it persists.
The call may have been present in our childhood years when we could actually remember our soul’s purpose. At this tender age we had no reason to believe that our dreams would not come true. We had faith in a certain magical quality of life kept alive by our childlike innocence — only to have adults and the people that ‘love us’ tell us not to get caught up in wishful or fanciful thinking. They told us it’s not practical or feasible and that it is best not to set our hopes high because we’ll only become disappointed later in life. ‘Do like everyone else,’ they tell us. ‘Play it safe and you’ll be alright.’ Already we’ve been instilled with a false sense of security — hence we seek to control our circumstances, rather than be guided by intuition and mysterious synchronicities, which would indicate a kind of surrender to a power greater than our understanding. The ego is not willing to give up this control. The paradox, however, is that while it seeks to stand out and proclaim itself special and different, it also craves acceptance and approval, making its power totally dependent on others.
And as it pertains to those well meaning adults in our lives, it’s often times them who gave up on their dreams early in life only to unconsciously try to keep others from breaking free. This pattern must now be broken. But first you must become conscious of how this is pattern repeats itself — and then consciously break the cycle. We must be vigilant that underneath the ‘care and concern’ that the adults in our lives exhibit toward us, what is actually occurring is that their fears are becoming our fears through mental programming. God forbid we should face a bit of hardship and even failure on our path — but adults do not see clearly through their fear-based perception of the world — and only want what’s best for us. We have to develop compassion for them, and understand they’re only doing the best they know how to do.
Most of us have been exposed to conditioning both at home and in school through repetition and rote memorization, combined with negative reinforcement. Those labeled “dreamers” are said to be unrealistic and impractical. The artists, dancers, writers, and musicians are often times told that they won’t make a living following their passions. Those disillusioned by this effect may then trudge through life (having been conditioned) forgoing their own natural sense of intuition or inner guidance, in favor of socially acceptable pursuits. Following the mainstream will get us things like the coveted college admission, potential for long-term employment, bonuses, 401k’s, a mortgage, and social status. This is “security” adults tell us. This is what we should want.
But with our child-like fascination and instinct we can feel something wrong with this — we see that that same adult educating us about ‘the way of the world’ is at the mercy of their employer and the economy to uphold their illusion. We also see clearly the economic trap that awaits us, essentially ensuring our enslavement as we strive toward the attainment of material things. And if our instincts aren’t clear enough, we only have to perceive how these old ideals are now evolving in these changing times. Indeed, old economic and social paradigms are now falling apart around us as a new reality takes shape.
“All progress comes from those who do not take the accepted view, nor accept the world as it is.”
Many have given up their personal power and put it in the system. They’ve long since quieted their wise inner voice, instead tuning into a group consciousness, whether they’re conscious of it or not.
If you’re lost, then just look for some of the many clues alerting you to your natural inclinations, talents and interests. Children reveal this to us all the time. They naturally gravitate towards that which ‘calls’ to them and lay down the things that don’t pique their interest in the slightest. The problem is that there’s another voice — that of conditioning, fear, and limiting belief in oneself — that denies you of your rightful inheritance to learn your soul’s purpose, experience your greatness, and discover your reason for being.
David Deida offers a very astute analogy in his book, ‘The Way of the Superior Man.’ He describes one’s life purpose as a “concentric circle,” and that by working from the outside in, layer by layer, you will soon discover the core of who you are and why you’re here. This is a life-long process, and it’s never too late to begin peeling back the layers — but there’s also no reason to hesitate!
I say you should “try on” different jobs, areas of study, life paths, activities, countries, friends, partners, and even personalities, until you find one that fits. That’s what makes life fun — variety! And it is this very process of self discovery that will bring back the joy into your life that following the herd can never deliver.
Reinvent yourself until you arrive at the person you want to be, the life you want to have, doing what you love with the people that allow you to be YOU!
Be a creator, not a competitor.
Take back your life and live it how you see fit, not how others have envisioned it for you — or worse, expected of you.
Whenever I fall into a pattern of thinking that I’d rather just stop going against the grain and be like everyone else — that I’d rather just fit in, seek outside approval, and rejoin group consciousness (or herd mentality), thereby turning off my intuition and inner intelligence — I stop myself and repeat something I heard Wayne Dyer, one of my favorite spiritual teachers, once say:
“I would rather be loathed for who I am, than loved for who I am not.”
Yes, it sounds absolute — but it’s powerful! Staying the course takes courage. It requires you to break away from the herd and asks that you learn to be comfortable spending time alone, sometimes without distraction, to uncover your mission, your purpose, your passion.
Don’t settle for anything less than you know yourself to be. The dream contained within you as a seed must take shape and grow to its full potential. You know if the life you’re living is your truth or a lie. And if you find it is the latter, then chances are the unrest in the seat of your soul will only persist and get louder if you seek to silence it, or distract yourself from hearing its voice.
So, it is up to you to either break free from the status quo that contains you, or settle for a mediocre life.
The choice is yours.
Student of Life, which deals largely with spiritual awareness, self-growth, and conscious evolution. He considers himself an open-minded student who is actively and continually learning from life’s many lessons. He is constantly amazed at the surprises found on the spiritual path and at the mysterious workings of the universe. He hopes to share his experiences and insights in a way that will assist others in finding their own truth and path in life.
“You will either step forward into growth, or you will step backward into safety.”
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