Over the past few months, as I have met and connected with more and more people in my life, a theme seems to be recurring. People seem to be increasingly interested in understanding how “good” people can do “bad” things. How they can be so aligned with certain people in some ways, but be in polar opposition to the very same people in other ways. They wonder how they can move toward forgiveness and compassion amid so much conflict and unrest here in the USA and around the world.
The answer is simple to explain spiritually, but can also be very difficult to accept, especially from our human perspective. It’s all about our soul vs. our ego. This distinction is so important to understand as we continue to evolve individually and collectively. Once this explanation is accepted at least in concept however, it help us to understand how we can have extreme disagreements with people whom we love deeply, and also how we can have compassion for those whom we dislike.
Here is my understanding
This is based on what I have studied, and also what just makes sense to me. It’s an explanation that has emerged for me since I started receiving a greater understanding on metaphysical and holistic topics in the late 1990's.
So here we go… the not-so-secret spiritual truth…
Every single individual on the planet has a perfect and pristine soul.
Even those people whom we dislike? Yes!
Even those people who do terrible things to us, or to the people we care about, or to humanity in general?!? Yes they do… absolutely perfect!
So how do we explain that? How can someone with a perfect soul do things that are hurtful to other living things? Well that is where ego comes in.
The way I explain it to my clients, which seems to resonate with pretty much everyone, is to think of our body, the human vessel that our soul resides in during this lifetime, as our “ego suit“. Our ego suit is imperfect. It has wrinkles and stains, maybe some rips and tears. In some religious studies, they talk about how we are all imperfect. To me, when they say that, they are referring to our ego, not to our soul. But our ego suit (our body) provides the perfect vessel for our soul (our true divine essence) for this lifetime. Our ego suit contains all of our filters regarding how we see life – all of our biases, beliefs, values, judgements, and more. Our ego suit helps us to learn through experiences where we are the actor and/or the recipient of actions. The actions can be seemingly supportive or seemingly destructive. Here I use the word “seemingly” because it is our own bias or judgement that decides whether we perceive the action as supportive or destructive.
Well that’s in interesting concept, but how does that help me?
If we can allow ourselves to look past the ego… past our own and that of others… and consider instead the perfect soul, it gives us a beautiful and stable platform to examine situations.
Here is an example from my own life. When I was 20, I married my high school sweetheart. A few years into our marriage, I realized that he often used very unkind words toward me, he drank too much, and after a while he began an affair with a woman whom he eventually left me for. I was devastated. But, after some time and distance, I was able to see him in a new light. I knew he had struggles growing up, and had been the recipient of plenty of unkindness as well (I won’t get into the details here… after all that’s HIS journey). Looking back at his baby pictures… he was an adorable infant with bright and hopeful eyes, but that was not who he seemed to be by the time he was in his 20’s.
So what changed??? His ego suit had been infused with the experiences of his life, which led him to the point that his behaviors seemed to be appropriate to him… that they served him and his purposes. Who am I to judge that? So rather than continuing to judge his behaviors toward me as “bad”, I choose to instead see his behaviors as the best he could do in the moment. To look back to his soul at the time of his birth, and see that beautiful pristine soul, born into a perfect and innocent baby human body, and ask that spiritual and energetic healing go to the points in his life where his ego suit took on the imperfections, wrinkles, stains, and so forth.
(And a happy little footnote... if my first husband had never left me, I would not have met the love of my life, my hubby Mike... our relationship is 33 years deep, 29 years married, and going strong!)
Then I turn to my own soul and my own ego suit. I realize that I have a perfect soul riding around in my imperfect ego suit, deserving of respect, love, and compassion… both in the way it receives and the way that it gives. I examine my own ego suit… the wrinkles, stains and other imperfections it has taken on. And I work to smooth it and clean it through self-reflection, meditation, prayer, and striving to serve my soul well going forward.
As I said, on the surface it’s a pretty simple explanation… we each have a perfect soul, riding around in an imperfect ego suit, constantly interacting with other perfect souls wearing their imperfect ego suits. I encourage you to consider looking past the ego… yours and theirs… the next time you find yourself in a conflict. Can your soul have a conversation with their soul? Can you shift your perspective to have compassion for the path that has led to the imperfections? I hope you can… I’ve found that it is one of the most liberating gifts that I give to myself on a regular basis.
What are your thoughts on soul and ego?
Do you have any liberating stories to share about looking past the ego? I'd love to hear them! Log in and share your comments.