by Joious Melodi
Many times, our inner voice tells us there is much more to our life than we are capable of experiencing at the present moment. So, what is it that keeps us from living and becoming the person that we long to be?
What if the world was designed for us to come up against obstacles, problems or people that help us define who we really are? Inspirational speakers Esther and Jerry Hicks describe this as, “Knowing what you don’t want, so you can know what you do want.” Consider the possibility that the world is perfect just the way it is. That’s what speaker and author Byron Katie says in her book Loving What Is.
Author, physicist and spiritual healer Barbara Brennan teaches that all traumas and trials experienced throughout life bring more divine essence into our “beingness” when we look at the false images and beliefs we have and heal them.
“Our life experiences will bring us lessons about how to live from the ever-flowing source within us,” states author Susan Thesenga in her book The Undefended Self: Living the Pathwork, which examines what it would be like to just live one day at a time, seeing what’s right in front of us, as an opportunity to become more of who we really are.
Thesenga describes it like this: “The higher self, lower self and the mask coexist within each human being. Our job is to stay open to receive who we are moment to moment, to not reject whatever is within us. In this way, we can gradually release the mask, face and transform the lower self, and learn to identify with and express the higher self.”
Thesenga describes the lower self as: “The creative center of our negative attitudes and feelings toward self and others, arising out of our egocentric separateness from the totality of life; it is our defense against pain, our numbness to feeling, our disconnection from ourselves and from other people. We project onto others the role of enemy, thus enabling us to treat them badly, rather than respecting their God-given integrity. The essence of the lower self is the negative intention to stand apart from the whole.”
In describing the higher self, Thesenga notes: “The higher self is our personal embodiment of and connection to the universal spirit that moves through all things. Meeting the higher self is an experience of ourselves as filled and flowing with the spirit, the life force, or God. It is an experience usually accompanied by relief, as we feel we are coming home to our true identity, remembering who we really are.”
The mask, as Thesenga describes it, is an attempt to rise above our faults and our pain, to deny our ordinariness and our pettiness. She says the mask self is the outer layer of the personality, the self one superficially identifies with, and the face shown to others. People often think of what they ought to be, based on images often set by society. The pretense of the mask keeps people from enjoying moment-by-moment reality because of the obsession to live up to a perfect, idealized self-image. Perfectionism is a block to happiness and prevents our ability to relax and accept the imperfections of the here and now.
“The path to the real self includes learning to shed our mask, accepting our ‘lower’ imperfect human nature and embracing our ‘higher’ perfect spiritual nature,” Thesenga writes. “Spiritual growth is movement toward the undefended self, the self that neither masks our human flaws nor denies our spiritual essence. Expanding our self-awareness and self-acceptance in these ways will bring us the deepest possible harmony and contentment in life, and will provide the most solid basis for true self-esteem.”
It is important to support others as they journey into this self-discovery, releasing old blocks and patterns, so that they can live their dreams and passions as undefended soul-infused beings.
Joious Melodi is a certified massage therapist and owner of both Heart Centered Bodywork LLC and Radiant Living, located at 6051 N. Brookline Ave., Ste. 127, Oklahoma City. For more information, call 405-740-6813 or visit RadiantLivingOk.com.