By Debra Berndt-Maldonado
The fireworks of the Fourth of July are a huge draw for people to flock to parks and barbeques to enjoy, but I think people forget what they actually represent. “The bombs bursting in air” is an overlooked reminder of the aggression and resistance involved in the war for freedom. This is something we can all relate to on a personal level, our battle within to become who we were meant to be. The struggle for independence from our ego-conditioning.
The tyrant we are trying to gain independence isn’t a dictator overseas but the voice within that is fighting for us to stay in the status quo. The voice of the ego cannot be ignored and is powerful if left unchallenged. The ego’s intention isn’t to hurt us or cause us pain, but to protect us to what it fears is outside of our comfort zone. We feel guilty betraying it because it has done such a good job of keeping us alive up to now.
Can you survive without the ego? No. You need the ego to sustain your body and give you an individual experience. Gaining independence from your ego means that you aren’t solely relying upon it to make all of your choices unconsciously. You put the ego in its proper place, in service of your true self, not at the helm directing your life.
There are three steps to gaining independence from your ego so that you can create new changes in your life – whether it is finding true love, changing careers, getting a promotion or building your business.
First, you must intellectually understand how the ego is operating in your life and take full responsibility for creating the experience instead of blaming external forces. You can see the conditioned patterns that are running on autopilot by looking at your current results. That is your ego’s comfort zone. No matter how positive you think or different actions you take, the results will remain the same if you let the ego drive your life.
Second, you must move out of your comfort zone so you can see the resistance to change and it will show up as an emotion. This is a critical piece because there is no transformation by logic alone, you must feel the emotion of fear of change and face it directly to move beyond it. You don’t get rid of it, clear it or heal it to push it away, you must go through it no matter how uncomfortable it feels. This will give you a direct experience emotionally that challenges you to reach beyond the ego for something deeper, your true self, to emerge into power.
Third, you must transform the emotion by integrating it and the emotion once labeled as fear or shame becomes creative energy that will carry you toward what you really want. You know you are at the third stage when you feel a rush of momentum, a lightness and freedom and willingness to keep moving even if you are scared or something is new. You are connected to your true power that doesn’t need the ego to make decisions, but follows higher wisdom.
If you happen to be watching the fireworks this week, remember the energy that is released to create them is inside of you. In this personal battle for your own freedom, the only casualties at stake are the unlived dreams, the love never found and the spirit never awakened. If you remember the consequences of resisting the call, you will have the courage to face the obstacles and find they were so small compared to the feeling of a live well-lived.