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Ego or Higher Self: Who's Behind Your Decisions?

When you make a decision, you hope it is ultimately one that supports your highest interests and that leads you toward greater joy, so it is important to consider what part of you is offering you your options, so you can make your choice based on sound advice and come to a conclusion that takes you in the direction you want to go! There are two primary sources of input in any such decision-making process: your “Higher Self” and your ego.

Your Higher Self operates from the place of all knowing, because it is perfectly interfaced with Source, the font of wisdom and repository of all knowledge. Your ego, however, operates from finite information, gathering its data from the world it can observe and measure—it doesn’t have access to the repository of all knowledge because it is a maverick entity who has chosen to be separate, and operate without full interface with Source.

Your Higher Self always has your role as an integral part of the Whole of Creation in mind, and guides you to your highest possibilities based on that. Your ego sees you as a stand-alone entity and thus sees everything in those terms. Because you truly are fully woven into the fabric of Creation, anything that affects you affects everything else, and anything that affects everything else, affects you. Your Higher Self also has the advantage of not being time-bound—it can see the past, present and future all at once. Your ego can only remember the past and guess about the future. When you’re making a decision that you want to serve you going forward, being advised by an entity that can see the future is a distinct advantage!

The decisions your Higher Self steers you toward are always going to lead you in the direction of more Love, greater harmony, authentic ease, and true joy. Though the ego promises these desirable things, it simply cannot deliver them. It is not equipped to. It is important to recognize that your ego is the puppet of the reptilian brain, the reactive don’t-think-just-do-it part of you that is in charge of physical survival. It doesn’t need a long view—its job is to protect your physical body at the moment of threat. The ego, as the psychological overlay for the reptilian brain, is equally short-sighted, territorial, greedy, fearful, and status-motivated, though it masquerades as being able to offer you all that your Higher Self does. If authentic ease, joy, harmony and Love are what you would like to move toward, gravitating to the beckoning of the fearful ego will not get you there!

So how do you differentiate between these two sources of input as you contemplate a decision? Pay attention to your thoughts. If they are fear-motivated, it’s your ego. If they are greedy, it’s your ego. If they are status-oriented, its your ego. If they are territorial, it’s your ego. But if they are fearless, expansive, generous, compassionate, inclusive and harmonious, they are Higher Self-driven.

An example: Let’s say you are making a career choice, and you have the chance to take a job where you can do what you truly love and make a moderate salary; and you have another opportunity to do something you are pretty good at (but don’t particularly like), and make a huge salary, which appeals to you because you’d like to buy a fancy house and you need the money to fund your retirement. Your short-sighted, survival-oriented ego mind will be lobbying for the big salary, not-very-enjoyable job. Your Higher Self will likely be prompting you toward the job you would love doing, but with a lower salary. Is this because your Higher Self is just a sentimental, impractical softy as your ego may want you to believe? No. Your Higher Self can see things that the ego cannot. All kinds of things could be wrong with the ego’s choice, because the ego can’t see past the immediate lure of status and security. But the Higher Self is not deceived by appearances, and can steer you in the direction of what is smartest for you over all, and what will lead you toward the greatest joy, ease, and harmony. Besides, doing what you love may just lead to an opportunity to make even more money than you could in the other job, and even if not, it will most definitely offer you the deep fulfillment that only being aligned with your purpose can. The Higher Self would know that—the ego would not.

Wouldn’t you rather have an advisor that is all-wise, with your highest interests in mind, than one that is reactive, misguided, short-sighted, and without a clue what’s right for you in the big picture? Your Higher Self is the one to turn to when there's a decision to be made.

Julia Rogers Hamrick has been a spiritual-growth facilitator since the mid-1980s, and is the author of Choosing Easy World and Recreating Eden. Julia teaches about the relationship between vibrational frequency and experience.