We can be horribly confused about what we really want. We live in a society that tells us we should want things like:
- Fashion-industry bodies
- Designer clothes
- Million-dollar homes
- This year’s model car
- The best grades
- Degrees from Ivy league schools
- “The perfect” anything
In fact, these are all things our egos want. Let me say, for anyone who is happily enjoying these things without attaching ego to them, that things in and of themselves are not wrong. Receiving fame is not an indicator you are trapped by your ego. Living a prestigious lifestyle doesn’t mean you’re not incredibly present, mindful and aware.
But I’d like you to take a look at what you’re searching for and what you really want. When you get clear about what you really want, what makes your heart glow and strengthens your Presence and your enjoyment of Now, it truly doesn’t matter what else is (or isn’t) in your life. Your ability to enjoy those things is automatic, because you have the essential desires met- the things your Spirit truly longs for.
What is the point of having any earthly thing if you’re still seeking your heart’s desire? Those things won’t bring you pleasure, but only more pain. Until you come from a place of peace, you won’t be able to truly enjoy what’s around you- whether it’s a burlap sack or a Gucci purse.
What’s beautiful and perfect is this- when you come from a place of fulfillment of what you really want, you no longer care whether or not you’re holding a burlap sack or a Gucci purse. You see the beauty in both, you appreciate both, and you are not “less” or “more” for having either one. You are complete, and no product can make you more complete.
“It is not possessions themselves but the presumed importance or value projected on them that is significant. Therefore, it is recommended that one ‘wear the world like a loose garment’. Wealth, in and of itself, is of no real importance, as the capacity for inner happiness is not dependent on external factors once basic physical animal needs are met. “
-David Hawkins, Transcending the Levels of Consciousness
So what do we really want, and how do we get it?
1. Understand that what your ego values and what you value are two different things.
“The ego’s programs are linear and are comprised and defined by the restriction of content. The spirit, or Self, is nonlinear and represents context. The restricted linear content of the ego is relinquished via exposure of the nonreality of its perceptions and positionalities. One can see that the ego’s perceptions are aligned with conquest and gain. When the fallacies of its propositions are exposed to the daylight of awareness, the dominance of illusion fades away.” -David Hawkins
Because society's messages are so strong, it can be hard to pinpoint, at first, the difference between the two. Begin simply by knowing there is a difference, which, for some, will be an incredible enlightenment in itself!
2. Notice that all “searching” “needing” and “wanting” is the ego.
“The value of watchful witnessing is that even just awareness of an ego defect tends to undo it.”
Just watch this for a couple of days, without trying to change anything. Notice when you “have to have” something. Pay attention (without judgment) when you “need” something. This is particularly eye-opening for me when I watch my ego “need” validation, or an answer, or to be “right.”
3. Notice that all contentment, peace, gratitude, and acceptance of the present moment are all indicators of your True Self.
“The Self is completely fulfilling and has no needs and nothing to gain.”
– David Hawkins
Pay attention to when you’re truly happy. Contentment, peace, and acceptance are all places that your True Self manifest from. Just like you pay attention to the moments when you “want,” pay attention to the moments when you don’t – when you feel truly satisfied. I admit what I thought would make me happy and what really does are two different things. Your ego will try to trick you into thinking that “things” will make you happy. Just pay attention to them both and decide for yourself- don't let your past thoughts (likely ego) and society's messages decide for you.
4. Begin to weaken the ego with gratitude.
“Egoistic positions become weakened by virtue of seemingly minor and insignificant steps. For example, even just saying “thank you” wherever possible can result in becoming a more grateful and generous person who, by attraction, now effortlessly sends forth benefits previously nonachievable by effort.”
The easiest way for me to bypass my ego is to be grateful. When I do “radical gratitude” and say thank you for everything I can see, feel, touch, hear, etc- my ego is completely flat-lined for a moment, and I can let my True Self come through. I can see the stark difference between my ego’s desires and the Truth- and the Truth is always that I have exactly what I need.
5. Surrender the desires of the ego.
“Instead of trying to force change, it is merely necessary to allow Divinity to do so by deeply surrendering all control, resistance, and illusions of gain or loss.“
Merely allow the desires to be what they are, and don’t give them any further action. By noticing, for example, that my ego “wants” to be acknowledged helps dissolve that very wanting. Surrender this to Spirit, God, the Universe, and be grateful you are able to “see above” the ego and step outside its mind games.
“Unconditional Love is a practical, reasonable, and reachable goal in a human lifetime.” -David Hawkins
It is entirely possible to focus solely on love. Any time you feel yourself “lacking,” instead focus on what you “have.” Whenever you see something you don’t like, turn your attention to what you do. Eventually, you will see that there is nothing in the Universe not to love. An incredibly advanced state, to be sure, but as Hawkins states, completely reachable and infinitely enjoyable.
I'd love to hear what comes up for you. What does your True Self want? What do you notice your ego wants? What makes you truly happy? You'll find it, just by watching.