As we learn and apply new principles we quickly learn that sometimes they work effortlessly and we feel like we are in life’s flow, and other times we feel like we are swimming against the current and we are frustrated with any attempt we make to progress. I have discovered that my motives and intentions play a huge role in my ability to manifest the desires of my heart.
When Ego is the Motive
Ego takes me further away from my worthy goals and ideals. When my motives and intentions are based in ego, I find that I need to exert more effort, and all efforts to reach my worthy goal are frustrating and stressful.
Here are some of the ways we can discern if we are being motivated by ego (notice the “need” in most of these):
- We are in a competitive mode — we need others to lose so we can win.
- We need more than others to be happy.
- We need others to see us in a certain way.
- We need others to be wrong so we can be right.
- We need to impress others.
- We need to prove something to ourselves or others.
- We crave control, power, or attention.
- We need to stand out or be special.
- We need opposition and enemies — not realizing that we will likely become the very thing we are fighting against.
- We feel superior to others — because we have more than others we feel like we stand out and are important.
- We feel inferior to others — because we have less than others we feel we stand out, and we often feel like others owe us something because we are so unfortunate.
- We think of ourselves as victims — “poor me.”
When we are acting with ego as our intent and motive, we will experience doubt, fear and worry. As soon as doubt, fear and worry creep in we need to refine our motive and intent.
When Love is the Motive
In the Bible we read, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear…” (1 John 4:18). Whenever we sense that we are taking actions based in ego, we already have the perfect remedy: Love. Love and ego cannot co-exist. When our motives and intentions are based in love, we feel like we are in the flow and connected to God. Here are some of the ways we can be sure we are being motivated by love:
- We feel connected to God, and know that with Him all things are possible.
- We seek to be an instrument in God’s hands to help others.
- We feel gratitude for all our blessings — knowledge, teachers, resources — everything!
- We recognize the greatness in ourselves, and in every person we meet.
- We value and care for other people.
- We feel a deep sense of peace and serenity, and how others view us becomes insignificant.
- We develop genuine relationships with others.
When our motives and intentions are based in love, we recognize in ourselves a unique and divine creation with unique talents and abilities we can share with others. We are not concerned whether these talents and abilities are superior or inferior to others, or worthy of use. We simply use them for the very purpose God gave them to us — to love, serve, and help others!
Love vs. Ego The ego can be very subtle. As a parent, I have had to examine my intention and motives. I have often believed my motives to be noble, especially when I am teaching my children values and helping them make correct decisions. I need to be sure I am teaching them correct principles because I love them and want what is in their highest good, and not because I want them to act a certain way so I will look good and others will think I am a great parent.
Do we help others so that we will be seen as a caring person, or do we help others because we value and care about them as a person? We already are the person we need to be to help others. We just need to remember and believe who we are! When we know who we really are, we will take inspired actions that are based in faith, love, and gratitude.
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