One day I realized the true understanding of this.
I experienced the significance of being ruled by the illusion of "being
Jonelle", the heavy feeling of a lifetime of all the acquired constricting beliefs that were behind many of my actions and experiences... and then in an instant, with no change of circumstance, being completely free of it. All of it.
I had never experienced a "complete loss of ego" to that depth before, and so from that point, it then offered me an obvious measure for my state of mind... I now had
a better sense of the difference in feeling between my ego attempting to protect and control, or my ego "just freely and happily navigating the ride".
Since then, I've been in the classroom of life, learning to discern the sometimes obvious and the often mostly hidden motivations (feelings) behind my actions... becoming aware of all the little threads of emotion that free me or bind me, whether...
Secure or insecure
Loving or fearful
Light or heavy
Open or constricted
Joyful or judgmental
Relaxed or tense
Easy or uncomfortable
Free or attached
I began to notice when the feeling behind any of my work was more light and easy and joyful, and when it was more tense and serious and limited.
I began to notice when the feeling behind my love for others and for this planet and for life itself was more abundant and free and without conditions, and when it was more opinionated and judgmental and conditional.
I began to notice when the feeling behind my sense of self was more open and clear and peacefully content, and when it was more closed and
needy and protective.
I began to notice when the feeling behind my desire to help or guide others was more natural and spontaneous
and thought-free, and when it was more about fixing or changing or controlling.
Whether working, or loving, or being, or guiding,
I began to notice when it all came freely and abundantly (without any personal neediness), and when it didn't. I began to notice whether I was free from the limitations of my ego, or inextricably bound by it.
In the 8 years since that experience, and learning with awareness in this "live" classroom of life, I am still constantly weaving in and out of the bounds of my personal ego, and
experiencing the actions that appear, although with much more awareness of whether secure or insecure feelings are behind them. And oddly, even that alone, holds a great sense of freedom... there's an OK-ness in all of it, an understanding and acceptance and
compassion for my human-ness.
And at the same time, how beautiful it is to know that my complete freedom lies not in the circumstances
of my life, nor in any of the actions of myself or others, but in any moment I become aware again of what true freedom really is, and where it can always be found.