Free Will, God and Enlightenment

The spiritual path is the path of healing the ego, the mind, the wounded self, so that rather than our wounded self being in charge, we are able to release our will to our Higher Power.

We are beings of free will. We can choose to allow our ego-wounded self to guide us, or we can choose to allow our spiritual Guidance to guide us.

This is a simple concept, yet moving from ego dominion to higher self dominion is the major challenge of our lives. This is because we have been practicing allowing our ego mind, with all the fears and false beliefs that we have acquired over the years, to be in charge. Our ego mind thinks it knows what to do. It thinks it has the knowledge to make good decisions. Yet it cannot distinguish between what is in our highest good and what hurts us, between what is true and what is not. The ego mind tells us things like, "I am taking care of my self when I blame someone for my hurt feelings," or "I am taking care of myself when I reward myself with a doughnut," or "I am taking care of myself when I relax with three or four drinks," or "I am taking care of myself when I yell at someone who is not doing what I want them to do," or "I am taking care of myself when I walk away from someone with anger and blame toward them." Yet all of these behaviors are ways of trying to control others or our own feelings, rather than taking loving care of ourselves.

Until we get that our ego mind doesn't know anything about what is good and right for us, and what isn't good and right for us, we will continue to rely on our mind to guide us. Yet the real source of truth can never come from our limited mind with all its programmed beliefs. The real source of truth exists only in Spirit.

Because we have been practicing being guided by our mind, our ego mind has come to believe that it is responsible for our wellbeing. In fact, the mind is so arrogant as to believe that it actually keeps us alive and safe. That is why the mind so often obsesses about things. It believes that "If I can just figure out the right thing to do, then I can have control over having what I want and being safe." Whether what we want is more money, love and attention, or to avoid rejection, engulfment and failure, the mind thinks it can control getting what we want and avoiding what we don't want -- if only we can figure out the right way to be.

We move ourselves toward enlightenment -- toward oneness with God -- when we choose to release our will to God's will. This means releasing to God what others do and how they feel about us, rather than trying to control it. It means releasing to God the outcome of things instead of trying to control them. It means surrendering our fears, our beliefs, our opinions, our pain and our joy to God. It means each moment, instead of thinking about what we want and how to get it, releasing to God, surrendering to Spirit and to our Guidance, to guide us in our highest good.

I find it helpful to consciously surrender throughout the day by saying:

  • I will thy will in me and through me.
  • I let go and let God.
  • I will to will thy will.
  • I release my will to your will.
  • This, too, I let go of and give to God.

The decision to release and surrender to God and to our personal source of spiritual Guidance is a moment-by-moment decision. The more we practice making this decision and tuning toward our Guidance, the easier it becomes to access the truth and the loving action. We each get to choose who we want to be in each moment. We get to choose if we want to maintain the illusion of separateness by trying to control ourselves, others and outcomes, or we get to choose oneness by opening to learning with Spirit about what is in our highest good, moment-by-moment.

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