When our heart is filled with gratitude, the ego disappears. If we go about our lives gaining material things and are still not happy, are we merely identifying ourselves by our ego? I’ve had so many clients who on the outside looked like they had everything… a good spouse, a good job, were financially secure, had a big nice home and were physically healthy. But, when we sat down for a session, they were emotionally in pieces. Their lives had no compassion, no love of life, laughter or joy. Their spirit had been totally neglected. When asked how their spiritual life was going, all I got was a blank stare. Some said, “Oh, we are in church every Sunday.“ Then I ask the question about their one on one relationship with God. I knew they had goals in other aspects of their life. They had achieved a lot of those, but what were their spiritual goals individually, as a couple or as a family? I believe to achieve our spiritual goals, we must have the love, and a vision of what life can be. Sometimes, we get so wrapped up in everyday responsibilities and collecting material things that we neglect taking care of our spiritual needs. Somehow when that happens, it leaves an empty feeling or a hole in our heart and when it does, it affects us emotionally, spiritually and eventually physically. It’s like we are never satisfied. We can’t gain any inner peace or serenity. God gave us free choice. We make our own decisions therefore, we create our own reality. But while we’re doing this, are we Edging God Out of our lives? That’s what ego stands for. Only we as individuals know the answer to that question.
How do we connect with our Lord? Some people pray, some meditate and some do both. Some people just talk directly to God. There is no correct or incorrect way. While attending a Serenity Retreat years ago, I heard a Jesuit priest tell his story. He said he had suffered a nervous breakdown and was hospitalized. He was telling his psychiatrist that he had studied for 14 years to become a priest and could not pray. He said, “All I can say is God help me.” His doctor responded, “If that’s not a prayer, I’ve never heard one!”
I have found that the more grateful I become, the closer to God I feel and the more inner peace I experience. So please, set some time aside each day to spend with our Creator and discover what serenity is all about.
Toni True-Wills, Ph.D.