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The Higher-Self Versus The Lower-Self

Hot take: Many of us have heard about the "higher self." But did you realize you have a "lower self," too?

Chalk this one up to shower thoughts.

In today's New Age saturated environment (not a dig at New Age-ism, per se, just saying), it’s very possible you have heard about a "higher self."

Your higher self is supposed to be the divine version of you.

The best version of you.

The version of you that is connected to, you might say, the Source. The Oversoul, as Transcendentalists might call it.

It's supposed to be the version of yourself that you listen to and maybe receive some kind of divine inspiration, guidance or insight into your ultimate well-being.

Positive vibes.

But for every up, there is a down. For every smile, there is a frown (sheer poetry, I tell you).

But really, the philosophy that there is an opposite for all things is a well-established one. And makes sense.

Pleasure and pain. Happiness and sadness. Joy and grief. Love and hate. Bitter and sweet. Positive and negative. You could go on and on.

Humans, capable of thinking abstractly and making ethical or principled choices, seem to exist at a crossroads.

We have so many choices to make. Every day.

And those choices affect what we will become.

I subscribe to the belief that we are all divine.

I believe we can become, eventually, something more than mere mortal. Or, if it works better for you, more enlightened and pure.

But just as we have the ability to evolve, we also have the ability to devolve.

We are humans with the ability to ascend, at best, nigh to godhood, or at worst, to base animals.

Little by little, step by step. Ever so unnoticeably.

Perhaps it might start with those negative thoughts and allowing them to take control of our perspective.

These thoughts might be thoughts of misplaced or unbridled anger, hate, disillusionment, depression or giving in to weakness.

These are the kinds of thoughts that don’t lead to creation, but to self-destruction.

They can then manifest in our lives in the forms of sabotaged relationships, lack of personal peace, idleness, conflict, and even addiction. And these things, in turn, will manifest other ills.

As the devolution continues, our lives slowly become unhinged and fall apart.

Of course, most people don’t truly devolve to the point of becoming almost no different from an animal. But on the flip side, if all you basically do is eat, defecate, sleep, orgasm and engage in mindless activities, how different are you really?

If you aren’t growing, you are either stagnating or diminishing.

And, of course, growth occurs in cycles and is almost never a straight line upwards. That is very crucial to take into consideration. Growth will have pitfalls, stumbles, and rebounds.

But it is very important to at least be conscientious of those moments so that we don’t find ourselves falling into a downward spiral and allow the quality of our lives to decline.

I find that establishing a practice of mindfulness and self-awareness is the most helpful in creating an early alert system for these negative mindsets.

Simply becoming aware of your thoughts and your internal dialogue can be extremely powerful.

This doesn’t mean you need to force rainbows and sunshine into your mind, as that can backfire terribly. But it does mean identifying your positive and negative thoughts and feelings and making an effort to shift your focus on the silver linings.

Gratitude is another amazing tool that can completely change the course of your day.

But how does one summon gratitude?

I find that simply saying I’m grateful for something that I know I should be grateful for, even if I’m not totally feeling it in the moment, is actually really effective because I know that if I plant the seed of gratitude it will actually manifest into real gratitude later. It doesn’t normally take very long for me, either.

As divine beings having mortal experiences, we have the potential for both great joy and great misery.

Our daily lives have a pivotal role in our ultimate destinies, and the little choices we make each and every day determine exactly what course we set ourselves on. We can see that our mindset and lifestyle is really up to us, and over time, we can see the profound impact they make.

Let us strive to choose the path of nourishment for our higher selves so we can step into the full measure of happiness and fulfillment.

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