Transform Fear Into Faith To
Grow Strong Can You Spot Your Ego’s Tricks? Here’s How To Grow Anyway By Christina Kunkle, CTA Certified Life and Wellness Coach, R.N.
Photo Illustration by Sherrie Good
who, among many other things, helped me see that my thoughts aren’t always the truth, and that my feelings aren’t always facts. Ends up, thoughts are just thoughts and feelings are only feelings until we assign meaning to them. And before we can do that with any degree of certainty, it’s essential that we wake up to the never-ending war within our minds and hearts — the fight between light and the dark, good and evil, love and fear, our ego and our spirit; otherwise known as the two wolves that live in each of us.
The Two Wolves So, here’s the story: A Cherokee elder told his grandson about the battle that goes on inside people. “My son, the battle is between the two ‘wolves’ that live inside us all,” he said. “One is Unhappiness. It is fear, worry, anger, jealousy, sorrow, self-pity, resentment and inferiority. The other is Happiness. It is joy, love, hope, serenity, kindness, generosity, truth and compassion.” The grandson thought about it for a minute, then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf wins?” The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.” Which one are you feeding?
ere we are, well into the first quarter of a brand new year. A strong desire to shine bright, learn new things, have more fun and push our limits has prompted you to make some fresh, new decisions and big commitments. Maybe you’ve chosen to join a gym, sign up for a class or take a new career path. No doubt there are swirling questions, second thoughts and even a little anxiety mixed with excitement surrounding the whole idea of making an investment in yourself. If you’re anything like most of us, you’ve probably decided “yes, I really want to do this” about three times, and “no, what the heck was I thinking?” at least twice. Do any of the following thoughts sound familiar? If any of these statements ring true for you, then you’re right on track. “Maybe I should just wait until: Things slow down and I have more time and attention to give this? I gather more information, and consider other options? My friends, family or spouse finally agree this is a good idea? I can save extra money or have a more flexible job? I can figure out how to do it by myself? I get clearer about what I really want and need? I know who else has signed up for the class, I mean, what if I won’t fit in or they don’t like me? What happens if I don’t even like them? Believe me, I’ve got more, because there are a gazillion others that I’ve told myself when grappling with whether or not to spend my time, energy and resources on personal and professional growth opportunities that I know are designed to stretch and strengthen me. While some of the above thoughts are practical things to consider, if you look closely, you can clearly see that there are ego-driven elements of fear mixed in, too — voices from the panic zone that can scare us away from the edge of change and back into old habits, or stop us altogether. In the past, these thoughts would confuse, deplete and depress me into paralyzing self-doubt. Luckily, I was guided to a wise mentor
Ego Vs. Spirit One of my biggest “aha” moments was realizing the difference between my ego and my spirit. Here’s my understanding: Our ego is the image we have of ourselves — our social mask, the face we put on for the world. It’s our titles and roles (girlfriend, daughter, sister, friend, colleague). When our ego is in charge, we feel highly reactive and desperate for validation from other people to feel good about ourselves. We’re fear-driven, judgmental, anxious, frustrated, unforgiving, competitive, cynical, impatient, rushed, easily offended, focused on spawning win-lose solutions that keep us stuck, fearful of change and scared to take a risk. Ego guidance is loud, has a childish tone and suggestions, switches topics frequently, delays happiness “for someday when,” is sneaky and spiteful, depletes life-force energy leaving you exhausted, makes you feel cold and fearful with heart pain or headache, uses abusive and critical words, worries a lot and loves to compare you to others. (Yes, this is our “inner mean girl.”) Our spirit is our essence and true self; who we really are deep down below all the labels, roles, expectations and social masks. When our spirit is in charge, we are highly creative and loving toward ourselves and others. We are calm, forgiving of others and more easily able to accept people as they are, faults and all. We’re friendly, positive, reassuring, collaborative, tolerant, grateful and focused on generating win-win solutions that grow and expand us. Spirit/soul guidance has a mature tone and content, the same message consistently, talks about your life purpose, wants you to take
action now, is heart-centered, sounds supportive and motivational, is very direct and to the point and comes suddenly in response to a request or any type of prayer. Self-awareness is the key to hearing the gentle guidance of your spirit. You can learn to listen, trust in it and act on the advice it gives you.
Harrisonburg Community Health Center
“Our spirit is our essence and true self; who we really are deep down below all the labels, roles, expectations and social masks.”
We offer Pediatrics, Family Medicine, Women’s Health, Behavioral Health.
You can’t create the life you’re dreaming of while staying the person you are in the life you’re living right now. You have to get uncomfortable. You have to be willing to do things differently. You have to be willing to change. To be fair, it’s incredibly hard at times. But from personal experience, I promise that if you to tap into this deeper part of you even a few minutes a day, your life will improve in many beautiful ways. My greatest wish is for the right people, places and circumstances unfold in perfect timing around you. For you to feel like the universe is gently pushing you forward, and create a new level of relationship with your potential. Let’s help each other spot the ego’s tricks, transform fear into faith and grow anyway.
HCHC is your one stop Patient Center Medical Home for all primary care including Dental Services.
Welcoming New Patients! 1380 Little Sorrell Drive, Suite 100 | Harrisonburg, VA 22801
Christina Kunkle, R.N. and CTA certified life and wellness coach, is founder of “Synergy Life and Wellness Coaching, LLC” and creator of the “Synergy Success Circle.” She helps busy women prevent burnout by promoting bounce-back resilience to stay focused, positive and excited about the challenges of work and life. For more information, Visit www.synergylifeandwellnesscoaching.com or call 540-746-5206.
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