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How Does He Know Me So Well?
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It is one thing to do good. Quite another thing, however, when the crafty ego within you seizes the good you do as a way to be revered. Mark Nepo

How does he know me so well?

This has been a significant challenge for me throughout my adult life. I have wanted so much to be liked...to be accepted...even to be "revered" that, when I have been motivated to do good for others, it has too often been, not for the sake of goodness itself, but as a means of auditioning for the praise of those whose opinions of me have mattered most. 

Do their opinions really matter? Well...of course they do. But the more telling question is, Why do they matter to me? Furthermore, what in me wants so much to be liked...to be revered...that I would use the opportunity to do good as an opportunity to be good?

Am I not good already? Are YOU not good already?

When God finished his work in creation, he looked at it all and called it "Good."

What God said here is as important as what he did not say. He did NOT say creation was PERFECT. Only that it was good.

I am good. So are you. But perfect? Complete? Finished?

I think you know the answer.

So how do I protect my higher self from the lower self's (ego) insidious efforts to turn the good I long to do (my Divine nature) into an opportunity to win the approval of another?

First, be aware that this happens to the best of us. That includes you.

Second, accept that, while you are good, you are not yet perfect. Some of you are close. But, if you want to know just how enlightened you have become, advised one wise sage from the east, go spend a week with your parents. LOL!

Third, and most important, just observe your motivations. Train your higher self to observe your lower self. When Jesus said, "When I depart the Spirit will come and he will make plain to you all things" (John 14). "Make plain to me?" What does that mean? The Spirit will make me aware when the good I want to do is motivated by the desire to be revered instead of the desire to be simply, and spontaneously, useful.

This is the secret to happiness.

Comments
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Fantastic!  I love this post!

Fantastic!  I love this post!  Not only did I get a bit of a laugh-I loved the part about spending time with parents-but I saw glowing truth in what you wrote and found that it helped me to look a bit gentler and kinder on myself while feeling that I can challenge myself a bit as well.  Thank you!

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Thank You AJ

Coming from you, a very high compliment. Much appreciated. I've gotten a dose of this morning of "Egoic Elixir" - a mixture of compliment coming from someone who compliment matters - and I've swallowed it completely. I feel better already.

You know I'm just kidding. I hope, anyway. I really appreciate you reading this. I'm not always sure anyone does because so few respond who do. Yet, when I look at the Dashboard, I'm about the cross the 100,000 mark of those who visited - whether or not they've actually read anything - my blogs.  Of course, I think about half that number of visits is from my own visits to my own blogs.

How's that for an inflated or, better, convoluted self-image?

Have a great day AJ.  Love the ring to that. Seriously, I appreciate the connection and comments. 

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I read most of your posts.

I read most of your posts.  

I guess that is why religions advise to do charitable works anonymously.  But even then, you can still pat yourself on the back and feel good about yourself.  I don't think there is any harm in that.  I was once with a man who often refused to do good because he was preoccupied he would be doing it for the wrong reasons.  At this point, heck, better do good.  The result is what counts.  I tend to accept kindness without querying the person's motivations.  After all, I got help and that's all that counts.

 

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I get high with a little help from my friends...

I get by with a little help from my friends. You're right Katherine. Nothing wrong with giving or receiving a compliment or whatever. So, thank you for reading most of my posts. I read most of yours too and I probably should respond more. Have a wonderful day.

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I imagine all writers feel a

I imagine all writers feel a sense of accomplishment when receiving a proof of a finished book and not finding any major flaw that would prevent or delay its publication. Of course, even the best of the best will not be perfect (if you interpret this word to mean unanimous unreserved approval) and an author's reading (since the writer is the first reader) might not be the only reading, as the Reader Response proponent would say. So, in my opinion, "good" in the Biblical sense seems to imply "good enough" in that a created environment is functioning well enough to sustain life at all levels, biological, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual, and that a built-in resource is available for finding solutions to problems. In my opinion, the greatest reward for doing good is the ability to affect all levels (which is also more likely to reap positive response from the receiving end) while exerting the least effort, represented in simple and spontaneous self-less giving, but this requires a lot of practice like the legendary tennis player Lendl's superb serve. Anyway, this could mean that the word "perfection" or the adjective "perfect" should probably be replaced by "perfect" in the verb form, which reminds me of something I read or heard some time ago, that God is not a noun but a verb. Thank you for the opportunity for reflection.