The Introspection Series by Umwali Gloria

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You know that ecstatic feeling you get when you’ve successfully moved out of your comfort zone?
Yes, let’s talk about how uncomfortable practices are often geteways to becoming our higher, better selves.

Talking about this kind of transformation (or any other kind for that matter), with no background story is as impossible as it would be an act of cowardice. So here is a little background about how I had been validating my ego’s tricks, at my expense, thinking I was empowering myself.

Youth really made me believe that impulsiveness was a quality. I believe spontaneity is and I believe I confused the two, for the longest time.  Anyway so, youth made me believe what I needed to believe in order to respond to my ego’s order. Peace being our natural, innate way of living as well as our birthright, the ego will always be threatened by it. You know, just like how some people in your entourage get threatened by your natural light and try to kill your spirit by either trying to tear you down or by sucking on your energy for their own benefit, leaving you high, dry and neglected. Your ego will always be ahead of you until you learn this and reclaim your power. Gentleness is one of those powers.

Situations that trigger anger in us are our ego’s favorite playground. Anger, jealousy, heartbreak and the rest of the emotions that lower our vibrations, once felt and expressed. Now, this is definitely not an article on how to invalidate your negative emotions, not at all, stay with me. Let us say someone’s text message or mail hits your last nerve. From head to toe, anxiety is shaking you up, shaking the peace out. You get angry and for some, if not most of us, we WILL reply while angry. Now, here is the thing. I am sure I‘m the only one here who has heard or were told, multiple times, cute things like “Don’t talk back when you are angry. Don’t make a decision when you are angry. Do nothing when you are angry, until you are not anymore.” And more of the alike. To be honest, I have always understood the logic in it and the good intentions behind giving such advice but only with my brain. I had never tried to understand it with my heart, until it was time I did. Perhaps, deep down I also knew how big of an emotional work and spiritual practice and commitment such wisdom would require and was just never ready to leave my comfort zone.

The fact that I was devotedly “young, wild and free” was my comfort zone and my excuse to keep seeing impulsiveness as a praiseworthy quality. I am still young, wild and free but I am now also wildly interested in freeing myself from my ego’s unhealthy tricks. “Comfortable” me misguided myself into associating impulsiveness with rebellion and spontaneity whose essence and true definitions I now understand better, deeper. Rebellion and spontaneity are as independent as impulsiveness is codependent. Impulsiveness is the feeling we have towards a triggering emotion. It is not an independent thought nor will, it is a reaction.  It is not just a reaction; it is a reaction which is un-discerned, not cared about enough to be thought through, often inconsiderate and so suddenly carried out, the brutality of that speed is felt by all parties involved.

The Universe indeed does not test us. We are only being confronted to situations designed for us to exercise self-love. God knows lately, I have been offered opportunities to remind myself of my true essence: peace and for the first time, I confronted my ego about our infatuation with impulsiveness. That confrontation was named gentleness. Gentleness is kin to stillness. As it turned out, gentleness is unfamiliar with anxiety. Anxiety is the ego’s best friend, but their friendship is toxic. The ego urges us to be impulsive and then sends anxiety to sit with us in regret. Gentleness brings patience to this uncomfortable party and they lovingly sit with us. The longer we are willing to sit with them, the quicker the party’s mood shifts from uncomfortable to peaceful. Peace then opens the door to a clear mind, a refreshed heart and a confidence which threatens the ego. The confidence that births assertiveness as opposed to impulsiveness’s anxious offspring. The clarity that makes way for rational thinking as opposed to the confusion that feeds the fugitive ego and attempts to destroy the nature of our incorruptible souls.

As we consciously walk on the path of self and collective improvement, as we commit to aligning our soul missions with our duty to participate in raising the collective consciousness, let us confront more our frenemy that the ego is. May the elegance and grace with which various divine messengers carry emotional and mental growth messages to us, find us, love us and successfully teach us how to become more and more our higher selves.

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Umusozi Jali