To Surrender means that we have engaged our Spirit and have begun communicating with the Universe through meditation, prayer and simply paying attention. It also means that we have stopped allowing our Ego to dominate our actions through our thoughts, feelings and imagination. The goal is not to destroy or replace the Ego, rather to heal it through the Spirit. The Ego is an integral part of Self and makes up a large aspect of our identity. In order for the Ego to be healed, we must take a spiritual journey deep within to understand our nature and discover the deep wounds that have shaped our thinking and belief system. One of the best exercises to begin this journey of self-discovery is taking the Myers Briggs personality inventory, which can be taken on the internet. Each of us has a specific temperament which causes us to react and respond to our environment in predictable ways. The four categories of Extrovert/Introvert; Sensing/Intuitive; Thinking/Feeling and Judging/Perceptive provide an explanation of how one interacts with others and processes information. The score helps to validate one’s identity and provide clarity on why one thinks and behaves in specific ways. Test scores can also reveal problematic patterns such as procrastination, co-dependency, emotional distance and others. Most test results also provide links to career choices and relationship compatibility. This exercise provides information on how the Ego has developed, why certain beliefs have been adopted and specific defense mechanisms that have been put into place. This shines light on the strongholds of the Ego and allows the individual to begin the process of Acceptance and Surrender, giving the Spirit the ability to process Positive Energy.
Once you have determined your personality type, you will need to look for the strengths and weaknesses of your temperament. You are put together by creation for a specific purpose and you are magnificent just the way you are. The first step in this journey is Acceptance of this fact. However, we must remember that the Ego is vulnerable to Negative Energy which is exploitative in nature. For example, if you do not get your minimum daily requirements of love, approval and validation as a child and you happen to have a personality that is pre-disposed to co-dependency, then you will view helping and serving others as a way to receive validation and base your self -worth on your servitude. While you have a giving, industrious nature, it is exploited by irrational beliefs and negative energy. Societal expectations and beliefs will reinforce negative assumptions and contribute to your “self-talk”.
While some personality types, especially the industrious, charismatic ones, receive accolades and praise for their work and apparent “selflessness”, it never seems to be enough. In their hearts they continue to feel a certain emptiness and are plagued with self-doubt. This is not true for all types but it is particularly true for Feeling types and for those who grow up in a dysfunctional environment. In order to cope with this feeling of inadequacy and self-doubt, the individual may engage in some type of self-indulgence or substitute an object or activity for the lack of validation. The Ego becomes convinced that its worth and value are derived from hard work, dedication, self-sacrifice, submission and obedience. Religious, societal and familial mores, values and expectations will reinforce this notion and the individual will struggle with a mixture of false pride, judgement and guilt for not living up to one’s own unrealistic expectations.
Of course, this is an example of only one personality type and does not take into account the myriad of possibilities in which thoughts, emotions and beliefs can become skewed and distorted. One’s view of self becomes akin to looking into a fun-house mirror, fully believing that the image being reflected is completely accurate. Trauma, loss, hurt and any number of negative experiences can contribute to erroneous beliefs, damaged emotions or substitutions for the authentic. Our True Self becomes lost in a world of distortion, deception and needless suffering.
In order to discover the authentic self, one must take inventory of distorted thinking, resentments, judgements, attempts at self-validation and comfort and substitutions made for unfulfilled emotional needs in the past. This must be done in order to diffuse the power of Negative Energy and eliminate patterns of addiction, self-defeat and destruction. This is Surrender, and it is work; often difficult and challenging but completely necessary if we are to escape the desperate, fearful grip of our control-obsessed Ego.