Your Ego (who you think you are) Vs. Your True Essence (who you really are)

Throughout my life my ‘inner essence’ has often guided my work and career choices.

It enabled me to make life changing decisions based on the desire to serve others and ignore my ego which was driven by selfish individualism. In the words of Richard Rohr “the ego is that part of the self that wants to be significant, central, and important by itself, apart from anybody else. It wants to be both separate and superior. It is defended and self-protective by its very nature. It must eliminate the negative to succeed at this. The ego is what Jesus called an “actor,” usually translated from the Greek as “hypocrite” (see Matthew 23). Consequently, throughout my career pathway I made choices which offered a vocational journey instead of opting for power, prestige and a high salary (although inadvertently I was rewarded with a generous salary). The desire and direction was always towards caring and teaching to the best of my ability.

To seek enlightenment, intellectual and or spiritual; to do good; to love and be loved; to create and to teach: these are the highest purposes of mankind. If there is meaning to life, it lies here.

George Monbiot, How Did We Get Into This Mess?

‘This was what drove me; it was never about status, nor was it about money for its own sake. I looked for posts in increasingly complex and sophisticated areas of nursing and teaching. I had the good fortune to work in another world-renowned prestigious hospital, Papworth, which was also in Cambridgeshire. Its culture dynamic and transformational, it was a magnet for an international workforce, and people would travel from the other side of the world to work there. I was excited and thrived on an atmosphere of exemplary clinical practice, working beside some of the world’s best surgeons, nurses, physiotherapists and pharmacists. I met princesses and politicians, dukes and prime ministers. But at the heart of it was always the patient and family; improving and saving lives was our raison d’etre. I loved being part of this amazing hospital, which achieved the highest standards of patient care and staff satisfaction. I truly felt I belonged to a community. We all worked with shared values, striving for excellence as we served the patients and their families. In return, we felt valued and proud of our endeavours. We all mattered’.

Taken from ‘The Grace of a Nightingale p. 96

Page from The Grace of a Nightingale memoir

I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become.
Carl Jung

Finding your true authentic self

Take some time about 15 mins each day to meditate, contemplate and become more ‘Mindful’. There are many YouTube videos and Apps available to help guide you. Meditation and Mindfulness can help you develop a deeper level of consciousness and connection with your true essence. There are also meditative activities which can also encourage you to discover your inner true self such as painting, drawing, writing, prayer, listening to music, being alone in nature, crafting etc.

Your true essence will begin to lead, guide and direct your path. You will begin to discover a deeper sense of beauty, wonder and gratitude for your life and the world around you.

Have patience with everything unresolved in your heart, and try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Do not search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far into the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.
Rainer Maria Rilke

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