Chutes and Ladders to Enlightenment

Before we are born, our soul knows why it’s coming to Earth and what lessons it’s supposed to learn.  We know we come from God (Source Energy, The Light, Spirit, The Universe—whatever term feels best for you.)  We are in fact part of God, as God is in all of us.  We come from the light, which is love.  We are love.  We descend down to Earth on our Birthday and take on our human form.  In this first step, we are the light.  We are the closest to God that we can be and are truly operating without “Ego.”  If only we could speak!  Oh, the things we could tell our parents and the world!  But, we can’t.  So we’re at the mercy of our parents, who do the best they can with the knowledge that they have gained on Earth…

Which leads me to the next step: our first introduction to “The Ego.”  It’s inevitable, really.  Our parents and our relatives all have strong, dominant Egos and they’re more than willing to share with us how important it is that we develop ours.  From birth, they bring us gifts: Big, bright, colorful gifts that stimulate our senses.  We see how happy the gifts make everyone.  We smile because everyone else is smiling.  Things must bring us happiness!  We see our brothers and sisters fight over toys.  They shout out to each other “Mine!”  We hear this word, “mine” so often that “mine” becomes our first word.  And it makes everyone sooooo happy, we say it all the time.  Mine!  Mine!  Mine!  Oh, the joy it brings!  Our Ego is developing wonderfully.

But then our family introduces us to morals and values.  And suddenly it’s not nice to say “mine.”  We must learn to share.  We’re old enough now for our parents to teach us that it’s nice to be polite.  They take us to Sunday school and we’re introduced to the concept of God.  God is good.  We identify with this because it seems familiar.  But we’re still not quite sure why it’s familiar…  All we know is the Sunday school teacher is really nice and we get to color and eat doughnuts.  How can that be bad?  Sure, of course I’ll share with my neighbor.  Sharing must be good.

And then the teenage years hit.  Puberty sets in and all morals and values and thoughts of God and love go out the door.  Unless of course, love equals sex.  Hormones become a major driving force.  And speaking of “driving,” why does Jimmy have a better car than me?  Why does Sally get to wear all the cool fashions, while I have to shop at Marshalls?  The Ego is back in full force.  I like to call this step, “The Return to Me.”  We may as well go back to being toddlers when our first word was “mine” and we were fighting over whose dolly was whose.  It’s the same mindset.  This time is all about who has the best stuff, the latest gadget, the most recent video game, the coolest car, the hippest outfit and nowadays – even the biggest boob job.  Parents complain that their child is out of control.  But the truth is, their children are just mini-versions of themselves.  They’re also so wrapped up in their Egos, along with the rest of society, they’ve trained their children that stuff equals happiness.  Give me more, more, more!

Now we move into the college years.  Even though our Ego is stronger than ever, we start to sense that there’s more to life than just attaining stuff.  We may join a philanthropist group in school or at least have some exposure to people who live their lives in a more humanitarian way.  We see people who are activists for the environment, who feed the hungry, who basically want to make the world a better place.  We may start to question what our purpose here on Earth is.  This is the intellectual “Why am I here?” stage.  At this point, the questioning may come straight from the Ego – as it’s more important to figure out what to major in, than to save the world, but just the questioning is a start.

Then we graduate from college and are pushed into the “real world.”  Or what we perceive as the real world – since there is no reality, only perception.  But of course, we don’t know this yet, so it seems VERY real and quite scary to us.  We enter the workforce, or as I like to call this step, “The Ego Olympics.”  More than ever, we start to equate success and the acquisition of “stuff” with happiness.  In the rat race we do everything in our power to pole-vault our way up the corporate ladder, only to fall on our head, broken and bruised.  We may acquire all the stuff, but something’s missing.  We feel empty.  We feel lost and alone, even though we’re surrounded by people who admire us.  Look at all we’ve achieved!  Look how happy we are!  Look at all our stuff!  Our friends and family love us for who we are – but who are we?  We don’t even like ourselves, let alone love ourselves.  There’s got to be something more.

We touched upon our life purpose in college, but now that we’ve either achieved all the material success in life that we can stand or we’ve been struggling in all areas of life all along, we realize more than ever that there’s got to be something more to life.  We search for meaning.  This is our first introduction to our Authentic Self.  “Hello, Authentic Self.  Nice to meet you.  You seem so familiar.  Do I know you from somewhere?”  And the answer, of course, is “Yes!  I’ve been with you all along!”  You had snippets of hearing this voice.  You called it intuition or maybe a “hunch.”  But your Authentic Self has been silently guiding you through life, hoping someday that you’d recognize its existence so that you would learn to listen to it more often.  And here you are!  You learn that your Authentic Self is where love, joy, acceptance, bliss, light, and happiness all reside.  How exciting!  You feel saved.  You feel like you have discovered some secret.  “I have an inner knowing!  Finally, someone is going to help me change my life.”  You’ve seen the light.

Just when you think you hit the BLISS jackpot — you discover your SOUL has another plan for you.  You’re faced with another big challenge.  You lose your job, your car breaks down, you get sick… I like to call this stage, “Attack of the Stackers!”  But how can this be?  You’ve seen the light.  You have everything figured out.  You’ve started meditating; you’re in touch with your inner guidance; you’re setting intentions… Shouldn’t life be grand?  What’s going on?  For those of you who don’t know, Stackers are the people in your life – whether you know them or not – who are there to teach you lessons.  They’re your friends, your bosses, your spouse or even that “jerk” who just cut you off and caused you to hit the curb.  They may piss you off, but they also challenge you and bring you opportunities for learning and growth.  Which brings me to the next step…

In the next step you learn that “Stackers” are a good thing.  “That’s crazy!” you exclaim.  How could my car breaking down in the middle of the freeway be a good thing?  How could me losing my job be a good thing?  Well… at the time it may not seem that way.  But you learn that your Stackers are here to teach you your life lessons.  Once you learn the lesson, they move on.  Of course, you also learn that Earth is a school, so there will always be more lessons, but now you look at them as opportunities.  You see every time you’re faced with a problem you have the opportunity to react in a positive way.  You have a “responsibility” to remain in your loving and embrace this precious opportunity to learn and grow.  Suddenly, you’re egging the Stackers on.  “Go ahead, challenge me!  This time, I’ll get it right!”

Now that you’re conscious of your Inner Being, your Authentic Self, you can let go of your Ego, right?  Wrong!  But Ego is bad.  That’s what everyone says.  It makes you want more and more stuff, promising happiness, but never delivering.  How can that be good?  “If it’s bad, why can’t I get away from it?  I still like to shop.  I still like my house and my car.  I still like stuff.  And that’s bad, right?”  This is the next step – or fallback.  You wonder, “If I’m aware of being conscious and present, why can’t I always be that way?  Why can’t I be perfect?”  You fall into a mild depression.

This is when forgiving yourself for judging yourself is so important.  Yes, you are conscious, you are aware… but as I said before, Earth is a school and growth is a process, not something that happens lickadie-split.  You learn not to be so hard on yourself.  You are PERFECT in whatever stage you are at and you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be at any given moment.  It’s okay to have a healthy Ego.  It’s okay to want things – just don’t identify with your stuff.  JUST DON’T EXPECT THE STUFF TO FILL A VOID IN YOUR LIFE OR MAKE YOU HAPPY.  If you identify with your stuff, you become it.  It becomes you.  And you are not the car you drive, the house you live in, or the job you have.  You are a divine Spiritual being on this Earth in human form having a human experience.

Learning this sits well with you and you feel as if you can breathe again.  And then the holidays arrive.

You’re feeling joyful and in the spirit of love and giving.  You’re so excited about all you’ve learned and are eager to share it with your family, or shall we call them, “Your Ultimate Stackers”?  They love you and know what’s best for you and frankly, they think you’ve lost your marbles.  What is all this talk about your Ego and Authentic Self?  You must’ve joined some cult.  When is the mass suicide planned so we can get in an intervention before then to save you?  Suddenly, self-protection sets in.  You convince yourself that they’re just not as conscious as you are.  They just don’t get it.  You move into self-righteousness – you are sooo much better than them.  This doesn’t feel good – but it keeps you safe.  It keeps your Ego safe…

And then you remember.  There is no right and wrong, only perception.  You forgive yourself for judging, recognize that your family is on their own path and it’s not up to you to change them or anyone else for that matter.  You are only responsible for yourself.  Ahhh… this feels much better.  At last, the burden of convincing your family that you’re right and they’re wrong is lifted.  You can return back to your center where your Authentic Self is waiting for you with a big, warm hug and a hot mug of cocoa.

And so life continues on, with many ups and downs.  The Stackers continue to teach you lesson after lesson.  You’re knocking some of them down like a video game, while others beat you to a pulp.  But you have learned to look for the good in every experience.  This continues for many lifetimes, until finally…

You graduate!  Congratulations!  You’re going Home.  After all your ups and downs, you’ve learned what you’ve set out to learn here on Earth and your time has come to return to Spirit form and go Home.  You look back for a moment and feel good.  But it’s time to return to the light, return to love, return Home.

Welcome home!  Now it’s time to go back and do it all over again…

With Love, for the highest good…

xo, Christy Jacobs

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