Your Higher vs. Your Lower Self

I’ve been going through some of my old morning pages (which I started after doing The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron and you can watch a video about them here). And I wanted to share a section of one of the entries from last fall. I had just listened to a lecture about the importance of getting in sync with the universe and trying to help build up humanity, and it had left an impression on me.

“It is a lofty goal, to think about one’s desires and then align those desires to the good of society. I want to be the spark for so many people, I want to help them lose fear of the darkness and shine a candle so they can integrate their dual natures into one. I want to love and be loved and draw energy from all of that love to spread outward. I want to burn away the smaller parts of myself, the meanness and pettiness, and help others burn away those areas within them. I want to utilize both my wisdom and intelligence in a way that benefits all, rippling out from me to my inner circle and then to the world.”

On my best days, I am able to do all that. And I feel so in tune with everything that surrounds me and able to tap deep into creative resources to help people or to help myself through writing and art and music. And I can keep going for a long time.

But on my worst days, I find myself overly sensitive and raw, so very raw. And I find myself out of touch, making a big deal in my mind out of things that other people do or don’t do or say or don’t say when customarily I am fine taking people as they come and don’t take their actions personally. But on my worst days, my feelings get hurt really easily and very deeply, and it can leave me shaky for days, because all of a sudden I’m reminded of my preteen self getting tortured and tormented by classmates, unsure of where I stand with anyone, even the people whom I love most. And however much I work on healing that little girl part of me, sometimes the tears come unbidden. This happened to me last week, and it was originally what I was going to do today’s blog about, but reading my morning pages earlier today made me realize that going through these sensitive times gives me a sign that I’m working too hard and also is part of my ongoing effort to integrate my own dual nature. So it’s very much serving a purpose. Even when it makes me sad or uncomfortable or reminds me of past pain.

I prefer to focus on my best days, to reach toward my higher self more often than descending into my lower self, while still acknowledging the existence of that lower self and knowing that I have to allow those feelings to surface occasionally in order to continue to walk my inner paths of both darkness and light comfortably and to then be able to guide others on their own paths. It’s how I tap into creativity, it’s how I navigate through life. But it certainly is not the easiest way to go.

If you are open to sharing, what are some of your innermost higher-self desires? What would you want to accomplish as an individual toward the betterment of humanity? How would your personality align itself best into the universe? And do you walk that path now or do you have a lot of work to do still to get there?

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10 thoughts on “Your Higher vs. Your Lower Self

  1. Much like you, I seek to inspire. To tell people they are not alone. To speak the truth that although the world can be hard and cruel, that there are good things within it… and they are worth fighting for.

  2. God, you are so me… Irony is how much I envy you.

    My Morning Pages was an idea my laat counselor shared before she left, and she was surprised she never told me before. I need to start doing it.

    Funny thing is she told me to throw them away, and you keeo yours. šŸ˜›

    • I keep mine but don’t read them for years usually. I like seeing where I’ve grown and where I’m still stuck (the same things that keep coming back over and over). And I sometimes steal ideas from them for poems.

      I really recommend Cameron’s The Artist’s Way as a way to reconnect with the inner creative. It’s a 12 week self-course. Worth checking out!

      • And that’s one of two reasons why I envy you: Creative output continues from you, no matter what. I regularly inspire others to see the world a little differently, a little deeper, but cannot spark my own creativity again.

        You say that you’re going to stop producing material for a while with your new baby & family changes taking-up time: and you don’t stop at all! Actually, your employment is the only thing that seems to have ever taking away the time for you to create.

        My poetic and musical creativity stopped about 4 years ago, and I don’t know how to bring back. Can be said I’m working on my own health recovery and care for it full-time, but that is sometimes a vicious cycle.

        Photography stopped from me about 16 years ago, and I don’t even take pictures with friends and family much anymore unless they are the ones to click! Now in retrospect I see both creqtive outputs ended because romances who celebrated those works at those points had ended: sad, almost stupid. Simply drawing things for me stopped when my age was still at single digits, and who knows why.

        I’m most joyous now as an adult by being my own person, and don’t even want to date again anytime soon: but I don’t feel compelled to create either. Maybe Cameron’s The Artist’s Way can help me find my own inspiration for that creativity again.

        Your other inspiration for my Envy: is your family! And maybe there is something to be said for those two aspects of your own life are inseparable; or at least, my two envies from this perspective of your life, via blog.

        Your take, Kat?

      • I think that envy can be a good marker for what you feel most lacking in your life and can be channeled to be productive or it can be a “grass is greener” – kind of a dual-edged sword, like so many things, right? For me, I am envious of the people I know involved in bands/performing music, and I am envious of my friends that get to travel a lot and have BIG ADVENTURE (for example, one friend took the summer off to bike across the country with her boyfriend and two other couples). Both music and travel will take a backseat for me as I focus on family and house, and I can either let that eat me up inside, or I can make plans that span for several years from now. But that’s the thing to remember about envy – there is always a cost to everything. Family and house means a lack of freedom and a sacrifice of part of my career and time to create my own art (I only justify the creative work i do accomplish because I get paid up front for those). And my having to work outside the home means never feeling like I’m devoting enough time to motherhood. So there’s constant guilt and a constant tug o’war. Even so, I wouldn’t trade it at this point.

        I’m so sorry that you’ve become blocked creatively, and I do recommend The Artist’s Way for unblocking. When I did it in grad school, I had spent my entire first semester feeling like a “fake artist” and it let me find my voice. The other book I highly recommend is Metzger’s Writing for Your Life, which has lots of different writing exercises that can help you tap into yourself.

        For me, creating is self-healing, and I have to find time to do it. When I don’t, I start feeling myself close up and have all my inner demons began nibbling at me, and I know that takes a severe toll on me physically and mentally so I try not to get that way.

        I know you’ve worked so hard and have come so far in these recent years, and that in itself is something to celebrate. Don’t ever sell yourself short on that front. And having your creativity tied to another person is tough. I’ve been through that myself, until I realized that I needed to create for me first, and then for an audience. So what would make your inner self happiest? Taking pictures? Writing? Doodling? I would start there, if I were you. And just play.

      • Guitaring, and singing, and getting my old self-composed songs together again. Process, at least from last night I have guitar now restrung!

        The touring musician friends that you envy: I envy, too! I kinda harbor some worry that I’d lose emotional stability without a homebase, however. Perhaps that’s where the tourbus/van is important, if there is one.

        So you have obligations with a baby girl especially, and a son and husband. Self-care can be private, time to restart creative things is often private, I know.

        But to cotninue any creativity… Does your family ever get to create *together* again yet? Or at least in the same room with each other. MAybe that would be one way to get the creative juices flowing again, and ensuring that the joy of the craft(s) is being passed on to the next generation. Perhaps find a way that you can play/sign a song or paint for baby girl. Depends on your child’s temperament, I’m sure, but just throwing some ideas out there: I have no personal experience to draw experiential wisdom from, not at all (as I lament here), so don’t know the best way. But somehow making the family work with the creativity to benefit all of you–rather than treating them as merely mutually-exclusive distractions–might make for more time.

        Local library system has a copy of “The Artist’s Way,” just reserved it today!

        You still seem to write with baby: that’s the creativity I was highlighting. Perhaps you can be creative on ideas & ways to not leave the other arts behind, while still working it into & together with tending to those you love. Let me know how that goes šŸ™‚

      • Creating together is something my husband and I used to love doing, before we had kids. We would set up after dinner and work super late even though we had to get up for our day jobs the next morning, and we’d listen to music or throw on a movie or show we’d watched a hundred times before just to have on in the background. It was lovely, and somehow we’ve never managed to get back into the swing of that these past five years. But it would definitely be good to work towards. And yes, I’ve started doing piano lessons with my son, and we’ve done some fun art projects together. Again, something to work towards. Thank you for the reminder.

        And yes, I am a big planner/dreamer, and I constantly am doing that even if I can’t write ideas down. The only trouble is getting those ideas to fruition. :-p

        And yay getting the guitar restrung and reserving the Artist’s Way ! I hope you enjoy both greatly.

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