One of the greatest lessons I've learned in life, especially after the latest deviation of my spiritual journey, is the importance of listening to the voice of my higher self.
It's something that's often hard to do. We are inundated with societal pressures, religious conditioning, and egoic fears, all of which try to keep us going down a path that just doesn't work for us.
The voice of the higher self is soft and hard to hear. It is too easy to ignore. But the consequences of ignoring that voice are far-reaching.
It can lead to feeling empty—separate from your true Self. It leads to making decisions that just aren't the best for you in life.
Unfortunately, this is how most people are living their lives today. But what if I told you you had an inner compass, an inner guidance system, which was always trying to get your attention?
When you follow this inner guidance, you will know, every single time, that you are on the right path. No doubts, no what-ifs. And though the decisions that result might seem counterintuitive from the outside, they will result in the best possible outcome for you.
What Is the Higher Self?
What exactly is the higher self? I've discussed it a few times in the past, but not at great length.
Essentially, the higher self is your soul. It is the part of you that remains aware of your true nature.
When you are born, a part of your being comes down into your body. The veil is drawn, and eventually you forget who you really are.
But a part of yourself also stays aware of your true nature. Its job is to constantly guide you throughout this life, to send you promptings and intuitive nudges of what is best for you.
Once you die, you will be reunited with your higher self, and you will once again have a full knowing of who you are, and where you have been throughout your myriad lifetimes. You will see the full spectrum of your soul's experiences.
But while you are here in your body, you can only see a very limited subset of who you really are. Your connection back to your higher self is more or less strong, depending on how you live your life and how much you acknowledge your spiritual element. If you live a materially-focused life, the connection to your higher self will suffer. But if you live a life centered in spirituality, then your connection will be very strong, and you will have a greater awareness of your own true nature.
Note that living a life centered in spirituality looks different for everyone. I know atheists whom I would consider to be spiritual, even though they would not. And, I know religious people whom I would consider materially-focused, who would not consider themselves that way.
It has to do more with how much you respect your own soul, intentionally or not, and how much you move in alignment with universal energy.
The Higher Self Is Trying to Communicate with You
Right this very moment, your higher self is trying to communicate with you. In fact, your higher self has always been trying to communicate with you. You may not believe this, but it is true.
Have you ever been trying to take some course of action, and you just get the sense that it is wrong for you? Or, an opportunity arises, and you get the intuitive sense that it will be perfect for you?
These sorts of things are classic signs of the higher self's communication.
It has a lot of other methods, too. Signs, synchronicities, things that other people tell you, intuitive senses, random thoughts, are all ways that the higher self tries to get your attention.
Unfortunately, sometimes you're not listening, so your higher self has to shout a little louder. This is when an experience will happen to you which might be a lot more painful. Those experiences will get more and more painful until finally you get the point, and start listening.
However, when you actually start listening to the higher self, then things will calm down, because it no longer has to work so hard to get your attention.
The Consequences of Ignoring the Higher Self
When I was in college, there was a period of time where I kept building more and more resistance. I was studying a major (physics) that I really had no interest in. However, I wanted to find something—anything—that I could do and be happy with.
The more I pressed through this major, the worse it felt. Yet, I kept trying to forge forward.
By the end of the semester, I could barely take the finals. I was so spent emotionally and mentally.
The next semester, I switched to music. I thought it would fit me better. However, I still wasn't listening to my higher self. And the same problems continued. Resistance built, until I was out of school sick for a week, on two separate occasions.
This was my higher self shouting at me to listen, and finally, I did. I ended up dropping out of that university, and transferring to another.
The moment I dropped out of that university, I felt a huge rush of relief. Feeling such relief is a huge sign of the higher self agreeing with that action. Dropping out as in fact the best for me, and so I felt relieved.
The same thing happened a few years later, when I ended up dropping out of that second university as well. I started to not see the point in what I was doing, and kept building up more and more resistance.
This time, I knew dropping out would be final. I had already been in college for five years. There would be no transferring somewhere else, especially because I was now engaged to Christine, and she was about to graduate college.
But, I had always been told I had to graduate college and get a good job. Plus, I was now engaged, and what would Christine's family think?
But, I had already had the experience of my higher self shouting at me to get my attention in a rather painful way. I listened at last, and made the decision to drop out.
And again, there was that massive rush of relief. I just knew that this was the right thing to do. Even though over the years, people have told me all the reasons I should complete college, I just never felt like it was right for me, and indeed so far, it has worked just fine.
Stop Listening to the Ego
On the other hand you have the ego, which uses fear, guilt, and shame to pressure you into actions that are not the best for you.
What is the ego? The ego is that part of you that has come into this physical world. It is that part of you that is completely unaware of your true nature as an infinite soul. It is that inner voice that sounds fearful or judging.
The ego was that voice that told me I should keep pushing my way through college, because it was what society expected of me. It told me that if I didn't, I would be a failure.
When you listen to the voice of the ego, you will be acting based on fear. And when you act on fear, you are essentially shutting down your own energy. You are throwing up walls of resistance that keep your inner light from shining through.
When you listen to the voice of the ego, you are essentially choking off the flow of energy. You are literally cutting off your life force. As a result, you will suffer. Life will get harder.
Note that this isn't in punishment. It is just the natural result of cutting off the universal energy from flowing through you. When you have stuck energy within you, your life will manifest that stuckness.
This is where a lot of religions get their idea of punishment. They recognize that disconnecting yourself from universal energy will result in pain. However, they attribute this to the judgment of a personified deity, who wants you to do good and does not want you to do evil.
However, it's so much simpler than that. When you disconnect yourself from universal energy, it hurts. And, eventually it will hurt so much that you'll have no choice but to listen. If it's not in this life, then it'll be in the next.
How to Listen to the Voice of the Higher Self
And, when you connect yourself with universal energy—when you plug into that powerful flow—everything is good for you. Life goes so much better. You are inspired to the right actions at every step, not because you read about what actions are right in some book, but because you are directly inspired by your own higher self.
Here's the thing: your higher self is always communicating with you. Sometimes it will have to send some painful experiences, because you're just not listening. But if you start to tune in, it'll become easy to hear the voice of your higher self.
It's really not as much of a how, as just setting an intention to start listening. Start seeing the universe as an interconnected whole, not as many disparate parts. You are intimately linked with the entire universe.
When you can see the truth of this, you'll see the meaning behind every event. It's not uncommon that I'll check the time and it'll read 11:11. Or, I will think about the best way to do something I want to do, and within a few days, be presented with a better option than I could have come up with myself.
Your higher self wants you to succeed. Your purpose in life is to succeed. Failure is of the ego, not of the higher self.
So, start watching for little ways that your higher self is trying to communicate with you. If you start looking out for it, I guarantee that you'll find it, as long as you are opening yourself to this experience. It is really as easy as that.
Once you start listening to the signs that your higher self is sending you, life will become very magical. You'll see these signs everywhere. You'll begin to feel the magnificent support and love that your higher self has for you.
And remember, there is never any judgment. No matter what you do, or whether or not you listen, your higher self never judges you. It realizes that you need to make your own mistakes, and that you will hear its message in the end.
How About You?
Now I'd love to hear from you. What has been your experience with hearing the voice of your higher self? Can you hear when it whispers, or does it need to shout to get your attention? Let me know in the comments.