Photo by Rikki Vieira

Photo by Rikki Vieira

Excerpt from The End of Death

Copyright 2013 Nouk Sanchez

Pain and anxiety are signs of inner conflict. There can be no outer suffering unless there is inner conflict first. However most of the time we fall for the ego’s initial line of defense, seeing the issue in another, the body, the past or the world, instead of inquiring deeper as to the true cause of our distress. One of the stickiest beliefs of the ego thought system is the idea that we are deprived of Love and security. This feeds the lie that we are to seek our Love and security externally, and perhaps the greatest of all our defenses to Love and true security, lay in our “special” relationships. These are with partners, family and friends, etc. In special relationships we agree to perform non negotiable “roles” in order to meet each other’s ego needs. The roles themselves act as substitutes for true joining that block out real unconditional Love between us.

The ego is obsessed with getting its imagined needs met. In fact, in many relationships, the unconscious agreement is this, “If you love me then you will do what I (ego) want”, which translates to, “I will love you while you meet my (ego) needs, and I will stop loving you if you don’t.” To the ego, love can change with each person and circumstance. Yet real Love is eternal and uninterrupted.

A necessary part of the awakening process involves undoing the ego’s purpose for relationships, which is always for separation and guilt. And we can’t really undo this secret self-sabotage until we’re willing to exhume our own hidden agendas. I would like to share an example of a hidden agenda from my own experience here.

Recently, I was in conflict for two weeks yet I had no conscious recognition of the source of the issue that seemed to be causing so much anguish. On top of this, I judged myself for being clueless as to the nature of the problem. I was sure that I had done the forgiveness process yet I had no idea what I was forgiving. Besides, for ten days or so, there was a low lying fear that rumbled increasingly before it finally erupted into red alert, high anxiety. Still, I was no closer to revealing the core of the issue. And this threw me into a spin. Self doubt skyrocketed and confusion appeared to cloud everything. I had lost my center and with it, my willingness to trust. It really felt as if there was something majorly wrong.

In the meantime, my workload had increased and I felt overwhelmed which was an old ego pattern of mine. I was in the last stages of reviewing and editing my new book, The End of Death. And I was feeling the pressure of the publishing deadline that I was attempting to meet. In the midst of all of this, my wonderful daughter had invited me to join her and her friends in a weeklong backpacking/hiking trip into the Grand Canyon.

I love the Canyon and had experienced one of the most awesome trips of my life there. When I said yes to her, I felt instant conflict. I so desperately wanted to join with her, to hang out and do what we do best together, enjoying the wonders of nature. I wanted to be present with her, to really “join”. This became my priority and I was adamant that I would not let her down. If you have ever hiked the Canyon before then you’ll appreciate the amount of preparation and planning that goes into such a voyage. And this was something I just had to prepare myself for. Not to mention the extra physical training to ensure the body would be in shape for such an experience.

Part of my pre-canyon physical training took me on a strenuous hike up a local mountain side. After having hiked just over a mile up, it felt like climbing Mt. Everest and my cramping back and both blistered feet totally overshadowed the breathtaking view that lay before me. But it didn’t take me long to realize that the cause of all this physical pain was my inner conflict and that it had nothing to do with externals. But still I remained confused as to the central conflict I was feeling. The ego counseled me by saying, “Well, you’re intent is loving, you’ve prioritized your daughter’s happiness over your work obligations, so everything will turn out fine.” In this belief I was being a good mother. So I didn’t question this non negotiable belief. It was one of those deeply hidden “special” relationship agreements that we take on with the role of parenthood. Never mind if by fulfilling this particular role, we experience acute inner conflict that results in all manner of unconscious self-sabotage. As long as we fulfill the special relationship agreement’s role. This is the hidden ego agenda.

Unknowingly, we do exactly as the ego instructs. We turn to “it” for guidance. And invariably it uses guilt to coerce us into compromising our self in order to fulfill certain uninvestigated agreements that we have made. What I eventually learned from this was that I had unknowingly deserted myself two weeks earlier when I felt that initial and sharp pang of inner conflict. Instead of showing up for myself at that time and taking this discord to Spirit, I supported the ego’s agenda and prolonged my suffering.

This unconscious cycle was finally raised to the light by a sudden phone call from my publisher to say that she required the manuscript earlier than I had anticipated and that this coincided with the time that I would be in the Canyon. So I would need to withdraw from the planned trip with my daughter. What surprised me was my unexpected reaction to this seemingly stressful news. I was relieved! This felt so right! Yes, I was sad to miss the experience with my daughter yet there was a deep peace underneath this. Finally, I saw the inner conflict so clearly. Spirit had alerted me two weeks prior, with a warning that it was not right for me to go on a Canyon hiking trip during this frenzied time. And deep down I “knew” it, however I chose to override my inner Wisdom in favor of attempting to meet my daughter’s needs and my own ego desires.

Now I continue to learn that when I desert myself in order to meet another’s needs, I teach them to do the same. However when I’m courageous enough to show up for myself, I help to teach others to show up for themselves, and to learn Self Love.

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