Let Your Essence Shine

At the house we are remodeling for a “Spiritual Growth Center” there is a very large, overgrown evergreen tree that stands in the front yard. Now this is a good thing. The tree is beautiful and adds a sense of peace to the property. It has branches all the way to the ground and fills up the tiny yard, hiding the house. This is not necessarily a good thing. It makes the front porch dark and all you can see of the house is one little end sticking out.

The other day I spoke to someone about trimming things up a bit. The back yard is overgrown with weeds and needs cleaning out. We decided the tree in the front might look better if the branches were trimmed up the trunk so that you could see the house, but the tree would still be full and beautiful. One-third trunk, two-thirds branches seemed about right.

I was not there when the trimming was done so when I drove up to the house the other day I was pleasantly surprised. The front porch of the house now smiles out from under the tree that now acts as a headdress instead of a dress. It is amazing how much of a difference it makes to the whole property. The house had been hiding behind the tree.

It was such a transformation that I was struck with how similar the issues are with us. We often hide behind a façade. We can hide behind our identities and the roles we play in life. Our façade is created by our ego and it is the face we show to the world. This can be contrasted with our essence—who we are at the level of spirit and soul.

At an ego level we can be just like the overgrown tree with an overgrown, overdeveloped sense of professionalism or religiosity. Layer upon layer, year after year, we can cultivate and tend a face that we present to the world that hides who we really are. We lose sight of our essence and become just a lot of excess timber that needs to be trimmed away.

As long as ego is the driver in our life, it will dictate and orchestrate a profuse showing of foliage. Maybe pretty to look at, but hiding the essence of who we really are. Through spiritual growth and practice we eventually awaken to a higher calling and realize there is more to us than what the ego has produced. This is when we are closer to understanding our soul purpose and awakening to our reason for being here.

When the soul eventually becomes our director and not our ego we will start to trim back and shed some of our unneeded façade. It is no longer helping us to fulfill our soul’s purposes and needs. In fact it just gets in the way. That overbuilt façade is cumbersome and only holds us back from further spiritual growth.

When we live from a soul level, we are authentic. We don’t say one thing in public and act another way in private. We are always more beautiful at a soul level than at the level of ego. If we realized this sooner we might spend fewer years polishing our mask to the world and more years connecting our soul to its original Source. This is what makes us truly shine.

We are here for a reason. We are here to be a unique reflection of the Creator. We are here to serve a Divine purpose. Viewing our life in the light of our soul gives us a much different reason for living than when looked at through our ego. When we understand the essence of who we are, we move out of fear and walk in the beauty of knowing that we are made in the image of the male/female God.

Our ego becomes our servant instead of our master. We now have more authenticity before God and our fellow travelers. Reflecting the Source and being a channel for the Spirit become our top priority. Shining God’s love through our hearts is what gives us a sense of fulfillment and joy. Connect to Source and unneeded trappings just fall away. This is when you connect with your essence and you can truly shine.