We rise for the day, sometimes full of smiles, sometimes full of confusion and pain, other times, rather indifferent. Various emotions arising and passing away. Some take up more space, staying longer than others. Some gone in a flash. Along with the feelings that rush in when we wake, there is something we always have with us; our invisible tool belt. This belt, strapped around our waist as we head out to take the day and whatever it presents, on.

From the time we came into this world we started developing tools, skills and behaviors that would aid or hurt us when responding to people and situations. We were influenced early on by belief systems, ideologies and political stances that our families and those closest to us held strongly to. Being young and vulnerable, we took these on as our own and accepted what was told to us. Unaware that these very definitions of how the world looked, might differ from those we met later on in life.

As we grew, we began to realize that what we thought or believed to be true or right, wasn't always what those around us thought or believed. This permanent set of beliefs ingrained into our identity limited our ability to hear the opinions of others. Inquiry was followed with unconscious prejudice, looking only to confirm what lined up with our conditioning. Unable to connect and share love with many was the consequence. All at the expense of the ego.

The ego, alive within all of us, likes to believe it knows best. It thinks in rights and wrongs and absolutes. It wants you to identify with these beliefs and ideologies because in doing so, you (the ego) become secured, self assured and valued. So convincing that it is the master and you, the puppet. It needs you to buy into this to remain powerful. And in doing so, you experience great separation from connecting with others, sharing new perspectives, and growing deeper in love.

The "I am right, you are wrong" mentality confirms that the ego is in control. It is terrified of rejection, of disappearing completely and needs something to hold onto and you are the closest thing to it. You become gripped. You reach into your invisible tool belt preparing for battle and grab whatever weapon will show everyone how strong, powerful and all-knowing you are. You have trained and now you must crush the opinions and ideas of others, for they don't prove what you know to be true. Hearing what they say causes you to question who you are, what you're worth and where your place in the world is. And that is a scary thought.

We cannot share love, support and appreciation in this setting. We cannot draw closer when we go in ready to fight. The ego provides a false sense of separation that is pain inducing to all involved. It reacts, defends and protects you from being seen, truly seen in this world. And we know from experience, that the most beautiful things are shared freely and with an open heart. The ego is synonymous with fear, the soul with love. Which one is more like you?

Different people bring different songs. Different people bring different lifestyles. Different people bring different breezes, different rays of light. The variety that we are surrounded by enhances our ability to be love. We learned fear a long time ago and saw it as another way to turn and hide. It took some time but we were able to find that it was only in our mind, and that with love, we'd find our way back home.