The authentic self has an inner focus or center. It directly experiences life through the energy field…most specifically through a healthy heart chakra.
A truly healthy heart chakra experiences directly without judgment, analysis or even description.
This higher aspect of Self comes into contact with life through feelings in the moment. Its experience is not that of isolated qualities, but more that of a network of relationships, rhythm and vibration. The spiritual self holds an awareness of the interrelatedness of all of life.
By contrast the ego self is outer focused, sees things from a cause- effect perspective and an either/ or polarity. The ego mind is very busy analyzing, categorizing, judging and describing. To its credit, this is a task that fundamentally designed to protect us and keep us safe. Generally for most of us it has run amok with its self appointed agenda! The answer is not to eradicate the ego but appreciate its proper role, have it assume its proper place and balance it with our higher nature.
In working with the ego and the shadow aspects of ourselves we need to remember to have self compassion — we have all needed to have some protection in order to make it through whatever we had to face in our lives. The ego has helped provide that. The shadow holds our wounds, painful memories and split off parts until we are ready or strong enough to enter into the healing process.
Once we realize that we are not to blame for our protective “constructions” (defenses, mistaken beliefs, reactive patterns), but are to be applauded for our creativity managing difficult situations, perhaps we can move on. If we simply understand our process in this way, we can open the door to healing old wounds and developing the more skillful way of the heart to serve us better in the future.