If I say here protect your energy, I don’t talk about saving electricity or protecting the environment by squeezing yourself into a mass transport system. Instead, I talk about spiritual energy, and I talk about fulfilling the purpose of our life.
The Soul as Energy Source
What is the soul? In fact, it is strange that I need to ask this question. The soul is that part of us, which already existed before we came to this earth and built our body. And the soul is also that part of us, which has a chance to live on, after it has given up our body and we died.
Every soul, who operates a body, knows about it, because a body cannot exist without the active support of a soul. But the human mind, the part of consciousness living inside our body, has often lost the connection to its soul. Many people are not even aware of the fact, that they have a soul.
Let me ask: if we don’t even know that we have a soul, how can we accept the support of our soul, the energy and its guidance? When the connection between our mind and our soul is blocked, how can we find then the purpose of our personal life.
This is a tragedy, because our soul provides the energy for living. And obviously, the soul provides the more energy, the better we fulfill the purpose of our life. If we satisfy the need for self-actualization and pursue our unique mission in life, our soul will provide more energy and share its appreciation with us. We experience happiness.
If we want to protect our energy, we need a good understanding of our needs, and how they correspondent to each other. This is so important, because the only way for us to live our passion leads through a field of satisfied needs.
The Maslow Pyramid
The Maslow Pyramid of needs provides a simple but useful framework to understand our different needs, and how they interact. See the illustration below.
You find on the very top of the pyramid a section marked “Self-Actualization.” This is the area, where we follow our passions and pursue the personal purpose of our life. Self-actualization opens the gateway for the energy provided by our soul. The best way to protect the energy flow is to ensure that we always follow our passions and never drop them for any reason.
After self-actualization follows the realm of the ego, dealing with our self-esteem and our social status.
Self-esteem correspondents to our feeling, that we live up to the challenges our life has in store for us. Happiness and the energy provided by our soul will help us to master our life, and the confidence we can cope with any future challenges.
Status on the other hand is kind of a formalized feedback from our network and society as a whole. In this context “status” means a high level of social satisfaction, safeguarded through legal guarantees. It can express itself implicitly in our wealth, the resources we have accumulated as our private property.
A substantial and properly diversified estate can guarantee our ability to pursue our personal mission in future.
Status has also an explicit dimension in form of legally guaranteed entitlements to citizens of a country in general.
But status can also express itself in privileges of select groups like government officials. In Germany, the government pledges to the core members of its apparatus, that it will do whatever it takes to make sure that they can meet their needs for their lifetime. Once they have received that status, it is permanent. Nobody can take it away, if an official executes the orders he receives faithfully.
Summarizing the Ego
Satisfaction of the ego is the feeling, that we pursue the mission of our life and follow our passion, and the confidence that we can do so in future.
Self-actualization strengthens the ego, and a well-maintained ego supports our ability to pursue our passions. At the same time, a well-maintained ego supports almost automatically our social relationships. In return, a strong network of social relationships supports our ego.
Social relationships are that part of life, where we humans bundle our energy. We build excellent skills, specialize in one area and rely on the efforts and skills of others in the next area. We need to cooperate with others to satisfy our needs efficiently.
Social satisfaction describes the quality of our social network. Is it efficient? is it fair? A good social network is a win-win situation for all people involved. But there are enough people on earth, who try to build networks where they are the winners, and most others are the losers. They use such networks to soak up the energy of others and manipulate their minds up to the point where they destroy them.
Therefore, in the sphere of social relations we have to take special care to protect our energy. We cannot allow others to steal or destroy it for their own benefit.
Belonging and Love
Like the sphere of the ego, social satisfaction has two dimensions: the sense of belonging, and love.
Belonging talks about formal relationships. We are member of a club or employee of a corporation. We are citizens of a country. In all three cases, we belong to an organization. And this belonging comes with well-defined duties and benefits. If one side does not live up to its commitments, the other side can end the relationship. We can leave the club, and the employer can fire us.
The opposite of those formal relationships is personal care and love. The latter are unconditional. As parents, we love our children and care for them, and we know that they are not perfect. As loving spouses, we care for each other and love us in good times as well as in bad times. We count on us and need us especially in those darker days, when we are unable to perform.
While a high status in society can help us to build networks and secure an attractive position in helpful organizations, the stable self-esteem coming with a healthy ego helps us also to build loving and caring relationships.
Strong relationships bring on the other hand predictability in our lives. they make it much easier for us to look confident into a future, which will surely provide for all of our needs.
Summarizing Social Satisfaction
A healthy ego is almost a condition for good relationships. On the other hand, good relationships support our status and our self-esteem in a big way.
Then again, social relationships help providing a stable and predictable life, which we need so much to satisfy our need for safety and security. And again, the quality of our relationships rely very much on those two.
So, we find big overlaps between the spheres of the ego, social relations and security. Social satisfaction will suffer, if we lack either self-esteem or confidence into our future.
The security bracket contains like ego and social satisfaction two subcategories: Safety and Stability. Safety relates like status and belonging to the outside environment, while stability relates like self-esteem and love directly to our own behavior.
Good friends will help us, when we need them. Therefore, relationships lead to a feeling of safety in our lives.
Stability depends mostly on our own behavior. If we do our work, no matter what, we will also receive a steady stream of income. Even if things go wrong, because we fall sick or our employer runs into difficulties, we will be rather quickly back at normal. Steady and reliable behavior help us building strong skills and habits. Both will be a good foundation for a quick recovery. We know that, and this helps us to look confidently into the future.
Confidence, good skills and a habit of reliability help us to improve and strengthen our social relationships. At the same time, those skills and habits make it much easier for us to provide every day for the physical needs of our body.
Food, water, sleep, clothing and shelter are our most important physiological needs. If we struggle to meet them, we feel already after a short time a strong impact. Even the strongest persons can’t live without water or sleep for more than a few days.
If we don’t find a way to take care of our physiological needs, our reliability and confidence collapse. Our body will tell us that in no uncertain terms, and force us to prioritize those needs, even at extremely high costs in other areas.
It is already enough, that we fear we could possibly fail to meet our basic needs for food, water and shelter to switch into an emergence mode.
Balancing the Needs
I heard many times, that we must satisfy first the needs at the basis of the pyramid, then work our way up step by step, before we can pursue self-actualization.
This is just not true. We are born into a family. This family provides to a baby food and safety, although in different levels according to their best abilities.
Self-actualization means for babies and children mainly to grow the body and to learn new skills. They get enough energy from their souls. They have even so much energy, that we wonder at times, how that is at all possible.
As a baby learns to move around, to walk and to communicate, it becomes certainly aware of its growing skills. Therefore, small children don’t have problems with their self-esteem.
You can see that children are generally born into a balanced system, that takes care of all levels of its needs. The problems start, when this balanced system comes under attack and starts to disintegrate.
Keeping Your Satisfaction Balanced
This attacks on our needs start almost always at the level of social relations. Some families start to neglect older children, when younger siblings come along. Or the family itself crumbles. The child feels no longer welcome and loses self-esteem. Accordingly health and mental growth of the child weakens. Self-actualization diminishes, and the soul provides less energy. By the time that the child reaches a child-care center or school, it will already carry the label of a problem child.
Similar mechanisms apply, when and if we lose as adults the balance in our life.
We need to balance the needs of our body, our mind and our soul. Whenever one of them suffers, it will weaken over time all others. Therefore, it is absolutely important, that we track all our needs carefully. This allows us to intervene early on, long before a nuisance blows up into a veritable problem.
We Must Protect our Energy
If we lack the energy to get up in the morning and get some things done, there is no way to satisfy our physical needs. Even if a government provides some money to us, we still need to get up, go to a shop and buy food, cook and wash the utensils. We must also wash ourselves, clean our apartment, put on cloth.
So, we must protect our energy, because without that energy we could never satisfy our needs and meet our passion in life.
Attacks on Our Social Relationships
It is very common, that attacks on the level of our social relationships are the starting point of a slippery slope in human life. Therefore, we must take every effort to nurture and strengthen our social relationship. This is the best way to protect our life from disintegration and keep our energy flowing.
The result for us is always the same: we lose control of our energy, and we can’t use it any more to meet our own needs and to reach our goals.
How Can We Protect Our Energy against Such Attacks?
The first step is awareness. We must become aware of situations, where our energy evaporates. If we become aware of our energy leaks, we will find ways to close them. Those leaks are often the result of a combination of our own habits and attacks of other people.
Such attacks on our social relationships impact our energy flow very negatively. Some people attack us on purpose, they want to manipulate our energy flow so that it works toward their own goals. Others are not even aware of the damage they leave behind.
Those attacks on our social relations are often related either to fear or to anger.
Fear and Anger are Twins
People, who attack our energy on purpose, try to channel it in ways that supports their goals. They try to steal our energy, and they have a plan for it.
Their strategy is often based on fear and anger. The more skillful players can also combine both strategies. One example for that is the good cop – bad cop game. If we want to protect ourselves against such attacks on our energy, we must learn to understand the emotions of fear and anger.
Fear is a state of mind where we focus all of our attention and energy on one single danger. This danger might be real or not. What counts is that we believe in that danger.
As long as we concentrate completely on that danger, somebody else might do almost anything with us, and we will not realize it.
Quite a lot of people spread fear intentionally. Your boss might fire an employee at least every few months, just to make everybody else fear for his ability to pay his mortgage. The remaining employees will cave in to almost every single demand of such a boss, even if it might destroy their family or bring them into conflict with the law. That is, until they are the ones to be thrown out.
They will let you know that resistance means suicide. They make you believe that blowing the whistle is pointless, because nobody will believe you.
Some examples of such fear mongering come in the context of those #MeToo stories. But there are many more.
A less harmful variant of spreading fear is the introduction of scarcity as a sales closing tactic. You have learned to love some samples of an offer, but you are not yet ready to buy the whole package. Now the seller tells you, that you will no longer be able to buy it later, because the price is going to triple, if you don’t act now. If he manages to focus you on the terrible disaster of missing out on that chance, and the shame coming with such a blunder, you might forget everything else, including your new year’s resolution to keep your purse strings closed. Then you just hit the buy button. Afterwards you experience a dose of buyer’s remorse, but that was it.
The Cure Against Fear Mongers
Those, who spread fear, do that most of the time intentionally. This makes it easier to spot their behavior. And, after spotting them, there is a simple solution: The only way to protect your energy from people spreading fear is cutting all your ties with them. Push them out of your life. Push them out completely and don’t allow them to return.
Understanding anger is a bit more complicated, because anger has at least two phases.
Blocked Energy Flow
The first part is, that you block your energy flow by doing things, which you don’t want to do, and neglect those aspects of your life, which cater to the needs of your soul. The reason for you to fall into such a pattern might be fear.
But now, when the energy flow in your life is damaged and you don’t receive the energy you need, you might try to save energy and avoid spending it.
Energy has a few things in common with money: As long as you spend your money the right way, your wealth will probably grow.
Well spend energy, on the other hand, will allow your soul to funnel more energy into your life. If you have enough energy, you can better focus and relax. You will make better decisions, and you will execute them better. Therefore, protecting your energy flow is as important as protecting your money flow.
Triggers Burst the Bubble
But, if your energy cannot flow properly, it turns sour. People, who block their energy flow become bitter, resentful and angry. After a while they morph into a bubble, filled with poisonous energy.
Like financial bubbles, such an energy bubble must burst. And it will burst. After the bubble has grown to a certain extent, it will only look for a trigger.
If such a trigger comes along, the bubble will burst. All your energy is gone. You will try again to save energy and prevent it from leaving your life. After some time, this circle becomes a habit.
Some skillful people can spot that state of affairs in your life. They will drop from time to time a “banana skin” in your way. You step on it, and it will trigger your outburst. This outburst can be very destructive for you, but it can further the interests of others, who lead you through your life like a beast with a ring through its nose.
The Cure Against Anger
If your problem is anger, you must reopen your energy flow. I know that this is easier said than done. But there is no other way, your bubble will burst and regrow until you removed the blocks from your energy flow.
In the end, the solution is also simple: You need to embrace your own life including your weakness and your purpose. This helps you to rebuild and protect your energy flow.
Embracing your weakness means accepting that you are not responsible for the whole world. Instead, you are responsible for your own life. This change of attitude allows you to let things go their way. Here are three steps you should take:
- Stop wasting your energy with fights against windmills.
- Accept other people’s right to be the ones they want to be.
- Reclaim also for yourself the right to be yourself.
Maybe you think that the world will fall completely in pieces, if you stop holding it together. And maybe, this is true for your personal world.
If your personal world exhausts you so much that you lack the energy to cater to the needs of your soul, let it fall apart. Be curious what is growing on its ashes. Embrace the return of your estranged freedom. Let your self-made prison crumble.
Allowing your prison to crumble frees up your energy. Use it to cater to the needs of your soul. You will find your real purpose and your soul will provide you with an abundance of energy.
We must balance our energy to cater to all five categories of needs as good as possible. To get there you need to allow your energy to flow. There are two emotions which block the flow of your energy frequently: Fear and anger.
Fear Allows Others to Steal Our Energy
Fear recedes automatically after a danger is gone. But there are humans and institutions who spread fear intentionally and permanently. They do this to get control of other people’s energy and direct it on their own mills.
The solution is here to kick such people out of your life, and to limit the impact of institutional fear spreaders as far as possible. There are clear measures you can take to protect your energy against fear attacks:
- Switch off your TV.
- Be very picky with whom to connect on social media.
- Don’t allow anybody to threaten you in your personal life. If somebody tries, kick him out.
Anger Comes from a Blocked Energy Flow
Anger develops mostly because you refuse to accept and appreciate the world as it is. You will think that it is your duty to correct the world, but you will find that you don’t have enough energy to do so. (God had a good reason to create the world as it is.)
But if you don’t accept the limited influence you have on the world, you will try to mobilize every bit you have to force the world at large, and the world around you, to comply with your version of goodness.
This will exhaust you, and you will stop allocating energy to your own needs, including the needs of your soul. You will try to save it and use it for your effort to remake the world. This will block the flow of your energy. It will create a bubble and burst cycle. This cycle will repeat itself again and again.
There is no other way out of this cycle than accepting your own weakness and appreciating the limits of your liability for the shortcomings of the world at large. This will help you to restore and protect the free flow of your energy.
Expect episode 14 for the second half of May. We will discuss in the upcoming episode with a positive approach, how we can bundle our efforts with other people, how to cooperate on tasks and how delegate.