Ultimately our goal is emotional freedom. We can't achieve that until we are willing to examine our own egos and the beliefs that they are built upon. To help us recognize the ill effects of these belief systems, please consider the following example.
Gay marriage is a hot button topic. Those opposing it are adamantly opposed. They have a belief system (some of which is based in biblical beliefs) that it is unnatural for same sex couples to have sex or to be married. That is an opinion or a belief. Gays on the other hand, are attracted to same sex partners. They reject religious dogma, and adamantly cling to their beliefs as they simply want the opportunity to love someone and gain the advantages, emotional and financial, of heterosexual couples. They are adamantly opposed to dogma that says there is something wrong with them.
So why does this generate so much conflict? Each side of this debate has found a collective ego. Individually all people involved in this debate let their ego run rampant. Egos are driven by fear. Fear that says I must control the outcome-we must win. Therefore it manifests itself in each side trying to will and control the outcome. They launch attacks and counterattacks. They vote, they appeal, they sue each other. They diminish one another and in some cases they attain new levels of real hatred. Left unchecked, these beliefs result in violence and bloodshed. It is the insanity of our planet. Emotionally free people realize the insanity of the collective ego.
These beliefs and opinions are shadows on the cave wall. We simply don't understand what is making them. The beauty of this is that we recognize this and we do not have to understand it. We accept that people are free to live their lives as they choose. We understand that they are still guided by that false sense of self, that same ego that used to run our lives. Others remain hostage to an ego ruled by beliefs, fear, and control. An unrecognized ego that seeks fulfillment, an ego that must win. We realize how insane that is because we once used to engage in that ourselves. For a fortunate few, we have evolved out and away. We are not smarter or better. We have made a simple discovery and found a better way to live.
If in fact we recognize that false sense of self, that shadowy belief system that manifests itself as our ego, we have taken the first step. Unmasked, our ego gets exposed to harsh sunlight and examined. It no longer runs us. We begin to run it. We no longer feel a need to "win." We realize that everything is an opinion or belief. Our old ways are cast aside. The actualization and realization of the damage our ego has caused is undeniable. In some cases, unbelievable. But we accept that we were insane. We damaged others, caused job stress and pain, ruined relationships as our self seeking and fear guided egos trampled on others. Recognizing this insanity is beautiful. It is the first step in becoming whole again and learning to love yourself. If we can achieve this we are on the way to possessing the ingredients and the capacity to love others.
Emotionally free people walk right through this. Unmasking that false sense of self and acceptance may be fearful at first. But if you are committed to the process the results will astound you. Love is truly letting go of fear.
You will begin to realize that everything you once perceived were shadows. You will begin to realize that you simply don't know what creates those shadows in other people. You are simply going to allow other people to be who they are. You will quit trying to control others because now you know and accept that controlling others is not possible and that it simply leads to frustration and resentment. You will not feel pain, fear, or hatred. You will understand that people are just trying to live their lives, hostages to a belief system that others may never examine. You will never feel like a victim nor will you launch any counter attacks to diminish others. You will begin to love people. All people. Because you have taken the first step in extending love to others. You have found yourself and gained acceptance. You have unmasked your ego. You are going to begin to love yourself and having done that, you will have the capacity to love others. You will receive love in return. Good things will happen almost immediately.
You are never going to look at the world the same way again.