By Megan Mulligan

Most of us are born knowing exactly who we are.
The moment we pop out of our mother’s chute, there is an all-knowing sense of self, an ease and direction, that only our unique soul could know.

Like the bird who sings a sweet morning melody, our soul wanders in the direction of natural harmony where only God-gifted talents could lead.

So we go like this, for however long, mindlessly following the path of Divine guidance and timing. But at some instance, for most of us, we are presented a fork in the road. A moment when our soul is swayed. Perhaps by a person or an event. It deters the plan.

Instead of growing forward into the white-winged bird of destiny, we may start to see ourselves differently. At this point, the vision bird may become a doctor, an attorney, or banker. When the reality of life intervenes, this is what may happen. The conditioning we experience from those around us begins to set in.

Conditioning takes the form of beliefs and attitudes from our family and community, for example, that is not uniquely ours. Conditioned thinking is mindlessly downloaded by DNA and/or exposure to belief systems. Perhaps outdated in form, but unconsciously carried forth by the people surrounding us, to whom, as children, we trustingly grant our freedoms.

So, while born knowing exactly who we are, when conditioning sets in, we start to absorb the effects, energetically and in thought form. The ideas may start swimming inside of our life force, our prana, until we believe they are actually ours.

Look at the roots of religion, institutions, or family lineage to potentially find yours.

For me, I’ve found being born into the Midwest has a specific set of cultural values. There’s an ethic of work hard, family first. But at what price? Perhaps that of yourself and your own happiness, for sacrifice and martyrdom is often prized.

Religion forms so much of this paradoxical thinking too. A space that’s meant to grant freedom of spirit through the repentance of sin, for example, can actually act like a cage for our thinking. Artificial constructs of right and wrong, guilt and shame, can become barriers to free will and action, perhaps giving voice to the harshest of inner critics.

Arguably, inside any country, culture, or institution, there exists other aspects of collective understanding in which you might find framework for some of your current thinking. But examine the collective consciousness. Look at yourself. There may be many shells to shed, to find what’s truly your own.

Sure, we may argue that these constructs exist as tools. Important ways to learn about ourselves. Dualistically, they may present motivation. Ways that subtly encourage our soul toward freedom, when it’s had enough.

Just one taste of the sweet nectar of choice, and our eyes may bat open. When they do, the tigress pops her head out of the artificial cage. She awakens to reality, a breakthrough. Then the soul’s granted true expansion toward its mission again.

In this awakening, a new life exists on the horizon. The freedom to be truly you. The same freedom that our soul entered this earth with is available for retrieval.

The soul was never really lost anyway. Our soul always knows. Understands the path and gently nudges us in its direction within the soft murmur of our inner voice. But even this can get lost within the noise of shoulds and self-blame. But it’s there, it was always there. Simply get quiet to hear it.

So let go. Surrender to the forward path. Toward the ever-knowing that exists through a doorway with no net. This is the space to soar, flourish, and find yourself again. This time, sans constructs and abundant with true self. The one you were born knowing. The destiny you are meant to fulfill.


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