The question I have for you today is this, “What is your biggest desire …. And ….. what is your biggest dread?” For our greatest desire, many of us might say …. More money, perfect partner, a great job, to find my passion, or maybe to retire early, or find inner peace. For biggest dread, might be global devastation, or nuclear catastrophe, or more personally, losing one’s job, or money or home or spouse, or a diagnosis of cancer.

I am going to suggest that our biggest desire and our greatest dread are actually one and the same, and that is, to be free of ego. Our deepest soul desire, our true Self, wants nothing more than to simply remember who we are and to realize that we are beautiful, creative miracle workers. To remember that we are all one, that we are whole, that we are eternally safe and there truly is nothing to fear. And our insecure small self is terrified of losing our sense of self, of dissolving or merging back into the spiritual sense of oneness.

So you see, we have a dilemma don’t we? Surrender to oneness or separate into ego. When I studied in India, our teachers would say that we are all orphans. When we come into a human body, we forget that we have divine parents, so to speak. We forget our nature and feel abandoned, which is an intense wound.

So one way of looking at our greatest desire and greatest dread is of death. Fear of death is one of the most common fears. Yet we also desire death, so we can go home, back to our spiritual sustenance, and stop feeling like orphans abandoned in this very intense earth drama.

Another way of looking at this is in relationship. Our biggest desire and dread are again one and the same. We all long for connection, for healthy love and relationship and the joy that comes from this. Yet we have all been hurt in relationship, so we fear connection, and all the messiness that entails. We may pull apart when things get too intimate. We do not want to get hurt again.

These are all aspects of the same dilemma, yet opportunity. Connection or separation. We can practice and consider that first of all, there is no such thing as separation, not in the deepest sense, and quantum physics and science are now acknowledging this. Second, we can pay attention and notice the fear-driven ego and its ways, trying to protect us by separating; survival is its game. Third, we can feel, face and integrate all the split off parts within ourselves. We like the parts that society has told us are good, and we suppress and deny and bury those parts society tells us are bad. We can welcome all parts of ourselves.

And lastly, we can play with the idea that we are all connected, like drops of the ocean. No drop is better or worse than any other. We can enjoy our supposed alone time—knowing we are never truly alone—and practice connecting in community by being authentic, vulnerable and acknowledging our need for community.

We do not have to die and return to the Spirit world to stop feeling like orphans. There truly is a heaven within, where we surrender ego to truth and love and joy. We can allow our greatest desire of connection and love to be our priority, and this actually dissipates the egoic fear and dread of intimacy and connection.