There is no third option.
We are either doing life from the vibration of truth and love or from our egoic mind. This is true about washing the dishes, making love, speaking to our children or filing our taxes. We either do it from our hearts or our heads. If we are not doing it from one we can be absolutely sure we are doing it from the other.
The first requirement to enter into the power of this truth is to throw away any moral gloss we are tempted to place on it. Doing anything because it has been labeled ‘good’ by our culture or any external frame of reference keeps us firmly in the egoic, head-based vibration. If we would attempt to live from our heart because it was the “good” or “right” thing to do we will find it is impossible. Impossible. We cannot live from the heart by external coercion. If we could only accept this fact we would completely revolutionize the way we parent, educate, do spirituality and govern ourselves.
You can’t do the right thing for the wrong reasons. Ever.
And the most wonderful truth is that the game is rigged. Because if we are really paying attention to our lives and really interested in our deep experience, we will discover that living from our heads creates suffering and living from our hearts creates peace. The mind-blowing (I mean that literally) benevolence of the universe is that true self-interest actually points us in the direction of the heart. The mind/ego, which is actually not interested in your Self at all but only seems to be, never actually delivers on its promise of satisfaction. Living from the head produces momentary experiences of relief followed by deep anxiety and dissatisfaction until another moment of relief. This is suffering.
If we are willing to truly examine our experience of being alive we will discover that when we live from the truth and compassion of the heart we enter into a “peace that passes understanding,” as St. Paul named it. This is true no matter what the external circumstance is. When we live from the head, no matter what the external circumstance is, we set ourselves up for anxiety and suffering.
Another truth is that nobody will, or should, believe this without proving to themselves in their own life. It must be lived and felt as true in your own body. So don’t take my word for it.
See for yourself. Try it out. Be curious.
How? It is very simple. If you are accepting the present moment as it is, you are living from the heart. If you are resisting it in any way, including looking forward to a better present moment or longing for one that is past, then you are living from the head. Peace or suffering. The same external reality can be experienced in two different ways. One brings life and the other brings death. In every moment, we can enter our experience in two different ways.
As the old Hebrew wisdom goes, “I (the Divine) have set before you life and death…choose life.”