Listening to Your Spirit Guides: How Do You Know if It’s Truth or Ego?

_mg_0387-croppedBy Debra Engle

Building a relationship with your spirit guides is one of the easiest, most helpful endeavors of your life, it costs you no money whatsoever, and the time spent with them is always rewarding. So the question is, why isn’t everybody doing it? And the answer is: the ego stands in the way.

The ego is right there at the door, saying, “Don’t trust yourself or any inner voice except mine.” It does this because it knows a relationship with Spirit will destroy its identity.

Your ego will also try to insert itself into the whole process of communicating with your guides. Because of this, it’s important to start every interaction with two things:

First, a desire to be a neutral party so that your fears don’t cloud what you experience. You might begin with, “Please heal my fear-based thoughts so I can receive your communication without interference.

And second, a clearly stated intention to communicate only with the highest vibration of guidance possible. This is an important step in dissuading any energies that might work against you, and it also will keep you from being overwhelmed.

So, how do you know if you’re hearing spiritual guidance or the voice of your ego? How do you know if it’s legitimate and coming from love, or if it’s the ego wearing sheep’s clothing, trying to masquerade as your guide but keeping you small and fearful?

Here are three important clues.

  1. The ego is loud. Your guidance is quiet.

In working with my guides over the years, I’ve found that their collective voice is a little like an announcer on public radio: quiet, calm, unhurried. The ego, on the other hand, reminds me of a carnival barker: quick with a response, in your face, never lacking for something to say.

The ego can’t sit or stay still for very long. As soon as you ask a question, it’s typically going to jump out of its chair, run up to you, stick its nose in your face and tell you exactly what it thinks, often in the loudest and most insistent voice possible.

Messages from Spirit, on the other hand, often float in like a breeze. They’re soft, gentle and still, and they feel light, like a feather that’s just passing through your awareness.

This is why it’s important to sit quietly and settle into a deeper place in your mind, giving yourself time to adjust the dial and go deeper rather than accepting the first and most insistent voice you hear.

Remember, the fearful ego is like a trick candle that won’t go out. When you try to extinguish it, it disappears for a moment and then comes back. The more energy you expend on it, the more you’re focused on the fear. That’s why your job is not to eradicate or vanquish the fear. Instead, ask Spirit to heal it for you so you can focus on the real light instead.

  1. Your guidance is always a voice for love.

Your guidance will always speak from kindness and compassion. It will not direct you to act out of fear. This is not to say that it won’t encourage you to do something that makes you nervous. You’ll often feel this way because the guides are nudging you to grow. But they won’t encourage you to dislike, disrespect or hate someone, to carry a grudge or to lash out in any way. Their guidance will always be in alignment with divine love.

  1. True spiritual guidance is judgment-free.

When Spirit speaks, you listen instead of getting defensive, because you know you’re not being attacked. Guides convey messages without judgment, blame, anger or coercion. They speak the truth and leave it at that, without attachment. Then it’s up to us to accept it and learn from—or not. If we don’t, the guides will arrange for another opportunity.

With time, you’ll recognize how unique and remarkable this quality is. As humans with egos, we have a much harder time being neutral. But that quality comes through loud and clear with the guides.let-your-spirit-guides-speak-cover-copy-1


Debra Landwehr Engle is the author of the recently released Let Your Spirit Guides Speak and The Only Little Prayer You Need, which features a foreword by the Dalai Lama. A long-time student of A Course in Miracles, Deb has taught classes in the Course for the past 13 years. In addition, she co-founded a women’s program of spiritual and personal growth that has impacted thousands of women worldwide.

            Along with spiritual study, Deb’s twin passion is writing, which she shares through her retreats and writing groups for emerging authors. A long-time freelance writer, her work has appeared in national publications such as Better Homes and Gardens and Country Home, as well as a number of anthologies. You can follow her blog at