Light is the New Orange: Busting Out of the Prison of Ego Sabotage

By Kelly Russell

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Yo, My Love Chain Gang!

It’s Kelly Russell with the Teachers of God Foundation, and I’m here to talk to you today about the ways in which our ego minds imprison us by sabotaging our efforts to live the thought system of A Course in Miracles. Or, at least mine does – and based upon what I have heard from a number of my clients just this past week, I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in this here particular jail. (Although the ego is telling me every hour of every day that I am, of course – all part of the separation service, ma’am.)

I have spoken to several people lately who have had the experience of upping their spiritual game – perhaps engaging in a deeper way with the text or workbook lessons of A Course in Miracles, dedicating time to daily meditation or prayer, or a more focused forgiveness practice – followed by what looks like negative things happening in their lives.  I have noticed this at times in my own life, too, and it seems pretty counterintuitive. Shouldn’t our lives be looking hotter and sexier because we’re getting down with our Spirit-selves? WTF?

That’s my cue to blog it out into the light, so let’s bust out the evidence and let the Truth become Self-evident.

If you have been studying and practicing A Course in Miracles for any length of time, you have no doubt noted some of the amazing benefits that are inherent in adopting its philosophy. (Either that, or you have trashed it and run screaming into the night, in which case you probably aren’t reading this anyway.)

If the Course is your path, you know it. It resonates in the bones of your being. It blooms in you, as an expanded sense of peace, of love, of joy; the awesome feeling of having found the Truth, the reassurance that you have a Guide, the comfort of hearing that you are innocent – even if it’s not quite believable to you all of the time – and… if you’re like me, experiencing that gigantic, all-encompassing,  cosmic aha moment of, “God! No wonder everything is so f*cked up!”

(Having said that, I should mention that if you have an aversion to colorful language, please feel free to stop reading here, as I am probably not your teacher. My style is irreverently reverent and spiritually sassy, and my words sometimes shade unapologetically to the bluer hues of earthy. Just fyi.)

But there is another part of our minds that does NOT want to feel peace, or love, or joy. Our ego mind actively resists them. Although the ego does not understand or know anything, that never stops it from going full crazy on whatever it senses may threaten our allegiance to it. That includes our spiritual practice – especially if that practice directly renounces favorite ego pastimes like judgment, guilt and condemnation – you know – the Big 3 that get us into prison in the first place.

When you make the decision to love-tunnel your way to freedom – to listen to the Voice for God – the ego does not retreat quietly and obediently into the back of the paddywagon when you hand the keys to your will over to Spirit.

Nope, it pretty much actually does the opposite. It retaliates, sometimes by going full enraged toddler-in-the-grocery-store-meets-hormonal-adolescent tantrum. Kicking, screaming, and trying to climb over the seat and wrestle control of your mind. Or at least run you off the road.

Just so you know.

This is not something you need to be afraid of – although your ego will attempt to use fear to keep your will united with its own.

The Truth of you is that you are a precious, beloved child of God – perfect, whole, and innocent. You are the Light of the World. You are made of pure love, and you possess every characteristic and quality of the Divine.

The ego does not want you to know this. The whole purpose for its illusory being is mind control – to be the boss of you by keeping you in a state of fear – but not really recognizing it as fear, so you won’t make the connection between it and the ego. More like fear…ish.

A Course in Miracles teaches, “The opposite of love is fear, but what is all-encompassing can have no opposite.” So, basically, fear is fake. The Course then goes on to say, “Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists. Herein lies the peace of God.” (T-In.2:1-4)

Which, loosely translated, means that God is love, you are an extension of God. You are made of love, by love, for love. Therefore, God is real, and infinite, and is everything. By extension, so are you. You are all-powerful, because you have the Love of God running through the transmission lines of your being.

Conversely, the ego is made of fear, by fear, for fear. It is, therefore, not real, doesn’t exist, and is nothing.

That means it is powerless. Except for the power you give to it.

That is what the ego depends on – that you don’t ever realize that. That its power is coming from you. That as soon as you recognize that, and cut off the supply of your allegiance to it, its power ceases to exist. As you connect to the Source of your true power – the I AM which is the Truth of you, you will see your life becoming more beautiful, radiant, peaceful, fun, abundant, inspired, joyful, and FREE.

Sensing this threat to itself, the ego mind will attempt to derail your journey toward freedom. It does not want you to get too close to the open door of Light, because your mind would be illuminated with the Truth, and you would renounce the ego immediately and walk right through.

As long as you are afraid, depressed, resentful, angry, attacking, sad, jealous, anxious, feel like a victim, or embody any other expression of egoic thought, you are being imprisoned by fear and the ego can relax into its normal level of suspicion and hypervigilance.

As long as you are being a good inmate, obeying the rules and not stepping out of line or threatening the authority, the guards might relax a little, throw you a carton of cigarettes here or an extra five minutes on the conjugal visit clock there.

But when you start that jailhouse rock of getting happy – spending time hanging with Spirit, listening to your Inner Teacher, surrendering your will and trusting; experiencing peace, loving thoughts, practicing forgiveness; expressing as your true self, cultivating acceptance, having gratitude, and feeling your worth – the ego goes on red alert. It’s like a prison break. As it senses you running toward freedom, alarms go off, searchlights glare – and those same ego guards that cut you some slack yesterday are chasing you with guns drawn today, ready to throw you back into…

Wait for it…

Solitary confinement.

Aka separation.

As long as we believe the ego’s judgment that we are guilty and deserving of a life sentence, we will resign ourselves to that cell of littleness and powerlessness, believing we are alone.

So we “forget” to engage in those endeavors that keep us connected to the Voice of Spirit. We don’t make time for our spiritual practice. We talk ourselves out of forgiveness. We don’t ask for guidance. Or we refuse to hear it. We listen to the ego’s interpretation of everything from A Course in Miracles to what someone really meant when they said this or that. Those are the times when the ego is, as the Course refers to it, “suspicious at best”.

But sometimes it pulls out the big guns, like on the heels of our stepping up our spiritual work. The sh*t starts to feel like it’s straight-up hitting the fan. Problems crop up seemingly out of nowhere – relationships hit the skids, our anxiety gets jacked up to number 11, finances take a dive, we have a new symptom in the body, we lose our job, we have to find a new home… whatever. They are all the same – they are the tricks the ego uses to scare us into submission. Its fondest hope is that we will just abandon ourselves and our spiritual practice, decide that the devil we know is better than the Spirit that knows, and resign ourselves to a life sentence in the ego’s Big House.

But the Jesus, Judge and Jury of A Course in Miracles has a few choice words to say about prison, asking us to remind ourselves:

“My chains are loosened. I can drop them off merely by desiring to do so. The prison door is open. I can leave simply by walking out. Nothing holds me in this world. Only my wish to stay keeps me a prisoner. I would give up my insane wishes and walk into the sunlight at last.”(W-p1r.57/31)

“I made up the prison in which I see myself. All I need do is recognize this and I am free. I have deluded myself into believ­ing it is possible to imprison the Son of God.”(W-p1r.57/32)

“I see everything upside down, and my thoughts are the opposite of truth. I see the world as a prison for God’s Son. It must be, then, that the world is really a place where he can be set free.”(W-p1r.57/33)

In other words, whatever we think is happening in this world is a prison of our own making. We make it real with our judgement, and we recognize its unreality by remembering who we are. It is in this remembering that we reclaim our freedom and walk into the light.

There is no prison, no ego outside of our minds, and it has no governance over us that we do not give to it.

As JBro reassures us, “Fear seems to live in darkness, and when you are afraid you have stepped back. Let us join then join quickly in an instant of light, and it will be enough to remind you that your goal is light. Truth has rushed to meet you since you called upon it. If you knew Who walks beside you on the way that you have chosen, fear would be impossible.”

Thank you so much for walking into the Light with me today! Best prison break ever. I love you more than a cake with a file of forgiveness baked into it. I have such gratitude for being with you in the freedom of Truth, knowing that there is nothing to fear.

If you related to anything in this blog and would like to leave me a comment below, please know that I love them, and I read every one.

Join me for the Pure Presence Summit in September. You don’t want to miss it. Grab your FREE ticket here.

See you on the outside.


Rev Kelly Russell,

The Rock Your Joy Coach

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Julie Bolwell
Julie Bolwell
26 days ago

Thanks Kelly. Great article which really spoke to me.about how many times I am giving away power to ego lies.

26 days ago

Kelly, you make me laugh….think… myself more every time I see/read you. Gratitude from my heart light to yours and All.

Amy Borel
Amy Borel
25 days ago

Excellent as always! It was reminding me of a particular time when I was progressing with the work I have been called to do, and out of the blue physical symptoms would show up-acute and painful ones at that! This post reminded me that yes, the ego at best is suspicious and at worst vicious. But there is no need to worry about progressing and how the ego mind might react because that is all part of the process-at least for some of us! Yet, as I moved through whatever arose and met it with remembering the Truth, self love,… Read more »

Brenda nadon
Brenda nadon
25 days ago

The ego is Power-less, when not connected to its Source…big Me haha, ha. I’ve been really letting my powerful light essence run the wrong belief system in my mind. It really does involve the “fip of a switch”–that holy instant of ahaw!, I’m learning to “switch” more often. Thank you Kelly for your words:)

24 days ago

I loved it, loved it, loved it!! You do bring your Light to these seemingly dark areas. Your humor is a gift and I am so grateful to you for your willingness to be so authentic. Everything was right on, and I can’t wait to share this with my Course friends who are going through their own version of hell, questioning everything. But that’s what we need to do, right? You said it so beautifully.
Thank you,

Shelley Brennan
Shelley Brennan
24 days ago

Totally spoke to me. Thank you Kelly. Bless you. xoxo

Eve Depew
Eve Depew
24 days ago

Thank you Kelly! Right on time, as usual, when I ask to see differently, spirit brings me just what I need. This time, it was your funny but factual article! Perfect! I love you so very much!

Maginel Galt
Maginel Galt
24 days ago

Thanks so much for this helpful reflection- I will hold onto it!

21 days ago

Thank you Kelly for reassuring me once again that the power is in my choice to choose once again with the help of HS and Our true Source. Once I make the switch to listen for the still quiet awareness, forgiveness flows and I am grateful. I love your down to earth style and sense of humor! We cannot forget to laugh!