Where is Ego Running the Show?
Ah, the ego….that fragile part of ourselves that identifies with the world of form, forgetting we are part of something so much greater. It’s getting an awful lot of attention these days.
Now the ego is not necessarily a bad thing. It helps us navigate the external world, perceiving and understanding stimuli. It tells us to stop at red and go on green. But when we rely too heavily on this component of ourselves, we are taking a basic processor and putting it in the role of meaning-maker.
This over-emphasis on the ego can lead us to believe that who we are is a result of our job titles, family roles, worldviews, or even our possessions. Now that is not to say these things should be of no importance to us. But we must remember that even deeply meaningful identifications like mother or father still do not touch the core of who we are. Because these identifications are based on the external, it is possible for them to be threatened. And when we build our sense of identity on the changeable external world, we set ourselves up for devastation when life inevitably brings the unexpected.
In reality, who we really are is eternal and untouchable.
Now for many of us, we may understand this intellectually--knowing that we are an emanation of source or a spark of God. But to feel this deeply enough to see through the ego’s illusions is another story. One powerful way to begin to understand who we are is to get clear on who we are not.
The simple act of bringing awareness to the ego’s presence in our lives is powerful enough to loosen its grip over us. Each time we notice the ego as it arises, we see it as separate from ourselves and take yet another step toward the remembrance of who we really are.
To practice noticing where ego appears in your life, try asking yourselves these questions each night before bed:
Where today did I think, speak, or act with unkindness, selfishness, or inauthenticity? (These are all reactions of the ego-self.)
Where today did I feel offense at the words or actions of another?
What is the sense of self that felt threatened by this person’s behavior?
And remember, this practice is one of observation. There is no need for judgment or guilt, even when your thoughts or actions are not what you may have wanted them to be. By doing nothing more than noticing those thoughts and actions as ego, you are beginning to take away their power.
As always, be gentle with yourself and enjoy the journey inward.
Lots of love,