Here’s the Big Question: “Do I need to murder my ego to be enlightened or next-level spiritual?” Read on to find the answer ❤
An Answer To Today’s Big Question
Oftentimes in the self-help, personal development, spiritual realms I hear people talking about the death of the ego, or overcoming it, outsmarting it, ignoring it, practicing their way out of having it, and on and on.
But is pretending that you have somehow conquered, mastered or outright murdered your very own ego the best approach to attaining your personal best?
So often when compulsive thinking, addictive impulses, and choices that lead to painful outcomes repeatedly show up in your life, you may surmise that the root cause is housed somewhere in the mysterious morass of your mind. Further, when you cannot bring yourself to blame yourself for the current state of fucked up-ness of your life, you may be more than tempted to turn an accusing eye…toward your ego.
And you’re not wrong — exactly.
If you are to begin to see your life become the calm, serene, present experience you imagine for yourself, the crucial first step is to realize that it is indeed the ego-mind that creates the problem while trying to solve the problem. And also the problem trying to solve the problem while denying there is a problem. See what I mean? Sticky, messy stuff our egos create, right?
Faker, Faker (What the EGO is)
The ego is a pretender. It pretends to be grown up (it’s not), reasonable (it’s not), logical (it’s not), in charge (it’s not).
Here’s an example:
The ego is kind of like that old Twilight Zone episode where the kid (played cleverly by your ego) would send anyone out to the cornfield that didn’t kowtow to its every whim. The adults (you and I) totally believed every bit of its blustery, eye-squinting, tantrum-throwing nonsense. Instead of putting their collective foot down and telling this nasty kid to go to his room until he could behave, they gave in over and over again until the situation was completely out of control and seemingly unfixable.
Here’s the thing, though; once you see the ego for what it is, a child-like part of yourself that really ISN’T CAPABLE of doing new things in a new way, you can very lovingly make adult decisions for you and your ego.
Your ego has no ill intent (gasp)!!
Its only intention is to keep you safe in the best way it knows how. Unfortunately, it can be through doing what you’ve always done, choosing people you’ve always chosen, being compulsive in that familiar way you have, of blustering and pretending it knows more than it knows.
Ego, To Thine Own Self Be True*
Once you see the ego for what it is, simply a system of checks and balances, of keeping you safe by staying in patterns and easily recognizable situations (to the ego herself), you can begin to master it rather than being mastered by it. And, thus, the answer to the big question comes into focus.
Make the decision to recognize when YOU are making choices (eating better, sleeping more, meditating, taking time off, getting a mani/pedi, hanging out with good friends, doing the work you love) and when your EGO has taken over (eating the whole pan of brownies, parking yourself on the couch for 14 hours straight watching Friends on Netflix (come on, I’m not the only one!), not answering or returning calls from friends, working 75 hours a week at a job you hate, complaining and/or judging everyone and everything, living in the past/future).
When life isn’t idyllic or easy, or the ego senses some change is headed toward it (you), it will tighten its grip on bad behavior or old habits. It will begin speaking in a louder voice. It will take on a decidedly ugly tone. It will say mean things about you to keep you frozen or from moving in a healthier direction. It will threaten to send you to the cornfield!
It does these things not because it deserves to die, but because it doesn’t know any better.
All is Not Lost
You can still change, better choice by better choice, and nobody has to die for it to happen.
Consistent persistence. Choice by choice. Decision by decision. Steadfastly and lovingly taking action on your own behalf. Never, ever judging yourself or saying an unkind word to yourself while you learn this new way of showing up. All these things together add up to positive, life-changing results. And, again, no one even had to die for it to happen!
I hope that answers today’s big question once and for all.
I see you and I love you!
*Shakespeare never said that! Well, he sort of did, but not exactly. 🙂
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