I’ve been reading a lot about ego lately. In ‘Spirit Junkie’, Gabrielle Bernstein talks about the ego in a way I completely understand and relate to. When I read something like that, something I understand and feel similarly, I know I’ve found something I can work with in my life. Maybe you can work with it in yours too, so I’d figure I’d give you a glimpse into (what I understand to be) our egos.
Our ego is basically our inner bitch or internal douchebag. It makes all sorts of judgments about ourselves and others, it makes us feel fearful and it disconnects us from the things and people we care about. Interestingly enough, this is done in an attempt to protect. Your ego isn’t really the bad guy, it’s just your overly protective watchdog: it bites everything that moves, just to be safe. Your ego sabotages. It’s like a shitty electrician. He acts like he can fix your TV (and you can even believe he’s really here to fix your TV) but before you know it he’s the reason why the power went out in your entire neigbourhood.
Your ego is responsible for insecurity, fear, being defensive, for the tiny mad ideas that come up in your mind. They’re often ridiculous, seemingly insignificant, and before you know it they take over and rule your world. Like the comment your mom made about your jeans: it must mean she thinks you’re fat and ugly and you feel insecure and terrified around her. Or that time your best friend had plans with another friend; it must mean she likes her better. So you start hating on that friend and telling yourself you’re better off anyway. Does this sound familiar?
I have plenty of material the ego can use against me. I am afraid I’m not good enough, so I’m easily threatened or intimidated. I have control issues, which is really fun when I can’t control something, obviously that’s just, awesome *sarcasm*. I also have a really bad reaction to people I love ‘leaving’ me. Whether it’s a break-up or more leaving in the sense that we don’t see eye-to-eye about something: I am immediately convinced I’m not loved, that they’ve never loved me. This results in me convincing myself I don’t give a fuck and completely shutting this person out of my life. I am not dramatic at all, right?
Actually…that’s really true. I really am not that dramatic anymore. Because I can recognize the ego and the thoughts that come along with it. By recognizing it, naming things exactly as they are (fear, insecurity, anger, confusion, powerlessness) and realising what’s making me feel, think and act like this, I have become one of the least dramatic people I know.
Because I now talk. About emotional stuff. I am not afraid to admit I feel alone, or sad, or unloved. I can welcome other people and accept exactly what they are feeling, thinking and saying because I accept I don’t have control over them. When people leave, they leave. When I feel like I’m less than someone else, I can snap out of it easily because it doesn’t matter. It’s not really important. Nothing the ego does is important.
Love is important. Happiness is important. Taking care of yourself and the people you adore is important. Doing the things that energize you is important. Anything the ego says, makes you feel or wants you to do? It’s not important.
It can wait, preferably forever.