The Helpful Ego
Salutations from a windy, stormy Boston, Massachusetts. Wherever you are, I hope you are safe and comfortable.
Usually, I try to be fairly short and sweet in what I share each week with you. This week I don't intend to get long-winded, however while I was thinking about the content, I realized it triggered some things inside me. If it does the same for you, remember that it's very important to take care of yourself. If you feel like you need support around any of this, please seek assistance.
I didn't recognize what might be behind this week's "Seed" until I started to contemplate how I might develop "The Bloom".
"The Ego can take you to a point of awakening and it can often be blunt. In this way, it serves its purpose."
I've written about the Ego in the past and it always begs the question of how it relates to the Soul. For me,
I often see the Ego as the problem and the Soul as the antidote, but there's more to it than that. My perception would imply that we try to get rid of our egos and I now know it definitely serves a purpose. The Ego helps us have a perception of the external world and contributes to the persona that we show the world. It gives us some self-awareness and assists with problem solving. It's function of self-absorption is what can shake us up and open our eyes to what's working for us and what's not. We all have our own journeys. I'm going to share a little bit of mine, not to put myself out there as a shining example or even a terrible failure. One of my favorite quotes is by author Catherine Aird:
"If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a horrible warning."
One of the first signs of my Ego asserting itself from an early age was an overriding need to be correct and accurate (even though I was the judge of that and probably not always a true assessment). It served me fairly well in school as it drove me to be engaged and to study, but it was directly related to always seeking outward recognition. My goals were to "win" and I also developed an attitude of "I'll do it myself". I was looking for the prize, life was a competition, and I saw and felt lack in most situations. It's worth mentioning at this point that one important feature of the Ego is that it always seeks to "protect". This works well when we are in a true or potentially dangerous situation, however, sadly, the Ego sees most situations as threatening.
I'd love to say that I woke up one day and noticed that I was ego-driven and turned things around. That didn't happen. In fact, it took several incidents over a period of years before I really started to come out of my fog. These were often very painful life events: I had severe anxiety, eating disorders, I alienated people and initiated an awful divorce. Most of all, (and I still can't completely reconcile with who I really was back then) I did not show up for my beautiful children in ways I should have and wanted to. I let my Ego run the show and at the time I didn't "know" there was another way. I could have continued on this destructive course, but by some Grace bestowed upon me, I finally started to heal and find my way. I'm sure my Soul was trying desperately to get my attention all those years, but I couldn't/wouldn't listen. I was too afraid -- my Ego implied that I would be destroyed. I was too caught up in what Eckhart Tolle calls "recurring thought forms and conditioned mental/emotional patterns" that made me right and almost anyone else wrong. Eventually, I got better. Here are a few ways I was able to change and improve my life:
I went from being concerned with me to we
I found I had a desire to be kind, not competitive
I began to enjoy the journey, without focusing on the "reward"
I have a goal of "contributing"
I now embrace my own comforting concept of God, Spirit, Soul
I see life as a gift, not a contest or battle
I listen to my "heart voice" more than my "head voice"
I've learned the joy of asking for and accepting help and connection
I used to believe I was a hard-core case of hot messiness. Now, not so much. I don't need validation from others -- I'm learning more and more about my own inherent worth and this is what I wish for you. You've got it in you. I know it!
Sparkles and Love,