Ego vs Me
Recently in my life I have become more aware of this guy named "Ego". We kind of have this love-hate thing going on. I hate it when he's around, yet I'm sad when he leaves because it always seems so comforting to have this guy fight my battles for me. On my good days though, the ones where I'm completely connected to spirit, nature, God, the Universe- whatever you want to call your center point, I realize that this guy maybe shouldn't be trusted.
I recently read a book that explains that there are two parts of us. The Ego, and the Spirit. That's it! It's that simple! Whatever comes from your heart is your spirit and everything else is ego. Now, at times my ego comes in handy. He pushes me to get things done and kicks me in the butt in situations that may not be good for me. But in reality, this Ego, he's not to be trusted.
For example... I went for a hike up in the Gorge the other day, knowing full well that I have been in a bit of a funk and that nature is my go to when I need to connect with spirit. It's a place where my mind can let go and enjoy all that is around me. The trees inspire me, the birds sing sweet serinades that I'm sure are directed to me (I have a litte bit of a "Snow White" complex- or would like to think I do!), and I can feel the breeze against my skin, feel the earth beneath my toes, and can smell the freshness of nature at its prime after a spring-time rain. Sounds amazing, doesn't it? Well, not according to Mr. Ego!
So here I am, enjoying this beautiful day, or really enjoying a couple of moments. The minute I set foot on my hike he starts walking with me, arm and arm, blabbing about how terrible I am! I try desperately to push him away and run ahead, but he is like glue, or better yet, a rubber band that comes smaking back at me the second I shoot him away. So then I reach in my bag of techniques I've read about to get rid of him. The best and most used trick of mine, which I got from Sonia Choquette's book, "The Answer is Simple...Love Yourself, Live Your Spirit!", is taking a deep breath, hold it in, then hit yourself in the chest Tarzan style (by the way, best not to do this in public- people might think your a little weird!), and breathe out hard while saying "ahhhh". Amazingly enough, this usually works! Sadly, not today.
I continue to walk and try to share with him all the beauty around me. He starts getting more insistant that I listen to him. Like he has better things to say than me! So then I couldn't help but listen. All the while, my insides start aching, my heart begins to race and my visions are not what is around me, as much as the situation that Mr Ego says I "messed up" on. So then I panick and ask for his advice (he LOVES it when I do this by the way), and he tells me more bad things about me! The nerve, right?! So much for taking a nice stroll and connecting with my spirit.
Then some little voice in me had the strength and courage to speak past Mr. Ego. All it said was..."what you are is enough". Hmm.... I thought... now this feels good. Then I had a another thought, one that came from my long hours of reading through self help book after self help book. It said to have compassion for myself. And that's just what I did. I didn't try to fight off Ego... he's way too strong and persistant to really go away. But if I just sat with him, compassionately giving to myself like I would my children when they are hurt, then I could handle this negative self talk and not go with it. I could just notice it, maybe smile, and then go about my day. Knowing full well that I'll be ok.
This was revolutionary! The ego speaks from past hurts and negative experiences. But those aren't me! Yes, my past makes up my story, but its not my authentic self. My core, my center, is beautiful, couragous, strong and loving! That is who I am! Then I finally realized how powerful that saying is..."What you are is enough!". Because I am :)
I'm sure we will have other battles, but at least I'm better prepared and have a arsenal of tools to fight back- but all in a loving way, cause the Ego hates that!