Who am I? I am Ego....believe me!!!
Our Ego is our sense of identity in the world; our sense of I. It is what most of us recognise as everything that is contained within our skin. It is who we identify as me, as opposed to you, or them or that.
The Ego is a construct of the mind, it doesn't just consider our physical self, but our thoughts, beliefs and values that we believe makes us, us. From a biological perspective ego allows us to survive in the world by giving us a sense of importance and ‘I’ness; an innate self-preservation. But there is a problem with living in our Ego (quick now is the time to cover your Ego’s eyes)……all those values, beliefs and thoughts we think makes us who we are, are largely arbitrary and illusionary.
Think of someone you know who lives in their own world, someone who you would say had a ‘Big Ego’. They need to get back to reality right? But they are in their reality, just as much as you’re in your reality. Now, without falling too far down the rabbit hole, this ‘reality’ we live in is driven by the Ego. Unfortunately, when we live in our Ego, we allow self-preservation (fear) to stop our personal, professional and spiritual growth.
So, what happens when we defy the ego and let go of fear….
We allow ourselves to let go of judgement. The ego is our centre of judgement. If we judge a situation as bad, we suffer from the experience. If someone tells us we look pretty, our ego is stroked and we see that situation as good. The problem with labelling good and bad is that it teaches us to avoid the bad and search out the good. And if no one tells us we’re pretty today? The suffering begins. By accepting each moment as an experience we disempower the egos need for affirmation, or external validation of our sense of self.
Defying the Ego also means we let go of ourselves as a separate, unique entity. This allows us to gain a sense of global consciousness, to be open minded and becoming a part of something greater. It allows us to make more ethical choices and look beyond personal needs to the needs of others.
We allow space for our true self. Without the ego telling us what is impossible, we give ourselves space to see the possibilities in life. A chance to find our passion, a chance to grow as a human being. Does that sound exciting!!!
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Ok so, this is all very lovely and so easy to write and conceptualize, but where do we go from here and how do we let go of our ego?
- Practice Mindfulness. Every second of everyday is unique, so be present! When we spend our time worrying about the future or regretting the past, we are wasting our present. And this moment, right now, is the only reality there is.
- Practice non-judgement of yourself and others. Everytime we tell ourselves how awful we are we are strengthening a belief. Which the ego can use later for ammunition to squash our aspirations.
- Question your inner monologue, don’t believe everything you tell yourself
- Observe your patterns. When do you get angry? Anxious? Depressed? How do you treat people when you are threatened, jealous or hurt?
- BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY.....Accept that letting go will take time and dedication. Without sounding too much like reality television.... IT IS A JOURNEY. This is the life we know. Ask any psychologist, patterns and habits are hard to break. But that is no reason not to try. Little by little, through acknowledging your behaviours and thoughts (non-judgementally) you begin to defy your ego. Make it a game, congratulate yourself each time you notice when you are stuck in conditioning.
So, LET GO, LIVE AND REMEMBER YOU ARE NOT YOUR THOUGHTS!!