It’s been a while now that I have been in deep contemplation about my own ego. I have talked about it, written about it and felt about it more than I ever have in the past. It has been calling my attention and I have chosen to give it my attention. Today, I will write a little more on this topic and my recent experience with it.
When I try to feel into the bottom of my ego, it feels like there is a strong desire to self-protect. It feels as though my 3 main desires of control, recognition and safety are all balled together in one sticky, entangled wall of defense around my pure heart. It is a tiresome fight.
If I go just one step deeper, it seems like all of this is born of a false sense of “self”. That “self” is the very root of my ego. It’s as if I am living my life, on a subconscious level, to defend and protect a self that doesn’t even actually exist. When I believe that it does, then I cannot feel the true Life that I am.
So, as 2016 ended and we were heading into the new year, I set my intention that 2017 would be a year where I let go of my “self’ on much deeper level. I declared it with great conviction, knowing the power that goal-setting at the beginning of the year can have. And then what happened? The Universe gave me EXACTLY what I needed. It presented a circumstance that scratched the sleeping beast of my smallest ego “self”, waking her up in a frenzy. It was quite unpleasant, and at first I was very confused. But once I realized that everything was happening perfectly to give me the opportunity to let go of myself right off the bat – the first month of the year! – I began to appreciate the process.
Then, a few days ago, one of my beloved blog readers (she knows who she is :)) sent me this perfect message. It was written by Pema Chodron and it read:
If We Want There to be Peace
If we want there to be peace in the world, then we have to take responsibility when our own hearts and minds harden and close. We have to be brave enough to soften what is rigid, to find the soft spot and stay with it. We have to have that kind of courage and take that kind of responsibility. That’s true spiritual warriorship. That’s the true practice of peace.
This little message resonated so deeply with me. “When our own hearts and minds harden and close” – that’s the ego activating! It usually happens when we are hurt or threatened or upset in some way, and causes the iron wall to go up inside our heart. This wall blocks others from hurting us, but it also blocks us from being able to access our deeper, purer self – the light of our Soul.
“Find[ing] the soft spot and stay[ing] with it” is recovering our connection with the pure heart. It is the light in the darkness. Only when you fully accept your ego and it’s behaviors and allow yourself to be vulnerable enough to face and sit with your own pain, can this “soft spot” emerge. This takes great courage. That size of courage arises more strongly within when you have a bigger desire – a bigger purpose. Because I want peace in this world, because I have a responsibility to create that peace – that’s why I can bravely face my ego, and choose the soft breath of unconditional love that lies beneath.
It’s not easy – the ego always wants to be safe. It always wants to control and it always wants to be recognized. The last thing it wants is to be fully accepted, embraced and then looked past, into the bright light of the tender Soul.
I’m sharing these contemplations right now because I believe that all of us are dealing with this ego on a day to day, moment to moment basis. Some of you may be fully aware of it and others perhaps not so aware. If any of these words or thoughts can help you on your own healing journey, bringing you closer to your own peace ~ then I am happy. Take a good look at how much your own ego may be causing you great suffering in many aspects of your life. All you need to do is look and look, feel and feel, listen and listen, choose and choose. Again, again, again. Stay awake and aware.
Then, as Pema Chodron said so beautifully, there is hope for a peaceful world! Because our current world is built on the ego of human beings. That is why it is a Fear World. That’s what I call it. It is a fearful, chaotic place that intends to incite and perpetuate fear in the hearts of all people. Everywhere. Egos pulling on the strings of egos, pressing on the buttons of egos, stepping on the toes of egos, and around we go, like puppets in the silliest of dances, reacting and responding with our egos. I don’t know what’s more exhausting – the inner war with my own ego, or the outer war with society’s giant ego.
I don’t want to live in such a world any longer. I don’t want to add to it’s insanity and I definitely don’t want to leave it to our future generations. I choose a new world. A brighter world. And it begins inside of me. I truly pray from the bottom of my heart that we can all choose to follow Pema Chodron’s wisdom and take responsibility for true peace. We don’t have to go far – it begins inside our own precious hearts.