I host a monthly free teleconference called “Community Conversations.” We recently discussed the ego and how it was playing out in our lives. So, I will pose the same question to you that I asked the group: “Are you in charge of your ego or is your ego in charge of you?”
There are a few definitions of ego: the self, especially as distinct from the world and other selves; in psychoanalysis, the division of the psyche that is conscious, most immediately controls thought and behavior, and is most in touch with external reality; an exaggerated sense of self-importance; conceit, appropriate pride in oneself; self-esteem. I believe that we all experience the good news and the interesting news of our ego and how it affects our lives. However, more often than not, the ego quietly affirms separation, lack and limitation.
As the group on the call dialogued, there were some amazing revelations that poured forth. I was struck by the honesty and clarity of each participant who spoke. Here are some of the ideas and feelings that came out in the conversation:
- Many of us have been taught to be liked and not to stand out.
- People who are successful are perceived as arrogant; our job is to make people comfortable.
- I have to let others win to be liked or pretend that I am less than I know that I am.
- I have been living small my whole life and don’t know how to do it differently.
- I am afraid of being squashed if I show people who I really am.
- I am terrified of saying the wrong thing and being misunderstood.
Do any of these thoughts resonate with you? I know that I, personally, have wrestled with these doubts on many occasions in my life and it has taken work to become more conscious about what voice I listen to. Whenever the “monkey mind” voice is talking about separation, fear or doubt, the negative aspects of ego are running. If I listen to these thoughts, it will affect my decisions.
Eckhart Tolle says, “Most people are in love with their particular life drama. Their story is their destiny. The ego runs their life. They have their whole sense of self invested in it.”
I would like to invite you to join me and my community in consciously awakening to the truth of our lives. Contemplate these thoughts:
- We are here to be powerful and share our gifts.
- There is nothing that can stop our greatness.
- We were not put on this earth to play small or hide.
- Negative self-talk will not support us in being extraordinary.
Affirmation: Today, I listen only to the inner voice that reminds me of my powerful and abundant life.