I am currently reading “A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose” by Eckhart Tolle and it has me shaking my head up and down with all the points that are all take home messages for me.
Much of what resonates for me is the control the ego has over us and how we allow it to be the master of our lives. I used to judge the word “ego” and define it very simply as being egocentric or self-centered – thinking only of one’s self without the regard for the feeling or desires of others. Since I live my life in service to others through my work and daily activities, I felt like the whole concept of the ego didn’t really play into whatever I was struggling with on my spiritual journey. The reference to “the shadow side” or the pieces of us we simply don’t like and hide from seemed to touch of some of my issues, but I didn’t quite understand the relationship they had with the ego. My basic understanding was that if we didn’t like something about ourselves, then we would create a stronger egocentric reaction to protect ourselves from anyone being able to hurt us. It was a safety net of sorts keeping us from being vulnerable to another.
I’m laughing at myself as the whole construct of my understanding of ego is from the perspective of my ego. The ego mind is the small mind that creates an “I,” “them,” “me,” “mine.” It separates each of us from one another into our own being. By its nature, it then forces us to take ownership of all of our accumulations. They can be our intellectual, material, and financial achievements. The ego is not to be judged. It simply is. Once I took my judgement away from ego and broadened my definition of it to include all the things that keep me in my “I-ness” and attachment to all my accumulations and achievements, I was able to see how it truly operates in my life.
The ego is the part of me that keeps me wanting more. It is never satiated. It is also the part of me that keeps me in competition with everything. Again, the stakes are high and nothing I do is ever enough. The ego has to “win” at all costs because it is always the ego versus everyone else. Again, it stands alone. It creates the isolation. It creates the barrier between me and everyone else. So, the ego then also creates sadness, depression, negative self-talk and a lack of love. This has to be the case because as stated earlier, no matter what I do, it is never (nor will it ever be) enough. I will always fall short.
I find it fascinating that this infiltrates much of my thoughts and emotional reactions. My true nature is truly my soul connection. This connection is oneness, love, acceptance, joy and beingness. My struggle continues to be the leverage my ego has over my true nature. The ego is tricky. Mindfulness, consciousness and awareness are the key requirements to see the ego at work, address it, and let it go.