Time for an other exploration into ego 101 based on my personal experience and reading.
Ego has come about as a reflection of how others responded to us as babies and young children. All of us come to adulthood with a self image and how we view ourselves. Yep – we all have an ego.
As adults we continue to monitor how we are doing in relationship to other people. We want others to see us in a certain way. We also believe that this image is how we should be and how others should be too.
In our culture it is reinforced over and over again. To acquire certain things, to look a particular way, to be part of a certain group. etc etc.
We create stories about how we are doing in relationship to others. What do they think of me? Why won’t they listen to me? I’ll show them what’s right. Will they like what I’m doing? My way is the best way. How do I compare with them? I must win! Am I doing it right? I don’t want to look … nervous, stupid, big headed, ignorant, like my father …
When we see an other, or ourselves acting differently from our ideal image, we are quick to judge. We believe this is the truth.
Ego is the preserver of our image of ourselves.
Looking back on my life I can see how my ego has evolved based on those around me, the beliefs and the culture. Some people will hold on to this image of themselves until the day they die, but more and more of us are waking up to seeing beyond our ego and self image.
We begin to recognize that other people have the same issues, yearnings and fears as we do. We recognize that we all wear masks.
We find compassion for others and their imperfections. And then find compassion and kindness for our own failings.
We realize that we are also part of something much bigger that connects us all.
We are part of a bigger consciousness that has been named the Universe, God, Spirit, Source or Presence.
Our ego keeps us feeling separate. Yet within each of us is an element that is spirit and transcends our human bodies and ego.
I believe that we can find our true Self beyond our ego but can never let it fully go if we are to live independently in the world.
It is also the part of ourselves that we all struggle with in our spiritual journey. In yoga, this “i”ness is called Asmita, and is one of the five kleshas or causes of our suffering in the world. It keeps us separate and apart from others and the higher consciousness.
Let your higher Self embrace the smaller ego self like the child it is.
When we do this we find we become less attached to things in this world.
And happiness opens up within us.