So what is the ego that all the spiritual gurus talk of?
The ego is an image you have of yourself that gives you a sense of identity – and that identity takes shape from the things you tell yourself and the things other people say about you, that you accept as truth.
Those patterns and behaviours and labels you identify with – all symptoms of limiting beliefs – are creations of the ego.
At its core, ego is a self-image based on fear.
It is not our True Self for our True Self is love.
Fear is simply an illusion.
It does not exist.
The only thing that exists in life, is love.
Anything we experience that is not love, is a construct of our mind and the thoughts you think.
Your limiting beliefs.
And this is what we regard as our ego.
Any negative thoughts we experience take us away from love – and cause us to abandon our True Self.
It is when we are in the loving space of our True Self that happiness and ease can be experienced and where healing can occur.
Because love is one of the most potent medicines.
The Greeks used the word ego to describe a small separate self, which rings true given that it is our mental and emotional gunk that has us feeling separate.
Love connects us, fear separates us.
The moment the mind deviates from love, you know you are operating from your gunk.
To subscribe to your ego, is to believe false beliefs about yourself – to see yourself as separate.
So when you remove these limiting beliefs, you are not losing yourself, you are simply letting go of who you ‘think’ you are, so who you really are at your core – love – can have a chance to take centre stage.
Now the ego will fight hard for its survival, so it is not uncommon when you start to strip off the layers of conditioning, that there will be a lot of resistance.
Resistance actually strengthens the ego.
So the more you resist change, the more your ego will take the driver’s seat of your life.
Yet it is not the change that creates the fear or pain, it is the resistance itself.
As painful as your life might be, and as desperate you are for something better, this is the life you know which causes many people to cling to it, rather than try something new.
People are so fearful of what they could have, that they stay living the life they’ve prayed to be released from.
This is the egos way of keeping us small.
The ego keeps us convinced that change is hard, change takes time, change is painful.
These thoughts are limiting beliefs at work.
And if you do subscribe to any of those beliefs, they will get in the way of you creating change in your life.
If you believe change is hard, then that is what you will experience, because that is what you believe to be true.
Yet if you remove that belief so that you believe that change is easy, then your reality will be that change will be easy!
And don’t be surprised if when you’re on the verge of a breakthrough, you experience a breakdown.
Whenever I feel like I’m having a breakdown, I know a breakthrough is just around the corner, as this is our egos way of holding on for dear life, to stop the growth.
To make us think it’s all too hard, that nothing’s working, when in actual fact, the results we want are so close, that the ego feels it must act up to stop the breakthrough.
The ego is like a virus in the computer that attacks the core system.
Our ego is self-love turned into self-hatred.
The ego is our mental power turned against ourselves.
Just as we are clever, smooth talking and manipulative, so too is our ego.
It teaches us selfishness, greed, judgment, and small-mindedness.
The ego does everything it can to lead us into overwhelm and anxiety, while the True Self does everything is can to lead us to clarity and inner peace.
Our ego is our identity.
It likes to label.
‘I’m a woman’. ‘I’m a doctor’. ‘I’m spiritual’. ‘I’m healthy’. ‘I’m ugly’. ‘I’m better than that person over there’.
All of these labels we put upon ourself, only separate us.
You are no different to the person who seems completely at odds to you.
The only thing that separates you from that person is your perception of them.
Your mind’s thoughts.
The labels you place upon them and yourself.
Do you find yourself feeling inferior to others?
Do you feel yourself trying to be superior to others, in a bid to make yourself feel better about yourself?
This is the ego at play.
True self-confidence does not come from comparison – comparing yourself to another: ‘I’m better looking than that person’, ‘I’m more intelligent’, ‘I have more money’.
We are all perfect just as we are.
It is our ego that convinces us otherwise, giving us all these labels that separate us from ourself and thus from others.
Authentic self-confidence comes from your True Self.
Living as you True Self you no longer need to compare or identify with labels, because you know you are perfect and whole and complete just as you are.
We are all equal.
Everyone is love at their core.
So knowing this, we no longer need to judge or criticise, because we see the truth of who we are.
So if you find yourself needing to classify yourself when you meet people, you know that is ego.
Fear is behind our desire to be superior.
It is also fear that makes us feel inferior.
Imagine interacting with everyone without any fear, without any ego.
Wouldn’t that be nice?
When we are trapped in the mind, the ego is running the show.
Most of these thoughts are highly negative.
Self-doubt, self-loathing, self beat-up, distractions, feeling behind, even the need to be right!
They are all ego traits.
When we tune into our True Self, we stop tuning into the doom and gloom of the mind and can see the opportunities and brilliance within us.
When we tune in regularly, connecting with our True Self we stop believing that we are our mind.
We are NOT our thoughts – and our thoughts are not based in reality.
When you free yourself from mind identification and start living from the heart, life flows and fulfils you on all levels.
Echkart Tolle says that when we listen to our mind and the images, thoughts, feelings, words and emotions it procures, we suffer.
And when we don’t do this, we thrive.
Spiritual teachers say that the ego-driven mind is an illusion.
It’s an illusion of layers of false selves that take up residence in our energy field, pretending to be us, wanting us to believe that that is who we are.
The key to happiness is the realisation that we are NOT our mind.
You are not who you think you are.
You are not your thoughts, feelings, memories, urges, sensations, images, the roles you play in life or your physical body.
You are not what happened to you in your past, or what you desire or anticipate for yourself in the future.
These are constantly changing peripheral aspects of you, but they are not the essence of who you are.
You only ever truly exist in the NOW.
The ego bases its perception of reality on what has happened in the past, carries those perceptions into the present and thus creates a future like the past.
If we felt that we were lacking in our past, our thoughts about the future are based on those perceptions.
We then enter the present in an effort to compensate for the past.
Since that perception is our core belief, we create its conditions in the future.
Our ego has made up a fictional character that we now think of as our personality and if we choose, we care constantly recreating it.
Recognise you are NOT your personality.
Those little habits you have, the addictions you subscribe to, those behaviour patterns you play out day in day out.
They are not you.
Everything you’ve been taught to believe about yourself, is false.
How does that feel to consider that who you thought you were is not who you are?
Is it hard to comprehend?
Is it scary?
…..Or is it freeing?
To know that you are magnificent.
And it is only the egoic thoughts of the mind that have had you believing otherwise?
The ego is simply where a glitch occurred, where the wires got crossed, where love became blocked.
The ego always seek to limit, contradict or invalidate love.
Our egos are not where we are bad, but where we are wounded.
That is why we need an ego – so we can be shown what else we need to heal within ourself.
For the ego is our compass back to love.
It directs the way.
The voice of your ego is fearful, it’s lacking, it creates separation, it’s guilty, it’s low vibe.
The voice of love is innocent – it has no projection.
It has creative thoughts and ideas, and it feels good.
When you feel free, you are thinking with the thoughts of love.
You are living as your True Self.
People who are cranky and shitty, are hurting.
So when you are met with someone like this, don’t feed them back their gunk – don’t let their gunk drag you into yours.
This person – via their egoic behaviors, is calling for help.
So share love, and understand this…
People don’t make us feel a certain way.
Our mind makes us feel that way.
And when you understand that, you can then look inside and see what YOU have going on that is causing you to feel a certain way, to react a certain way, to people and situations, and life in general.
My angry self is not the real me.
Does it have to be acknowledged?
Yes, but only in order to go beyond it.
You want to be present and vibrant at all times.
You can let your ego rule and get pissed at life or that person, or you can let your True Self rule, do your internal healing and let it go.
We can choose to align with our ego – ‘I’m not good enough, I can’t afford it’, or we can choose to align with our True Self.
Who is the teacher you choose to live under – your ego, or your True Self?
For many people the ego is their primary driver – which takes us from magnificence into limited.
You know your ego is at play if life if you are procrastinating, if you doubt yourself, if you need to use force to get ahead, if you indulge in negative emotions, if you are jealous, if you judge and criticise yourself or others, if you struggle, are sick or are in pain.
The ego works in many vicious ways.
If you’re not feeing love, you are in ego.
It’s as simple as that.
The ego sneaks up on is in soooo many different ways – and it’s up to you to start noticing how your ego tries to bring you undone.
If the way you relate to the cleaning lady is different to the way you relate to the CEO of a big company – then you know your ego is in control.
This isn’t a bad thing – this is great – it’s an insight!
Because whenever you discover the ego operating in you, which is based on image making, it means you’re becoming more conscious.
The pros of becoming more conscious, also involves becoming conscious of your own ego and seeing it in action.
If you then beat yourself up about how you ego acted up, it’s more ego on top of the original ego.
You fuel the ego.
So when you do notice ego, be aware of it, learn from it.
Don’t feed it by making yourself wrong about it.
We are all human and ego is a part of learning and growing and becoming more connected to yourself.
The power is in being conscious of the ego.
That is what you’re aiming for.
When you begin to observe the ego it cannot sustain itself in the light of your observation.
The ego requires your unconsciousness.
Hence why we have so many sick, hurting, struggling, disease ridden people on our planet.
Because they are unconscious.
To get them conscious!
That doesn’t mean eliminating ego – it means being aware of your ego.
What’s really important to understand, is that you don’t need to fight your ego.
Please understand this.
Your ego wants you to think you need to fight.
It loves that, because when you fight, you’re feeding the ego.
It’s like when you get in a fight with someone else.
The more you fight back, the bigger the conflict and the yuckier it gets.
Yet if you face someone else’s anger with love, before long their anger dissolves.
And I encourage you to give this a go.
Next time someone is angry and wants to argue, tell them ‘I really appreciate that you’re feeling this way, but we both want the same thing, we both want resolution, so is there a better way we can go about this?’
We can get angry – give into the ego – or we can choose to love instead.
Our reaction is the ego.
When we react to life, we know the ego is at play.
And it’s not so much what you say.
It’s how you say it.
Is it charged by emotion or it is neutral?
Is it coming from a place of fear or a place of love?
If we look at anger itself – for many people it comes on really quickly, and before you know it, you’re one angry mother!
And it can be really hard to pull yourself out of that state, because this anger is so habitual; the mind pattern is so strong it takes over our whole being.
It becomes us.
We learn anger as a baby.
We feel powerless so we scream.
That’s all we can do at that age.
And so this is where the conditioning of anger begins.
We don’t get something we want, or we feel unsafe, and so we get angry.
Any anger you experience, arises out of a sense of powerlessness.
The ego pretends that there is power in anger, but there is not.
Fear is the driving force behind that anger.
We see this with small dogs.
Notice how the really little ones are the ones that bark the most?
Watch how a little dog goes nuts when a big dog – like a Rottweiler – walks past.
The Rottweiler doesn’t need to bark because it knows its own power.
Yet the little dog is in fear – it feels powerless in its little body – so it barks and barks.
Our anger stands in front of our love.
Letting it out is part of the process of relinquishing it.
The last thing you want to do – ever – is to buy into the insidious delusion that spiritual lives and spiritual relationships are always quiet, or always blissful.
They are NOT.
The difference is that we are more aware of our ego and thus, better able to not give into it.
We know how to return to the loving space of our True Self, so that when we do get knocked off our centre, we acknowledge it immediately, gather the lesson, and return to our True Self.
So knowing now where anger comes from, next time it arises, be more present to it.
Feel into where the fear is – where is it that you feel powerless?
Because that kind of deep enquiry, is what will begin to free you up from the mind patterns that right now, are probably controlling your life.
An egoic mind is constantly looking around for the next thing to react to.
The ego LOVES to react.
To people, to situations: ‘You should know better than that’, ‘How dare they forget lunch with me.’
Like I said before, this isn’t about fighting your ego, it’s about aligning yourself with your True Self.
Our True Self does not attack the ego, it transcends it.
And hopefully your ego will come out to play occasionally.
Hopefully you will have those ego disturbances, because otherwise you would have nothing to facilitate growth, nothing to practice with.
The world will always challenge you in the form of people, situations and ultimately your mind.
For really, the only challenge we have in this life, is our mind.
A mind full of limiting beliefs.
The conditioning is so deep-seated that we can forget that our mind is what creates our unhappiness, anxiety or fear.
Your mind will tell you it’s the situation, but it’s the mind itself that is causing the chaos.
So in those moments you need to recognise that it’s your mind, not the person or situation you wish to blame.
For only when you work with your mind, can you have any real power over your feelings and results in life.
Fairy tales are mystical allusions of the power of the inner self, handed down from generation to generation.
They are stories of transformation.
Tales like Snow White and Sleeping Beauty are metaphors for the relationship between the ego and the True Self.
The wicked witch, which can be likened to the ego, can put the love within us to sleep, but she can never destroy it.
The most destructive thing she can do is cast a spell over us, to put the beauty to sleep.
And so she does.
But the love inside us doesn’t die; it just falls asleep for a very long time.
In every fairy tale the Prince arrives.
His kiss reminds us of who we truly are.
Your Prince may be someone who has helped you reconnect with yourself, shown you the way, or perhaps your Prince is a movie or a song that has woken you up to the truth about yourself.
Once you’re swept off your feet, and you understand the truth about the ego, then the fear subsides and you feel safe in your own True Self.
It is NOT about getting rid of you ego, so much as it is about not giving in to it.
Because whenever our ego flares, we are being given an opportunity to dissolve the unconsciousness around it, to learn and grow and thus expand our self-love, by deepening our connection to our True Self, and learning how to live from an authentic place of love.
So it’s up to you whether you chose to experience the fear of your ego or whether you choose to indulge in the love of your True Self.
The question is not who is winning, but how can I stay true to myself?
There is no battle going on except that battle you choose to create.
When we are present, the ego cannot exist.