Embrace the Ego: Find Balance and Empowerment in Self-Expression
Some spiritual teachers out there might say that secretly "enjoying that you are right" in a situation is falling victim to negative aspects of the ego. While our egos can be the culprit in a lot of our messy emotions, actions, and reactions, I believe that the ego is not something to be completely destroyed or banished as an imperfection. Many self-help teachers have made the ego your enemy, often associating it with arrogance or imbecilic behavior.
It is important to recognize that your ego is not the main culprit in every chaotic affair; it is the illusion of the self that causes most of the turmoil. Instead of trying to eradicate the ego, it is more beneficial to understand its role and learn how to manage it effectively. The ego serves as a mediator between our unconscious and conscious thoughts and emotions, helping us navigate the complexities of life.
Ultimately, the game of life revolves around finding happiness, whatever that may mean to each individual. We all have a sense of when we feel fulfilled and happy, and that is a personal journey. The ego is an inherent part of our being and is not going away. Instead of viewing it as a negative force, we can appreciate its positive attributes and learn to manage it when it leads us towards negative circumstances.
The ego often gets a bad reputation, but I believe it is harmless (and even helpful) to occasionally allow it a few wins. While these victories may be philosophically ill-perceived, they still feel like victories. These silent triumphs can fuel our confidence and help us maintain a sense of self-assurance. For example, let's say you fervently defend yourself against a verbal attack from a bully...there are spiritual teachers who would say, "You shouldn't engage with the bully" or "You need to evolve to a point where you are not emotionally affected by an attack from a bully" or, "You shouldn't react and you should maintain your peace of mind." SOUNDS GREAT IF WE ALL LIVED ON A HIPPIE COMMUNE...BUT WE DON'T.
Throwing your ego a bone every now and then does not make you egotistical; rather, it acknowledges the primal instinct of self-preservation, both for our physical bodies and our egos. Embracing your ego as a dominant force can increase self-esteem, self-confidence, and even contribute to personal growth. It allows us to assert ourselves in the world, express our ideas, and make a positive impact.
That being said, it is essential to strike a balance. Overindulging the ego can lead to arrogance and an imbalance of power. It is crucial to cultivate self-awareness and discern when the ego is serving our growth and when it is hindering it. By maintaining a healthy relationship with our ego, we can embrace its positive aspects while remaining open-minded and compassionate towards others.
Anita Moorjani, the author of the amazing book Dying to Be Me and a renowned spiritual teacher, shares insightful perspectives on the ego. According to Moorjani, she had a transformative near-death experience that profoundly shifted her understanding of the ego. Moorjani emphasizes that the ego is not inherently negative or something to be eradicated. Instead, she believes that the ego is a necessary part of our human experience, providing a vehicle for our individual expression in this physical realm. She encourages individuals to embrace their ego and recognize it as an essential aspect of their existence. However, Moorjani also emphasizes the importance of not allowing the ego to dominate or define our sense of self entirely. She suggests that when the ego becomes the primary focus and source of identification, it can lead to feelings of separation, fear, and the belief in a limited self.
So, rather than demonizing the ego, we should strive to understand and manage it effectively. By recognizing its role in our lives, we can find a harmonious balance between self-expression, personal growth, and the well-being of others. Let us remember that the journey to self-discovery involves embracing all aspects of ourselves, including the ego, and integrating them into a holistic and empowering life experience.
Sign Up For My Newsletter!
I hate SPAM. I will never sell your information, ever.