Most of us have heard of the ego and Sigmund Freud’s work around it which tells us that it's development is a necessary part of who we are. Without it there is no “I” for us to identify with. Freud goes onto claim that without the ego, our minds would have no conscious way to comprehend where “we” end and the rest of the world “begins”.
I’ve always been a HUGE fan of Freud’s (more so around his less-popular theories on sexuality) and completely agree that without our egos, we would all be leaning toward completely unmotivated. The ego, if used properly as the tool is it meant to be, can show us areas within ourselves that still need healing. The trick, however, to working with the ego is to remember that it does WHATEVER it takes to prevent expansion, growth, change and pretty much anything outside of your comfort zone. It is an expert at convincing you that you are making good, productive choices for yourself when in actuality you literally could be setting lit matches to your proverbial treehouse.
So, the key here is to first study the ego and figure out exactly how it works and maneuvers. Guaranteed it is always sneaky, coercive, and slick in how it will make suggestions for your next move, word or action. But once we know how it works, we’ve pretty much disabled out ego’s best weapon (stealth). And now, we just need to keep playing the game and observing.
As we watch our ego in play we will begin to see patterns emerge which will make clear exactly how we are “still stuck” in life situations we swore to ourselves we would’ve had resolved weeks, months or even years ago. We will begin to see how our ego was the one whispering in our ear that “He’ll change and treat me with kindness if I just stick around long enough and prove how much I love him.” or “I deserve to eat this tub of ice cream because I had such a bad day today.”
There are ENDLESS examples that we could list here, but the point is, anything you can think of where you’re subconscious mind convinced you to do something that was not in your best interest, that was not serving your highest Self, was the workings of your EGO doing what it does best and keeping you in the same little box it as grown to love and adore to keep you living small!
So, how do we beat this little trickster at its’ own game? First, we need to find that place in our hearts to stop looking at the ego through eyes of judgement and see it through eyes of love. Only then can we shift the energy around our ego from one of annoyance and avoidance to one of willingness to integrate what we can learn from it. And eventually this process will allow us to grow past the blocks that the ego has previously succeeded with throwing onto our path.
“The first and best victory is to conquer self”. – Plato
When we know ahead of time the signature signs that certain thoughts, motivations, reactions, etc. are ego-driven, then we are empowered with the knowledge of how to take the next best step. And uninformed person with a leading ego might end up writing a bunch of accusatory emails they later regret, or shout at their children for no reason, or sabotage a health regimen they’ve put in place for themselves. Why? Because their ego was successful in convincing them it was in their best interest in that particular moment, and because they were in “reactive” mode (letting the outer world determine their moods, thoughts, next move, etc.) they went with it.
“Like the physical, the psychical is not necessarily in reality what it appears to us to be.” – Sigmund Freud
This is the difference between living a life of struggle and living a life of true empowerment. As we learn to master the latter of course we may shift back and forth between the two as with anything it’s definitely a learning process. However, the more you take the time to observe yourself and your ego the more familiar you become with it all and the simpler it becomes to stay in PRO-active mode.
Once you get a taste of empowered living, there’s no giving that up, there’s no going back to sleep. It would be like locking away your most valuable tool and never using it again; because you have seen how when you move from a proactive, empowered place, the game is yours and YOU now make the rules. Do you feel the difference there? Between insecure, needy, fear based ego and secured, empowered, healthy ego?
I truly believe the ego is meant to help humanity, not harm it. It is only when we as individuals allow our minds and actions to be ruled by ego does it negatively affect our lives and the lives of those around us. But the ego is best used as a compass of sorts, pointing the way to what areas within us need healing and integration so we can rise up energetically and show up in our lives as we were meant to; connected, yet unique slivers of cosmic Creator Consciousness.
If we listen closely, there is another voice underneath the egos’ loudness that speaks only Truth and has only our best interest in mind. This voice belongs to our intuition, our Higher Selves (Spirit) and if we wish to master the use of our egos, it is wise to let it be guided by Spirit. This is how we develop “healthy” egos that allow us to speak up for ourselves, say no to people with feeling guilty, say yes to people without feeling drained, speak our Truth, and stand authentically in our lives without feeling insecure or feeling the need to incessantly compare ourselves to others.
Another gauge of a healthy ego is that we are okay spending time with ourselves and doing things on our own. We really only feel the need to reach out for assistance when truly necessary and learn to truly value the time, energy and presence of others – because that is how much we now value our own time, energy and presence.
Much love and have a most excellent weekend! <3
Tamara Rant is a Co-Editor/Writer for CLN as well as a Licensed Reiki Master, heart-centered Graphic Designer and a progressive voice in social media activism & awareness. She is an avid lover of all things Quantum Physics and Spirituality. Connect with Tamara by visiting Prana Paws/Healing Hearts Reiki or go to RantDesignMedia.com
Tamara posts new original articles to CLN every Saturday.