It only takes a second for someone living in ego to shatter because they are on a plane of perceived perfection, when even the slightest edge of a pocket mirror is shone back on them and they see weakness a reaction is triggered. To live in ego is to live out of control under the guise of complete control; it is the fear of oneself and the refusal to let go. The ego is like a parasite and can only survive through what we feed it and like a parasite, it creates a false sense of craving within us. One way to identify an egoic craving is to assess how you feel after feeding the desire. For a deeper inspection, analyze the long-term outcome of satisfying an urge-> how does it impact the rest of your life, the people around you? If you continually fed this yearning would it make you better or worse? If you can accept the ego as a parasite and something that lives off of you rather than as a part of you, it creates a detachment and makes it easier to identify that which is not helpful. In ego we do not see the worst of ourselves but rather the form of what has invaded. The ego speaks to us in fear and quick -fix solutions that dull our acceptance of suffering or pain.
“The root of suffering is to be found in our constant want & craving” Buddha
Through the minimization of things such as soul and love, we can fall into the societal inflicted trap of finding the box we are told we fit in and nestling up inside with a false sense of warmth and security. For those that find their little box, their perfectly carved out space in the hierarchy, there will be an underlying condition, a sickness. Beneath the surface, the sense that there is more, that something is not quite right is the self-begging to freed, gently urging the heart to listen. Yet, as we have been indoctrinated into the belief that if we stop for one second it will all fall apart, there is not time to listen to the heart, that is laughable, we need to keep going because somewhere and at some point we will find what we have been looking for. So, we keep going, we keep spinning on the perpetual wheel, waiting for the finish line that never comes. When we make ego based decisions that lead us to believe we are experiencing growth, it can feel like we are finally getting off the wheel but eventually we end up right back where we started, more traumatized and disappointed than before. We are being set up for a setback.
Symptoms of Ego
Reacting impulsively and without thought, especially when you think you might lose something
Lack of presence in moments
Inability to focus on one thing at a time
Trouble letting go of something
Distorting reality to feed a story
Using others for validation
Buried in business and routine
The shedding of ego comes in parts, starting with awareness, which shows up as noticing feelings or making observations that seem disconnected. From awareness, one can eventually move to surrender which is the practice of accepting the ego and then letting it go.
“To love oneself if the beginning of a lifelong romance” Oscar Wilde
Surrendering is acceptance of the world through self-acceptance; it is giving into the moment and existing in only that space. Surrender eliminates fear, worry, concern, and anxiety and invites a release of that which does not serve. So how exactly might one surrender? You keep it simple. Surrender is aroused in moments of quiet and stillness. Surrender is allowing the small things to take your breath away. It is the opposite of busy, it is peace. It is the beauty of the early morning sun hitting the tree line and a small caterpillar moving ever so slowly to get to their destination. It is falling into your work and finding a flow that keeps you grounded and focused, it is in everything that you choose to notice with love and compassion. The more we give away the more we lose our ego and become ourself. I encourage you to give away regularly: give away love to those around you, give away stress to take a walk in nature, and give away attachments to feelings that do not feel good. We all have a past and have suffered hardship in one way or another and our suffering has made us stronger and wiser; we are empowered to surrender to it and change for the better.
Outcome of Surrender
A feeling of flow
A feeling of connection to others-empathy
A sense of release
An appreciation for simplicity
Moments of stillness
Powerful focus or presence
Allowing thoughts to come and go
Finding joy in others around you
Surrender takes on a minimalist approach in the appreciation of the small. It is an invitation to reconsider the value of things and in losing our connection to the material we gain a capacity to fall in love with the tiniest of events. Our ego pulls us into these emotionally driven situations to distract from becoming more of who we are. You already have the power within to feel important, special, and loved, you truly do not need a false sense of external influence completing you and in this sense you would then always be incomplete feeling good when good things happen and bad when bad things happen. When you are not tied to what others think you can connect with them on a greater level. When you know yourself, you will soon find that you know others as well and you will be able to change a situation by simply showing attention to someone.
When we attempt to fight discomfort or quench an addiction we are creating friction within and eventually there will be a break, however, when we let go and allow ourselves the feel pain or suffering, we are acknowledging its presence and then moving through it. In our attempts to avoid what does not feel good we are suffocating ourselves, but when we give in we can release the discomfort and find peace. When we let go, we find the things that make us whole.
If you are interested in learning more, please connect with us @ The Bond Consulting Group - Leadership and Development Training Pittsburgh