Is Your Ego Keeping You Sick?
The ego, just like addiction, is cunning, baffling and powerful (to borrow a phrase from AA). To say it is tricky to manage is a colossal understatement – if we’re not constantly vigilant and present with our thoughts, it will sneak right up behind us when we least expect it. Before we know it, we’re acting in ways that we know deep down are not for our best benefit, and this realization usually comes after we’ve taken “wrong action”.
What Is An Ego?
The Ego is your “false self”. It is the story you have concocted about that which/who you think you are. It is simply an illusion of yourself that you have come to believe as true. What is true, though, is that it has nothing to do with Who You Really Are!
Ego makes you think:
- You are what you have
- Are what you do/accomplish
- Are only what others think of you
- Merely the labels you use to describe yourself
- You are a victim
- You are not good enough
- There is something wrong with ‘you’
With all these beliefs (and they are just that, BELIEFS!), your identification with your ego has separated you from your true, eternal and infinite Self.
Signs Your Ego is in Control
- feel elevated from gossiping about other people’s flaws
- find yourself in a feisty discussion and you just can’t back down until you have ‘won’ the argument (always having to be right, if only just in your head)
- constantly compare yourself to other people who you feel are better than you
- feel jealous or envious when other people do well
- set yourself impossible goals and then beat yourself up when you don’t reach them
- blame others when things don’t go your way
- you mistake that incessant mental chatter in your head as you (when you are actually the One listening)
Truth is — you can have the life you want. Simple, but not easy, granted. The sooner you let go of these ego lies, the sooner and more likely you’ll meet your goals and dreams even as you recognize them as the moving targets they actually are.
Remember It’s Not Personal
It seems difficult if not impossible not to take life’s events personally. And it takes constant practice and an ever-expanding Awareness to see just how profoundly our thoughts dictate our emotions and behavior…we are almost always complete unconscious to these mental workings. Left unchecked these thoughts will continuously carry us off on countless, pointless tangents. If we are always wandering outside of the present moment (which is the only place we can actually witness these thoughts arise as separate things, rather than unconsciously identifying with them) our minds will continue to be ruled by these thoughts. And guess what? These thoughts are your EGO! And your ego never shuts up saying “this is about me! This is happening TO ME! Me, me, me and me” And then we believe everything is only about how this “me” is affected. But in reality, it is only as personal as we allow it to be. Shit happens with or without our approval, and rarely is it ever only about “me” regardless of what we think. (Self-centered anyone??)
Remember that even the most horrific tragedies–rape, murder, the death of loved ones, the devastation arising from addiction, do not define our identity…unless we allow them to. They need our permission to do so, as they have no reality in and of themselves…they only contain the meaning we give them. Your real, true Self is fully healed, whole and complete… and un-traumatized. We are only less than this when we allow ourselves to be ruled by the false, by the ego-self. Experience can only have the meaning we give it, nothing more. In this sense, you do create your own reality, at least your inner reality. And in time, with practice, you’ll see how your outer world directly reflects your inner world. It can never be any different.
Witness your thoughts: observe them as they arise and fall away, arise and fall away. They are not you. Give no energy, no attention to these ego thoughts…let them go like clouds passing through your skies. Practice this, and your resistance to (and dissatisfaction with) life will fade just as much as you allow your skies to clear.
Remember, energy flows where attention goes, so how much attention you give to each thought is critical. As you untether yourself from your incessant ego thoughts (that constant mental narrative provided by your false self) your energy is no longer being wasted, it will be freed up for what really matters: your health and well-being.
Lastly, let’s not forget addiction is the deepest form of habit. Once we are physically clear of drugs and alcohol, the habits that rule us in recovery (and life in general) are dictated by our thoughts and our thinking. If we are to change, our destructive, egoic thinking patterns must change first. Detach yourself from these ego thoughts, see them for what they are and know they are not you. They can only control you and keep you sick if you are not aware or conscious of them.
The ultimate goal in recovery beyond a liberated body is a liberated mind. Free your mind from your ego, and you free your Self.