This article is for anyone wanting to create a life they love, enjoy and are inspired by. A life that is truly beautiful!!
ACTION #12: befriend your ego
YOUR EGO IS YOUR FAITHFUL COMPANION… LEARN TO LOVE IT!
For those of you who don’t know what the “ego” is – stay with me! Our ego:
- Is the part of our mind that likes to chatter. This chatter seems like it is our thoughts and that we have no control over it. You know, that voice in our head, our "inner critic", telling us what we “should do”, responding to all that we have seen & heard and creating a whole lot of fuss in our mind.
- It is also the part of us that has kept us alive and out of danger for all these years with it’s primary purpose to keep us alive and safe. (Thank you ego!) To do this our ego adopts the fears we learn throughout our lifetime and does it's best to make sure we keep away from them. No, stay back, it's scary over there!
Our ego loves certainty. It loves labels. It loves fitting in. Simply because this is how humans kept alive back in the day. You needed to belong to a tribe of people for your survival and you needed to avoid danger and uncertainty at all costs otherwise it was very likely you would end up dead.
Today, for many of us, the world has changed, quite drastically and our ego minds have not evolved to be able to distinguish a real threat to survival to one which simply places us outside of our comfort zone. This includes making choices which place you apart from your pack or where the outcome is unknown or uncertain. The ego screams at us, Stop!! Danger!!
And at the same time, we have an even stronger desire pulling us towards uncertainty, the unknown and to step into and embody our authentic truth. Which to fulfil this desire, requires us to step outside of our comfort zone regularly - to grow, to learn, to stand on our own and trust in the unknown.
With these 2 forces pulling us in different directions there is a lot of confusion created in our mind. Which makes building some separation from the ego and unlearning many of its fears very important to our fulfilment. So we learn to:
Feel the fear and do it anyway.
To learn more about the intuition (and the ego), you can check out my earlier post here.
Why we need to befriend our ego
The outcome for most of us when we learn about the ego is to want to shut it up and ignore it entirely. However, what we forget is – our ego is here to stay. I mean, it serves a pretty vital purpose doesn't it?
So we learn to separate ourselves from our ego using tools like meditation and mindfulness to quieten it's chatter and give us some peace. To find out more about meditation, please check out my earlier post here. These tools are wonderful and in my opinion 100% necessary to achieve that separation, however the ego still remains with us and... what we resist, persists!
When we ignore our ego, it starts to scream at us, thus amplifying our experience of fear and making it harder to "feel the fear and do it anyway". When we instead acknowledge the ego and the concerns it has for us (like the dear friend that it is), we make those screams quieter. And this is why we need to befriend our ego.
Whenever I climb I am followed by a dog called 'Ego'. - Friedrich Nietzsche
Our ego follows us wherever we go – protecting us, keeping us alive, loving us. And like a dog barks even louder when we scream at it to "be quiet", so too will our ego (you can thank Jess Lively for that analogy). What quietens the ego (and the dog), is when we respond with kindness and compassion: Hey ego, I see you, I hear you, thank you for letting me know. And then in the silence we get to practice our discernment: Is this a fear I need to consider or not?
OUR WEEKLY CHALLENGE TO CREATE A LIFE THAT IS BEAUTIFUL
This week I want you to get to know your ego and really befriend it by first writing your ego a love letter, like so:
I want to thank you for taking the time every single day to protect me. I know you have my every best interest at heart and that you are always by my side.
I know that you don’t like it when I make decisions with uncertain outcomes and sometimes we won’t agree.
I promise to always listen to you and acknowledge your fears.
This does not mean I will always follow your advice, but I will receive your concerns with love and know that you are only coming from a loving place.
I love and respect you.
[insert your name]
Write out this letter to yourself, say it out loud and imagine hugging your ego like it really is a dear friend.
The next time you feel fear, I want you take a moment to acknowledge your ego, listen to its fear and stop to console it. I like to visualize my ego resting its head on my shoulder as I pat its head I whisper: shhhhhh its okay, I hear you, thank you for letting me know.
After you do this, if you need help figuring out how to decide whether the fear is something to respond to any further, ask yourself these questions:
What would I do if I had no fear?
What are the possible consequences of taking this action? How could I overcome the worst case scenario? What is the cost to me of not taking this action?
Your answers will help you discern the best way forward for you.
We have to accept that we will be wedded to the ego for the rest of our life whether we like it or not. Spiritual growth in my mind, today as I write this, is about an unlearning of the ego and at the same time radical compassion for its place in our life and heart.
And strangely the more we acknowledge the ego and its concerns, like our feelings, the softer it’s voice gets. It’s okay ego, I hear you, thank you. Now it’s time to rest your head.
Your ego teaches you the importance of practicing discernment. These provide wonderful lessons and always an opportunity to expand.
By befriending our ego, we will create space to make decisions from a place of love rather than fear. Our egos are here to stay with us - so let's love them, acknowledge their necessity and use them as an opportunity to learn and expand.
Befriend your ego this week through the exercise above and let me know how you find it!
Want to join me on this journey? Every Sunday, I share another action for you to implement into your daily routine to help you create a life you love, enjoy and which inspires. A life that is truly beautiful in YOUR eyes!! By signing up to my free weekly newsletter below you receive an email every Sunday which sets out our next action for the week, suggestions on how to implement the prior week's action going forward and other insider information & support. Sign up below for all the details! You can also check out all prior week's actions here.
And if you know anyone else who would resonate with the Create a Life that is Beautiful journey, please share this post with them. The more the merrier!
As always, if you need any support at any moment along this journey, please: leave me a comment; send me a message; or send me an email, to let me know how you are doing. I care and I appreciate you.
You are worthy and wonderful, with so much to contribute to the world! We all have unique skills, abilities and interests and I wholeheartedly believe that by embracing those, finding your platform and choosing love, joy and inspiration along the way you make the world a better place. :-)
Lots of love,