The Games Your Ego Plays
“Nothing is either good or bad but thinking makes it so.” – Shakespeare.
The ego is the part of us that wants to keep us in the illusion that we are ‘separate’ from the Universe itself and all within it. It makes us think that we are somehow ‘different’.
Knowing how our ego operates is vital to becoming the best version of ourselves and fulfilling our soul’s purpose.
Most of us, when we think of our ego, believe it is the part of us which is bossy and self-important – the ‘I’m better than or know better than’ part. So, it may be surprising to learn that the times we self-diminish or put ourselves down – the times we say ‘I’m worse than’ – that this too is the ego acting out.
Believe it or not, our ego is trying to ‘protect’ us – to keep us safe. This is because the feelings and statements it generates in our mind and body were usually programmed when we were younger and felt removed from authentic unconditional love but didn’t have any other method of survival. If we pay close attention to the scripts and behaviour patterns we use now as an adult we will probably identify the voice and models as those of either our child-self or critical parents (or other significant ‘grown-ups’), or a combination of both.
The good news is that as adults we now have a choice.
Although it is challenging and at times painful, to acknowledge and address the different ways our ego keeps us feeling ‘separate’ – when it declares we are ‘unique’ and ‘the best’ and don’t have to take responsibility for the hurt we cause others or conversely that we are ‘defective’ and ‘not good enough’ and have to take responsibility for everyone’s hurt – there is a liberation in truly knowing ourselves and challenging the ego’s portrait of who we are.
Remembering the truth of who we really are – special (part of the whole of creation) and not special at all (part of the whole of creation) – allows us to ‘get past ourselves’ and know life both is and isn’t about us at all!
Does this sound confusing? Trying to think in a non-judgemental way is very challenging to our Western dualistic minds. We are taught to think of in ‘either/or’ terms – for example: good/bad, saint/sinner, enlightened/heathen, naughty/nice, teacher/student, better/worse – and yet if we don’t engage in our ego’s drive to ‘compare’, then we can see ourselves as both all and none of these labels. We can then see that we are all doing the best we can. We see that we are one.
Where does this leave us? Truly being honest with ourselves about who we think we are – ‘the greatest’ or ‘the worst’ – and the turning towards this childlike part of us with compassion, softens the ego. As we soften the ego our attitude towards ourselves and others becomes gentler, more understanding. We learn where boundaries need to be set with our own personal behaviour and in response to the actions of others and where we need to make amends. Through this process we start to transform into the best version of ourselves.
Fulfilling our soul’s purpose is to remember we, and all creation, are equal and all from the same unchanging Source – the energetic force of love.
Once we remember that, there is only one path to move forward along – the way of service, being truly helpful, kind and tender to ourselves, others and the world.