Something has been on my mind for a while and it’s time to let it out.
Most places I look in the mind-body-spirit communities there is a straight up vilification of the Ego. Our Ego is portrayed as this elusive evil part of us that makes us do bad things. We’re told to “kill the ego” and think happier more beautiful thoughts.
I completely agree that it can be very counter-productive to ruminate in negative emotions and thoughts. I also believe that true, authentic well-being involves accepting the whole of oneself with deep reverence and compassion. How can we completely disown the Ego – which IS a part of us – and then expect to feel whole, complete, and joyful?!
This doesn’t even compute.
The Ego’s purpose is to ensure that we survive. When this part of us feels threatened, the Ego will resort to behaviours and patterns that we have learned throughout our lives to help us cope. This often involves the uprising of emotions and thoughts that induce fear, competition, and so on.
We can fall into a mindset where we have to cut others down (or ourselves) to deal with the situation at hand. This “coping” helps us go on and make sense of things (even if the perception is distorted). Yes, this can be destructive. Yes, there are better ways of coping. YES, the Ego is a habitual part of us that needs compassion and understanding.
Instead of shouting “no!” and “bad!” at the Ego, there is an opportunity to talk to this part of us. We must integrate the Ego into healthier patterns, not shun it into the basement. Shunning the Ego is unhealthy and can lead to serious emotional, mental, spiritual, and even physical problems. The “darker” aspects of ourselves cannot be sustainably bypassed. We cannot “go around” our problematic thoughts and behaviours.
There is a lot of confusing information out there about denying the Ego side of us in exchange for love and light. This is a lovely sentiment, which is often misused and misinterpreted. Contrary to popular belief, it is not “more spiritual” to ignore the Ego. Instead, we can view the eruption of our Egos as an invitation to let this part of us know that it is being heard. With deep love and reverence, we must let the Ego know that we want to work with it, not destroy it (the ultimate fear of the Ego, which only makes it louder). We can let our Ego self know that we understand that it is only trying to protect us in the way that it has learned. We can even thank the Ego for doing its best to look out for us.
Then, we can offer the Ego an option – a beautiful, wonderful option. The option involves letting the Ego know that it can work together with the whole of you to find more productive, safe, and encouraging ways of coping and being in the world. We can offer this part of ourselves love and gentleness – as we would to a small child. What would you do if an innocent child was berating herself, feeling afraid and alone? Many of us would want to rescue that child and offer her protection, love and care. This is often what many of us adults need and want too, isn’t it?
So many of us simply want to be witnessed, heard, and loved. How can we receive love from the world around us if we are caught up in cutting ourselves down? Vilifying and damning the Ego is a massive act of personal betrayal and rejection.
Let’s all step into greater wholeness by offering love, compassion, support, and trust to ourselves first. Then, and only then, will there be room for deeper transformation from within.
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About the author:
Nira Lall is an integrative Life Coach specializing in turning life’s ups and downs into soul lessons. Drawing from her skills in emotional release, neuro-lingusitic programming, hypnosis, meditation, and body wisdom integration, she covers topics ranging from relationships, career and money, health, and most importantly self-trust.
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