Happy Monday, and to the 1st of April!! What a glorious time of year; Springtime is here! This week’s blog post is dedicated to my loving daughter Niyah, for uplifting me when I was starting to question my reality. Once again, thank you for the loving comments about last week’s blog post, “Embracing Your Flaws So You Can Embrace Others.”
I have been very guilty of having a very large and unhealthy ego. It has mostly been a hindrance, because it bruises easily. I am very accustomed to things coming fairly easy and without a lot of effort on my part. This too has proved to be a detriment to my existence, because it has prevented me from developing the necessary skills to nurture my strengths, weaknesses and relationships. When you do not have to put forth much effort in order to excel, it is way too easy to take all your blessings for granted. I believe this has played a large part in repetitive mistakes in my life. Let’s just be frank, I have always been a spoiled brat, LOL. However, life is molding me into a better person and I am growing daily and practicing “How to Apply the Right Discernment in Relationships.” But God is also teaching me the value of effort, accountability and embracing vulnerability.
My ego feed off of compliments, validation and the opinions of others. Instead of looking inward, I was always looking outward and this left me in a state of Paralysis.
The negative side of my ego is very entitled. It is jealous, possessive, boasting, selfish and unreasonable. It isolates and binds me from the truth. It lacks compassion and foresight. This side of my ego is an attention seeker from those who really care nothing about me and fails to value the ones that regularly, openly and willing show their love and devotion to me. My ego is competitive and a sore loser; it does not allow me to see past my own faults to get out of my own way.
Needless to say, it is a full time job (often requiring an overtime of effort) keeping this ego in check. I believe this is the very reason I have never addressed this character flaw until now. I was too lazy and lacked the proper motivations to make changes for the better. No one wants to go through extreme pain, loss, disappointments and setbacks – but without all of these I would not be the person I am today. I hate what I went through but I love how it refined me.
Can I just say, I’m having a great love affair with this Mara – we’ve been dating exclusively for several months and I really think it could be LOVE, haha! Seriously though, it is the first time I really, really like who I am. I enjoy being more considerate, giving, compassionate, understanding, vulnerable and transparent. Actually, there is a better term regularly used by Pastor Mike Todd of Transformation Church – HOT: HUMBLE, OPEN AND TRANSPARENT. Humility, Openness and transparency have become my redeemers.
Ego is often equated with a negative state of mind. It can be, but the truth is, the ego is a combination of your personality, identity and beliefs. Our egos develop from childhood, and it is usually a survival strategy spawned out of necessity in order to navigate the challenges of life. The folly comes into play when we are solely led by the ego – this does not and will not ever produce lasting happiness. Leading with the ego is allowing your insecurity and fears to guide your actions. This will birth self delusion, self absorption and create a major disconnect with others.
Here is How to Shed Your Ego for Redemption:
SURRENDER THE NEED FOR CONTROL – you do not want to obliterate your ego, you just want to refine it. We are not our egos, our jobs, our material possessions, and most importantly, we are not our achievements. Once you allow your ego to control your life, you will never be happy. As soon as you lose everything you have incorrectly identified with, it all will collapse and result in the loss of the illusion of happiness you created. Divorce your fears and trust in God! Accept the fact that there are simply some things that are out of your control and there is nothing you can do about it.
BE MINDFUL – the wrong side of the ego maintains a very self-centered, tunnel view of the world. I used to tell people, I keep my circle small because it takes a lot of effort for me to be considerate of others, and I found too much social interaction draining. I still keep my circle small but today, it is in a very different context. My small circle includes those I care about but I no longer have to limit my social interactions out of self-centeredness. If you can relate, then be mindful of that fact that your purpose here on earth is to emote God’s heart, spirit and do His good works. You cannot accomplish this if you are avoiding meaningful interactions with others.
FORM HEALTHY ATTACHMENTS – attachments are categorized by the following: attractions and aversions. Attractions fit in with the ego’s desires for recognition and comfort. Aversions are what our egos cannot accept. It is the aversions we want to manage in a healthy way. Like me, are you guilty of gravitating towards aversions where you feel the strong desire for something simply based off of the fact that you cannot have it or you have been told no? That is unhealthy, toxic and a recipe for disaster time and time again. You should attach yourself to reciprocated love, reciprocated trust and reciprocated respect. The key word here is RECIPROCATED. If the attachment is not reciprocated, why bother with it?
CHOOSE SELF DEVELOPMENT OVER SELF GRATIFICATION – listen more and speak less. Try not to make it all about you; avoid narcissism. Although, in all honestly, narcissistic individuals stem from a wounded self-esteem; so narcissism is often misunderstood. However, we will explore that more next Monday. Self development allows room for long term growth, whereas self gratification is temporary and fleeting. With self development, you can purposely seek out the negative aspects of your personality, understand why they exist and then work to overcome their existence. Self gratification will keep you on the defensive, will stunt your growth and will often lead you down a path of self destruction.
Shedding our Egos for Redemption is extremely important. Without this act, we will never experience self realization or the accomplishment of our full potential. “When ego is lost, limit is lost. You become infinite, kind and beautiful.” — Yogi Bhajan By being controlling, we block ourselves from new and important experiences. By being mindful, we can work diligently to become better people. The most powerful tool to learn to let go of our egos is to practice the formation of healthy attachments. We have to gravitate towards the tribe that matches our stride and vibe (In Love, Strive to Match My Stride by Mara Prose). Everyday work on self development, and enjoy the journey. Be sure to spend 5 minutes every day in solitude, because most of the time silence provides you with much needed answers and clarity.
Next week we will explore How to Overcome Narcissistic Tendencies. Until then, remember to add a little more WE to your ME!