StLSass

365 Days of Writing – Day 19: The Ego

Posted on: January 24, 2017

Do you ever do or say something without really thinking about it, but when you do you hear or see yourself and think that’s not what I really wanted or meant to say? That’s your ego. Your ego is basically your human autopilot. It has been conditioned by every event you have experienced in your life, and whether you realize it or not, it has takes all of those events into account every time you speak or act. So while in your mind you may believe you are over that feud you had with your sister about your green sweater that she borrowed and got a stain on… but subconsciously your ego may still acknowledge it, and still be hurt by it, which is why you didn’t stop yourself from walking through that puddle when you were wearing her nice suede boots a few weeks later. Most often times we may feel entitled to the actions and choices that we make, even when deep down we know it isn’t right, but we feel like it is because it’s based on old stories or false information that is still residing in our ego.

Understanding, re-training, and ultimately reigning in our egos… is how we get to the place of living our truest and best selves. While the example above may be kind of simple, the ego is far from simple. It is our mind literally playing tricks on us. For instance, I have previously wrote about my recent discovery that patience IS actually an important value to have in life. Prior to that discovery though, I used to actually pride myself on my impatience. I would tell people, “Oh, yeah, I have no patience at all” all the time, and never once thought that maybe my impatience was a problem. That was my ego! My ego had no problem with the fact that I was impatient, because my impatience was keeping me from finding a truly deep love… a love that, according to the beliefs of my ego based on my life experiences at a young age, would only open me up to getting hurt. You see, your ego tricks you to “protect you”.

Now, while it’s intentions are seemingly good… the “protection” that your ego is providing is really not protecting you from anything, but the ghosts of traumas that we endured early on in life. These protections were learned during our developmental years when we lacked the ability to truly understand the impacts of events that we were put into as children. Everyone has different experiences that they went through that have shaped them differently, but at the core of it all there is our ego creating stories to help “protect” our mind. However, as we get older, those stories we have been telling ourselves actually start to hurt us more than they help us at some point. You see those issues that we couldn’t quite process at the time in our youth… are things we MUST face as adults in order to be able to live as our best selves.

We did an exercise in my Kabbalah class last night where we took a list of certain behaviors and numbered them from 1-12, with one being the least like you, and 12 being the most like you. Then on the next page it had you list what you wrote for number one (least like you), and state what it was about that action that you thought it showed for people who take that action. Then you were to list what you thought people who do this action are lacking.

So, in my case, the action I picked for number one was “First in line to get food”, and what I listed as what I thought about people who do this is that they are unkind. I listed I thought it was unkind because, I believe, it is very simple and easy to wait for for other people to get their food before you, and that was the kind thing to do.

Okay. So after doing this exercise, our teacher flipped the script on all of us, and told us how the action that we picked as our number one (least like us), was in fact the biggest challenge aspect of our ego.

So in my case, kindness, is actually the biggest trick that my ego plays on me. Which took me a minute to really grasp. However, I do tend be a people pleaser, and my kind actions do often come at the expense of my own self, so for me, my over indulgence of kindness is actually a detriment at times to my ability to be my best self. It was quite the eye opening moment.

Realizations and moments like those, where we uncover the hidden truths behind our behaviors and our actions, are the moments we should all be working towards in our lives. Understanding why we say and do things that deep down we know aren’t serving our greatest selves, are the keys to being able to one day live as the best versions of ourselves.

It is not easy. By any means. However, I think the first, and most important step in the process is to understand that you alone are the only one who is responsible for your actions and behaviors. Your reactions are representations of your ego, which has been formed by the core of the challenges you have faced in life. So to correct your ego, you must correct your issues. Which, yes, can be sometimes very painful and hard to face. However, I promise you that continuing to live a life driven by an ego that is rooted in such misguided perceptions of reality… will ultimately hurt much more, and not just yourself, but everyone in your life. This is the key to not only your own salvation, but also the world’s, because to become a better society, we must all work to become better people in our own lives first.

(I just want to add one thing, in my pursuit to understand myself, my ego, my actions, and my life, I have sought out many teachings. None have led me to such profound levels of understanding as the teachings of Kabbalah has. Kabbalah is not a religion. It is a series of courses developed from a book called The Zohar, to help us understand our minds using various tools and studies. I highly recommend checking out the Kabbalah Centre website for more information about Kabbalah, as well as online classes, or to check out a Centre in your area. The St. Louis Kabbalah Centre is located in Clayton next to Five Star Burgers. They not only have ongoing courses (Kabbalah 1, 2, etc.), but they also have many one night events which are great for understanding one off topics that don’t really require a whole course to learn. In addition to the website, you can also go and like them on Facebook to get updates when they post and schedule new events! Please, feel free to ask me about it if you have any questions or are curious to learn more. I believe the Kabbalah Centre is truly teaching the lessons that our world needs most. The lessons which help us see our true selves and transform our lives to be the best they can be.)

Many blessings of insight and wisdom to you all!

– Christine

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