It’s all part of the package, being human that is, to interpret everything around us through our ego. The ego is a major portion of our physical experience here in the world. Anytime something changes, someone says something or a bird flaps it’s wings in the air, our first thought is typically “How does this affect me?”
It’s basic primitive thinking at our very core. I know this because when I’m tired and all of my built up responses are too tired to respond, it is still there, ready to fight for my best interests. When my intellect is indisposed and my gentleman is exhaused and my civility has already gone to bed for the night, my ego is always ready to jump in and take charge.
Don’t get me wrong. Ego is awesome. Ego is crucial. Ego is probably the reason we’ve survived on the planet as long as we have. It’s crucial to our functioning as individuals and an important component of our being.
The problem is, my ego is a bit of an ass. He’s self serving, completely obsessed with me and totally over the top when it comes to what is prudent and necessary. To make matters worse, my ego doesn’t know when to quit. And when I’m tired or feel backed into a corner the ego is the part of me that stands up and represents. But there is more to me than just ego.
It is also important, when interacting with others, to realize that everyone has one. Every other person that triggers my ego is probably coming a place near their own ego that they may not be aware of. In many ways we are all operating in little bubbles of ego and all seems fine and good until our ego starts to run into someone else. Sparks fly and feathers get ruffled, as our egos battle it out, each having the goal of defending it’s perceived territory and best interests.
Then there are the more enlightened times, when I’m not as tired and my higher brain function is still firing. It’s these moments when I have more control over my mouth and can exercise reason over my ego. My ego is still there doing it’s job. But I can identify that my ego is not all of me, I am more than just a 3 million year old defense mechanism. It’s these higher patterns that bring out the good in humanity. It’s seeing that there is more to life than survival. It’s remembering that it’s not all about me.
The next time you feel yourself hunkering down for a fight getting ready to defend your turf, ask yourself, “What would ego do?” If you find that your actions are aligned with your ego, you may want to consider another path.