We all have a superego but few understand it. To start, what is an ego? An ego is the underlying perception of self that acts as a lens in the way we view the world around us. This view can be positive towards self or others, or negative. Why is the ego important? I have reflected on teachings from Eckhart Tolle, who has studied the ego in great depth, and gathered that it is not the ego that is significant but understanding how the ego impacts us and our dealings with the world. This allows you to separate yourself from your ego to live a more enlightened life, no longer controlled by perception.
“The ego tends to equate having with being: I have, therefore I am. And the more I have, the more I am. The ego lives through comparison. How you are seen by others turns into how you see yourself.”Eckhart Tolle
I have, therefore I am. And the more I have, the more I am.
The ego determines who we are, based our perception of what we have. This is never really correct, as there is no definition, only perception. Who are you? Do you start by describing your occupation? Maybe your hobbies? Do you identify your family, your degrees, achievements, or maybe where you grew up? Is any of this correct? It’s what you do and what you have but it’s not who you are. I don’t know that we ever fully know who we are but it’s important to be aware that the ego inside of us is working to identity that. And it’s important to be aware this because it can have a positive or negative experience on our self-esteem as well as how we interact with other.
Ego lives through comparison.
As the saying goes, comparison is the thief of joy. Woman have had so much joy stolen from their lives. I think of this story called ‘the woman across the room’. In summary, you’re sitting in a waiting room and a woman walks in. You notice the way she carries herself and you start piecing together her life, based on your perception. You assume she’s successful, can do it all, a great mother, wife, employee, maybe a leader in her field. You compare that to your life and quickly identify the areas you fall short. While you’re going through this mental process of which boxes you check off, the woman across the room is silently sizing you up. Her thoughts echo yours, except this time, YOU are the ‘woman across the room’.
How you are seen by others turns into how you see yourself.
I’ve heard it described that social media is an incredibly useful tool but people make it dangerous. We now live in a world where quality of life is determined by a count of ‘likes’ and magazine worthy photos on your timeline. Social media plays to the ego, which has had negative implications for our mental health. Comparison, depression, and anxiety lead the way for a number of negative effects. The ripple effect doesn’t end with us. Our family, friends, and all of those around us are shorted on experiencing the true ‘us’. We’re too distracted with trying to alter the world’s opinion of us when we’re actually missing the mark of our very authentic self.
“The moment you become aware of the ego in you, it is strictly speaking no longer as the ego, just an old, conditioned mind-pattern.”Eckhart Tolle
Just an old, conditioned mind-pattern.
Letting your ego impact your life is a habit. Habits can be changed. I encourage you to become aware of your ego and how it impacts your view of yourself and those around you. When you identify your ego flaring up and you get those feelings of comparison, remind yourself that you are slipping back into a mind pattern. Identifying ego removes the power that ego has over you. This allows you to live in an objective way. You’re good at somethings. You’re bad at somethings. That doesn’t make you good or bad. It just is. These facts do not make you inferior or superior to others. They are just facts. Jealousy, envy, pride, and self-doubt melt away when the ego is tamed. Live in celebration for the things that are. As for the things that are not, decide if those are things you would like to change or leave as just facts. Thank you for stopping by and, remember, YOU are a lady well-loved.
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