This is a pretty deep topic overall. It is something that we become more aware of with age if we are lucky. For me, as I dive deeper into my own spirituality and listen to mentors in my life, there is a common factor with them all. They all share one common message aside from their own unique one. No surprise it is in relation with the ego. They all mention how the ego gets in the way. The ego is something that has to be recognized as well as set aside in order for real success to occur in life and possibly even in the afterlife.
Ego is what we think should happen and how it should be. Ego is justifying why certain behaviors are okay when our spirit knows it is not. Ego is the voice within that comes from the head and not from the heart. Ego convinces us to do what we know we should not do, then convinces us we did the right thing… or if we at least recognize we did the wrong thing, our ego reminds us why we had to it and why it was okay.
Ego is what makes us put ourselves above others and then we think we aren’t that kind of person. But the fact is, we have all done it. As I started to grow up and learn about the ego, like most things, the awareness alone created a shift. Thankfully, I am happy to continue to shift for the better in this area of life. I would rather be known as humble than someone that thinks they are right when in fact there are always more sides to any story. I try to always look at any situation with open eyes, even if I feel I know what my truth is. If not, then I am only living from the ego of being right and growth never happens there.
Ego is also a driving force in any failed relationship, especially with the self. It can be with a boyfriend or girlfriend as well as friends & family, but really in order to have healthy relationships with healthy boundaries, we need to check our ego first! The thing is when we become without ego, even if we are right, love comes first. We can always find some element we are responsible for in the situation and can take ownership of. Or, if we truly played no part in what someone else chose, then we can see how we can offer them love & help… but not be a crutch or enable them if it is harmful behavior. Basically, to be without ego is to not judge but love instead. It is to protect ourselves but from a place of humbleness & self-respect versus gain & resentment.
I am sure we can all think of a relationship or time within a relationship that was lost due to ego overcoming one or both people involved. Sometimes distance can be healthy and healing for a relationship, however, we will never be happy as long as we care more about being right. It reminds me of the quote, “It is better to be kind than to be right.” I think that speaks volumes in the area of ego.
One person that helped put ego into perspective for me was the late Dr. Wayne Dyer. He refers to the ego as “E-G-O… Edging God Out”. When we are in our heads (ego) versus heart (spirit), God is not present in comparison. Edging God out of our decisions and throughout each day by not recognizing the constant brilliance we are surrounded by as well as created with is nothing but ego. It is realizing that everything else is more important when anyone that has lived a blessed life can tell you the source of where it all comes from. And it isn’t their mind!
The majority of the most successful people in the world know the source of their success. They also know the importance of giving back. Also an egoless duty. Everything in life that matters goes back to service. I have learned that serving others is what matters compared to serving myself. The cool thing is that in serving others, we are usually taken care of. Abundantly at times even! Just like with the “Lasting Purpose” I was taught throughout graduate school. “You give for the sake of giving, love for the sake of loving and serve for the sake of serving while expecting nothing in return.”
Learning that through a mentor in chiropractic made me want to be the best version of myself within chiropractic for the sake of who I was adjusting. To me, that is what they deserve. I was also taught that is how it should be. It resonated with me as what I know chiropractic to be is sacred. Working with lives is sacred. In that, where is there room for ego?! For me, there is only room for love. It is important that as I hear more people tell me how they have healed with chiropractic care at my office or been impacted by the philosophy within chiropractic that I share, I don’t take it to my head. I can’t let any of that boost my ego because although I am a catalyst for change in other’s lives and I recognize I am a good one, it isn’t me that is doing anything. It is God’s work and in divine time. I can’t claim that!
Back to E-G-O… If we keep edging god out, then how are we living to the potential that we were created with?! How are we finding our own uniqueness that we have to offer the world? That is the secret to life as well as the secret to happiness. Getting rid of our ego allows us to tap into the core of our being. It is there that we know our truth. Our uniqueness. Our way to shine in the world. No one looks like you. No one talks like you. No one breathes when you breathe that exact same way. No one thinks the way you think. No one is the snowflake that you are. So claim the unique brillance that you are! Just do it without ego. You are unique! You are special! As is everyone else too. But there is no way for someone to compare to you… just as there is no way for you to compare to others.
In becoming egoless, it takes practice. I can tell you this not because I am on the other side as the wise monk meditating on the top of a mountain, but I am more an elementary schooler learning the beginning basics of how it all works. The practice of becoming without ego is a beautiful life journey. As we are human, it will be a path we are all on our entire lives. We can choose to stay like a toddler in this area of life or we can try to evolve into the wise old man or woman that just knows life.
Personally, I want to know life. I want to be life. From what I can tell, it isn’t something that is done in the blink of an eye. It is a practice much like anything worthy in this world. There is a discipline. A continual effort that happens day by day and moment by moment. When the times come that we slip up, there is an opportunity for an upcoming moment to catch ourselves then put our ego aside and address the situation from a better place. There will always be a better outcome without the presence of ego. Always.