The Ego has a bad reputation: Leave your Ego at the door. Let go of your Ego. Don’t be an Egomaniac.
The spiritual goal of many traditions involves dissolving the ego. It’s too much thinking and action, not enough awareness and being. An ego is a trap. A mind game. And it makes you act like an ass.
Perhaps this is just semantics, but what is an ego but your Self, your sweet little consciousness in your own unique individual body? It’s your identity.
Call me unenlightened, but I question the desire to become selfless, to mush all our individual distinctions into the great sea of spirit.
I’ve struggled with the notion of being selfish my whole life. Somehow paying too much attention to my inner life, my needs, desires, and creative passions was narcissistic. Not caring enough about other people and their needs. Not doing enough for others.
In the past, putting others first was the gold standard for being female. Some women kick ass at caretaking. Some of us kick ass at other things. In my experience, caretaking can be just as egocentric as other activities designed to make people love us.
Getting over the striving, ravenous need to get love (that we believe we don’t deserve) is a big step toward creating a gorgeous, healthy ego. Because you begin to acknowledge that you do, in fact, DESERVE it. Without all the striving. Because you feel the love inside, the Big Love that is truly unconditional.
I am a creator. I have an ego. My ego grabs the messages and symbols from the dream world — the subconscious, the part of me that’s connected to everything — and makes stuff from that raw material. My ego works very hard to craft those messages. To write novels, make artwork, create songs and perform them. My ego is the ferry driver, the handyman, the translator, the connector. Without an ego, I couldn’t bring any of that stuff from there to here.
The human collective needs our creative diversity, our rampant blossoming. My ego likes to be seen for what she brings to the community. (She is so happy to be here, selfishly expressing, that she even put her own photo at the top of this post).
This is not only okay, it’s a frigging requirement of a healthy life. I’m here to shout it out, to add my voice to those who defend true, healthy, selfishness.
What does a gorgeous ego look like?
- You are yourself. With ease.
- You radiate. You shine. You shield your presence only when required.
- You don’t have to prove how freaking awesome you are. You simply are.
- You do not try to dominate or control others, consciously or unconsciously. You don’t need to.
- You are aware of the greater world around you. You are compassionate.
- You notice how your behavior affects others. You correct when necessary, apologize graciously.
- You are attentive to others’ experience. You listen. You are curious about their lives. You love them, like crazy.
- You share your self openly. You dance if you love to dance, hug if you love to hug, help others if that’s what you love.
- You acknowledge feelings — pain, fear, joy, gratitude. You take full responsibility for them, like your own offspring, yet you know they are just feelings, and will change. You do not have to get hooked or let them control your behavior.
- You express your emotions when it’s useful, when it will transform them, or help others understand you.
- You do not have to have all the answers. You are ok with questions. In fact, you adore them.
So please don’t leave your gorgeous ego at the door. Work with it. Bring it.
And tell me: Do you worry that your ego is too much? Are you willing to be utterly yourself?
Your comments are a warm breeze blowing up my skirt.