The ego identity is a tricky concept for many to grasp. Should we kill it? Is the ego truly our enemy? Well, not unless we want to lose all sense of self.
As humans we have a nasty tendency of clinging to black and white thinking, which is an incomplete understanding of who we are as complete beings. There are a lot of grey and flexible areas within the constructs of our minds.
The ego is our concept of self. It isn’t who we actually are, it is who we think we are. It develops throughout our life based on personal experiences and external input and represents the idea of ourself that we feel that we need to maintain.
The usual way humans move through life, the undeveloped typical way, operates from the perspective of the personality, which breaks down into the ego-identity in exclusion. It creates stories and narratives to be cohesive with who we believe we are at a fundamental level. This is exactly why it’s so damn hard to break habits when we’ve integrated them into “who we are”.
Maintaining an ego identity without observation stunts growth and personal development. But that doesn’t mean you want to destroy your ego; it means that you want to move beyond your ego story and understand that it isn’t representative of who you are, or who you have to be. What we want to do is move from feelings of “this is me”—to this is a feeling and conditioning around “what is me”.
One of the best ways to realize that you are starting to recognize your ego stories is to realize that everyone acts through their ego! That is, other people are just like you in terms of acting through their ego and projecting their lived experiences onto you.
In other words; nothing is truly personal, but rather egoic projections onto one another.
For example, if someone is being very direct to you in conversation and you find it frustrating and rude, why is that? Have they insulted your character or something about you? Or are you simply taking issue with your own perceptions of their tone? If the latter, that’s an ego story. Why do you think that being direct is rude? If you simply ignore this ego story, then imagine how much easier conversation would be.
Another benefit of starting to recognize and ignore your ego stories is empowerment. You begin to realize that you can control only yourself and not other people, so you start to take less responsibility for situations that are outside of your control.
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