Ego is the voice in your head. It is the voice that is constantly pulling you off into the future, demanding that you must fix, solve, plan, or perform. Or maybe it is dragging you back to the past, demanding that you fixate on that thing that was said or done, “back there.”
Ego is the ENEMY of presence. Ego will steal your happiness if you let it.
When you attempt to make space for yourself to rest, meditate, or enjoy nature through your senses, ego will start to kick and scream.
Have you experienced this? It’s when your mind starts to race. It’s when harsh self-criticism is loud between your ears. It’s when you can’t sit still because of all the voices driving you to “do” stuff. Ego gets restless in stillness because ego and presence cannot coexist.
You need to give your ego a name (I call mine Gary). Naming your ego is important for two reasons: First, because he isn’t you, and you need to differentiate yourself from him. Second, because if you’re going to experience true rest and peace, you must learn to confront your ego, and it helps to call her by name.
So, now that you’ve named her, try this…
1.Create 5 minutes of silent space for yourself.
2. Focus entirely on your breath, as well as what you hear, smell, and feel on your skin.
3. When ego shows up, call him by name, and tell him you’re not interested in listening right now.
4. Return your focus to your breath, and your senses.
NOTE: There is a HUGE DIFFERENCE between “thinking” in the silence, and “being” in the silence.
What has your experience of ego been like? Are you aware that the voice in your head isn’t you, but rather you are the one listening to it? In order for your true self to re-emerge and take the driver seat of your life, ego must DIE. After all, if ego is driving, you will continue to take anxious trips to the past or the future, without ever experiencing the present moment. Life is far too short to spend it somewhere else. . .
Jesus dealt with the anxiety of ego when he said this:
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what will you eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these… But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:25-29, 33 NIV)
Like a bird on a limb or a flower in a field, may you learn to simply be. Your ego will resist you every step of the way, but it’s the only way to experience true restoration and peace.
Love you and with you,