What is the EGO? | Day 1
Welcome to the 'Meet you EGO' series, 5 days worth of insight, awareness and action into your beloved inner critic (pick out the sarcasm) Each post will be on a different topic working up from what your ego is to how you can live in harmony with one another (or as good as) Every post will begin with an aim and (apart from this one) include a downloadable PDF worksheet so that you can not only use your eyes but also use your brain to help piece together the life you and your ego live.
Let's crack on...
Todays Aim- To understand and gain insight into what your ego is and does for you, how it is formed and what we do to keep it running.
If you are anything like me, you may see the word 'ego' and think of an individual that thinks 'they are above everybody else', 'gods gift' or are 'full of themselves'- so basically, a complete ass! This is what we have been conditioned to think.
The truth is, we all have an ego! However, in the context of what I am talking about, your ego is not a word used to describe your external functioning. Your ego is an internal mechanism, which some people call their inner critic.
Your ego is part of your conscious mind. It is made up of a group of recurring thoughts and conditioned mental-emotional patterns that have grown into a sense of self.
You see, the structure of the ego is built on the compulsion to identify and have a sense of being. The basic level of identification is with things. So many of us try to find ourselves in things and we end up losing ourselves in them. This is the fate of the ego.
The ego operates by identifying with content, be it objects, people, roles, labels, thoughts, emotions, basically anything that can make up your life. Content is interchangeable, as we all know. How many times have you purchased an item, loved it for an hour and then all of a sudden, you lose interest in it? It's the same with hobbies, jobs, even people. Do you ever wonder why you can never find contentment in one thing? You see, no amount of content it will satisfy you as long as the ego's structure stays untouched. Something needs to change!
The underlying emotion that governs all activity of the ego is fear. Because the ego is built on identity, it knows that not all identification is permanent (as I just mentioned in the previous paragraph) therefore it is constantly insecure.
Have you ever had a good period in your life where you have felt content with your day to day living, felt more present in the moment and can recognise your enjoyment, but then the shit hits the fan and you suddenly feel great amounts of doubt, anxiety and sadness?
When you are in a mindful state, the ego feels vulnerable and threatened and seeks for something to attach itself too in order to uphold and strengthen itself.
NEWS FLASH - Your problems are raw, fresh, bloody meat to your drooling ego.
You may be thinking, does the ego do anything good for us and if not, why haven't we disconnected from it already?
As the ego is structured by identifying with the world around you, it creates a sense of self and one way in which you feed your ego and keep it running on high energy is by getting sucked into the belief that losing your problems means loss of self. We become entangled in the web of lies that our ego tells us, 'it's your fault' 'you can't do it' so we either accept it and let it bury us in negativity or we fight it, going back and forth to never really get the result that will actually bring us peace.
In day 2, read more on how to recognise when your ego is in full swing and the behaviours we use on autopilot, that we may assume are just 'the way of life'