Today I have a great guest post to share with you all! All about Ego!
Trishna Patnaik has a BSc (in Life Sciences) and MBA (in Marketing) by qualification but is an artist by choice. A self-taught artist based in Mumbai, Trishna has been practising art for over 14 years. After she had a professional stint in various reputed corporates, she realised that she wanted to do something more meaningful. She found her true calling in her passion which is painting. Trishna is now a full-time professional painter pursuing her passion to create and explore to the fullest. She says, “It’s a road less travelled but a journey that I look forward to every day.” Trishna also conducts painting workshops across Mumbai and other metropolitan cities in India.
Trishna is an art therapist and healer. She works with clients on a one-on-one basis in Mumbai.
Trishna fancies the art of creative writing and is dappling her hands in that too, to soak in the experience and an engagement with readers, wanderers and thinkers.
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I have no time to battle my ego and small minds
When we think of healing, we imagine directing loving attention towards a relationship. Maybe an old relationship that lost its way! Maybe our relationship with our bodies! Maybe a family member who hurt us! We can be quite generous when it comes to our healing efforts. And yet, there’s one relationship that we typically avoid healing with fervour like no other—our relationship towards our egos!
We have long considered the ego to be the enemy within. In many religious plus spiritual traditions, the ego is considered to be part of us that is false, small, and separate from others! It is seen as something to be wary of and transcended. The expression “ego death” roughly refers to the idea that the ego needs to be surrendered. So that a true self can eventually emerge.
For some spiritual seekers, “ego death” is seen as necessary for “awakening” to a true self and is a goal unto itself. While being more identified with a true self. What we can call a Higher Self is healthy and possible along any personal growth path, the ever-increasing desire to eradicate the ego in modern spirituality presents some challenges for emotional health.
The happiness of your life depends on the quality of your thoughts.
Dropping the Rope
The truth is that as you increase your ability to embody your Higher Self, you naturally become less identified with the ego. You feel more centred and peaceful, but not because you tried to bully your ego out of existence. You transcend your ego identification by looking at it, understanding it, and loving it. In other words, a healthy relationship with your ego is one in which you don’t have an aggressive agenda.
If you are wary of approaching your ego in a compassionate way, consider that not doing so might actually present a greater risk. An unhealed relationship towards our egos means that we are in an eternal state of internal conflict—a tug-of-war between our highest Self and the parts of us that are trying to protect us. The less inclined we are to drop the rope, the more strain we feel from the perpetual tugging.
Once we heal our relationship towards it, the ego can be less extreme in its efforts and allow the Self to take the lead. Until then, any hidden or not-so-hidden eradication agenda we hold on will compromise our ability to access the Self. As long as we continue to berate the ego, we remain at its mercy.
I stopped explaining myself when I realised people only understand from their level of perception
For sustainable inner peace, we need to be in a more inclusive understanding of self-compassion. Instead of getting caught up in promoting compassion whilst pathologizing the ego. We need to turn compassion inward to the parts of ourselves that we have been trying to eradicate!
Once we stop trying to kill off our egos, we realize that there are acres of unexplored emotions and wounds that are waiting for our compassion. The unintended toxic message that modern spirituality can perpetuate is that an aggressive stance toward the ego is indeed an act of self-compassion. If you are directing fear, hatred, or disgust towards your ego, internal peace will always be fleeting.
Your ego makes you human. The fallacy of the loving spiritual person who rejects his or her humanity needs to be carefully considered in modern spirituality. Beneath the surface of a carefully crafted spiritual façade—which is actually just another part of the ego rather than the Self—lies shame about having feelings that are deemed unacceptable. This is the very essence of spiritual bypassing.
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Spiritually bypassing emotions means that you don’t have an opportunity to learn how to approach feelings in a skilled, respectful, and resilient way! The reward of a healthy relationship with your ego is that you bring all of your feelings out of the darkness in order to be healed. No feeling is deemed unworthy of your care once you understand the ego!
Unfortunately, healing your relationship with your ego is an often unexplored path to a more integrated and compassionate relationship with yourself. And yet, its power is undeniable once it is experienced. Whether or not you try parts work with a therapist. The important thing is to be open to looking at your attitude toward your very ego.
Does your relationship with the less desirable aspects of yourself bring you peace? How well do you really know these different parts? How far will you allow your healing to go?
If your self-compassion does not include your ego, it is incomplete!
Age is no guarantee of maturity
“All you need is love” may be an overstatement, but it holds onto a universal truth. Love is the key to overcoming self-limiting ego beliefs. If you find that your relationships are faltering, try starting with your relationship to self; not ego, but your very true self. The undying, eternal essence of your being!
The idea here isn’t to remove the ego (it’s an inherent part of you, like it or not). Simply strive to understand it, and explore it with childlike curiosity. And transcend the aspects of it that limit your growth and hinder your relationships.
Our egos can be a formidable obstacle in relationships with friends, family, or romantic partners. Many conflicts are caused by unwillingness to see a situation from the other’s perspective. Identifying with our ego creates an isolated stance of self-preservation and survival. Decisions and interactions are clouded with fear.
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Generally, egoic reactions are considered self-aggrandising or arrogant, but low self-esteem, also known as an “inverted ego” can be equally damaging. If we fail to love ourselves, we can become dependent, and needy, and struggle to authentically express how we feel, seek validation, or even feel burdensome. All of these states, from arrogance to a lack of confidence, prevent us from forming deep and meaningful connections with others.
If you are to utilize guidance to find a soulmate, the first thing you need to do is learn to tell the difference between the voice of your inner teacher and that of your ego. This is not difficult, since your guide and your ego adopt entirely different thought systems.
Cultures throughout the world seem to resonate with the idea that there is a high-minded influence within us that argues in favour of love, humility, and forgiveness and that it is opposed by another that urges us to be egotistical, selfish, and judgmental.
If your self-compassion does not include your ego, it is incomplete.
Psychologist Carl Jung said, “The first half of life is devoted to forming a healthy ego, the second half is going inward and letting go of it.” The level of consciousness within a person can be measured by the power of their ego and how blinding it is to them of reality and the behaviour they are exhibiting towards those around them. The ego believes itself to be flawless and creates a version of the truth that satisfies this belief in itself. While this vision of you can be used for improvement and even personal performance as in the case of visualization, without humility it can also act as a crutch, pinning someone to a false belief of their reality.
The path to healing a relationship begins in the path to healing the self. As discussed earlier, a separation has to be created between your being and the form you are identifying with! This can be created through meditation and creating an awareness of self in the present because the present is devoid of fear and ego altogether. Both your ego and fear create behaviour that is not true to self and these behaviours will simply continue to swirl and react to the present because they are living only within your own mind as well as manifesting themselves in relationships.
When Are You Ready?
You truly must find and love yourself before you are ready to love another. Only by being whole and present with yourself do you have the capacity to show that same grace to another soul. When you are whole in ‘self’ then you will have the strength and humility to move past your fears and dampen your ego to allow love to abide.
I think for any relationship whether it’s romantic, solely sexual, or plutonic, it’s important to always dedicate time to inner healing and self-awareness. Without learning to take care of yourself, you can’t learn or be there for other people. This also requires admitting some hard truths that might “hurt your ego”
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I used to do a lot more spiritual work than I do now so I met the ideas around the ego quite a bit. I think all relationships need work and healing on your own part!
This is such an enlightening post. Thank you for sharing this helpful post.
I agreed! Self-compassion is the key to heal our ego. Thank you for sharing.
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