Selfish? Self centered? Narrow minded? It’s my party or it’s not? It’s about you but really about me? Why should I change to please someone else? Is it possible I’m misunderstanding or just misunderstood? Why doesn’t anyone care about what I want? How could everyone be so mean?
Yes, ego is in full swing above. This really leaves no one out because ego is not selective. Everyone has some. It’s just that some who are super insecure go overboard. Were they raised that way? Insecurity happens for many reasons, and possibly no reason at all.
Consider the drop dead beauty who thinks she’s ugly. The genius that doesn’t think he’s smart. The 6 ft. tall girl who thinks she’s too tall and slouches to be shorter. The “nerd” afraid to show what he really knows. Each one with a huge mental block to the truth.
The opposite side of that spectrum is the super jock who thinks the world revolves around him. How about spoiled rich girl who thinks it’s all about money. Or “know it all” who is obnoxious. There’s the “Drama Queen” who lives to create disturbance and unrest to draw attention to herself for fear she’s really unimportant. More instances of those who try to hide behind a shield to mask their fear of not measuring up.
You know them and so do I. What do you do? Ego is in charge and the illusion of being something they are not overpowers logic, reason and being in the moment. It’s worse especially, if they happen to be family or close friends? Ahh, now this gets down to where the rubber meets the road. The attitudes, and all the other issues create real challenges, many times resulting in estrangements that can last years. In some cases lifetimes, and all over illusions that being right makes one superior over another.
That’s the thing about ego, and the illusion it can create that if you can make someone else appear inferior in your mind, then it elevates you to a higher level. The problem is it’s only in your mind, and since it is an illusion that means it’s not even real. Yet lives have been changed for the worse because of this living in some sort of fantasiacal world that doesn’t exist.
There are those who choose to live in that world rather than in the here and now. The drama is created in each of these lives based on illusions and fantasy, rather than enjoy real life in the real world. Those who number in this category are in the majority as most spend far more time living in the past than present.
Is there a chance they know who they are? In order for that to happen a dose of reality would have to break through the illusion. Then another dose to expose the ego. When one can actually face the fact of an ego, a huge battle has been won, but it’s just the beginning. Once that ego is exposed the lie of it’s power will fight to maintain control.
Being in the present moment is like recovery from an addiction. It’s minute by minute, day by day. Rather than one day at a time it’s one moment at a time. As with most addicts, the large majority will deny there is any issue with ego. Those who do discover they are wrapped up in it, will do what many do. Discover it’s easy to change, just easier not to, and continue living in another world.
I can attest to all of this, having been one of those caught up in that illusion for many years. Breaking free is the same as any addiction, in that it is a daily action to remain in the moment and not slip back to the past.
Have I mended all those holes created from the past? What is past is dead, and only now has the chance to be changed. There is still residue that remains in the present, like something in my eye that obscures my vision I can’t quite seem to get out. Being able to see, just not as well as I could. I’m still a work in progress, of which there is acute awareness.
So is it about me or was it ever is a fair question. The honest answer is it’s about life and learning how to live it. There seems to be far more time spent as student than teacher. Knowing who, what, and whose I am. Being. In the end, that is the best thing, rather than just existing. There is a purpose for me, and a large part of that is being accomplished writing. So I write, as it helps to keep me in the now.
There are those who have no problem in dishing out the drama, but don’t have the courage to even consider that they have an ego, or that it is their worst enemy. Many have a hard time distinguishing between ego and pride.
Ego is that mindset, the feeling of being superior to others. It starts in the mind, very likely as a protection mode, but has no touch with reality. An example again may be a person who grew up with very basic necessities and was made to feel shame at some point. It may have even been in adult life due to circumstances surrounding being fired from a job, a divorce, an experience that was a jolt to their person.
Such an experience creates real fear when finances or a sense of security are threatened. Some might make a decision that they are never going to let this happen again, and take steps to build a life that is the opposite of what was.
Perhaps they do this by beginning to associate with those who are financially better off. Then there is the imitation of a lifestyle using brand names, expensive perfumes, clothes, restaurants, and affectations such as only drinking gourmet whatever, going to the best concerts or musicals.
Of course none of this matters if everyone within hearing doesn’t know, so all effort is made to make certain names are dropped, brands and labels shown, restaurants named and who with. This is defined as arrogance. Ego can never say “sorry.”
Pride quite simply is the satisfaction of a job well done. It is the encouraging and motivation factor to seek to do better, never accepting mediocre. The accomplishment is shared, and in humility, never puffing up ones self at the expense of another.
It is all too common that the person who actually is well off financially, never has to resort to such behavior. The one who has the “connections,” usually doesn’t divulge them. It is very likely they are not insecure and have no need. However, it can clearly be seen that wealth is no insulator to insecurity. J. Paul Getty had it all, yet his suicide clearly showed he was not secure with it.
It may be the worst sort of addiction, as it requires somewhat the same efforts to deal with it. The ego requires feeding, and is never satisfied, exactly like a drug or any addiction. Once the ego is exposed there is hope, but that individual must come to the point that they are out of options for satisfaction.
A great book on the subject is A New Earth by Eckhardt Tolle. It’s a great read, and one that has been worth re-reading 5 times. Am I egoless? Probably not, but it doesn’t get fed so is probably starving!