I have an ego the size of Texas. At times. Growing up, watching the adults around me, I told myself it was better to be the one in control than the one being controlled. I also, naturally, have a very strong will. Put those together, and that is a classic cocktail for creating a monster of an ego.
Thankfully I also have some humility too. And grace. So those times when I feel attacked, not heard or validated and the volcano within threatens to overflow or, god forbid, blows up, I can just as easily be quieted with an olive branch presented with good intention. What started as a raging inferno can quickly turn into a cool flow of sweet chocolate (and for those who know me best, it ALL comes down to chocolate).
I used to use the term “mastering the ego” and yet, that itself felt too controlling. So instead, I prefer saying I focus on merging the Soul with my personality. How is this done?
Well for starters, accepting whatever it is that’s upsetting. What I resist, I feed. I have that written on a piece where it hangs on one of my kitchen cabinets. I refer to it when that pit in my tummy gets warm and my jaw, tense. So not only do I accept what’s upsetting me, I accept how I feel about it.
Secondly, I ask myself what it is I want or need. Behind our pain and anger is often an unmet need. It could be I’m not feeling heard or perhaps a boundary is being violated. If the ego doesn’t allow me to do this, then I tune into my body. Goodness knows the chatter of my ego can be quite loud and run on light speed. Tuning into my body, I find the part(s) that are tense and place my hand on it and pat the area, much like I would a child who is upset.
Staying present is important too. Stay in the now. Our pains carry stories with them and when we get lost in them, we become lost to finding our Peace again.
These are just a few of the things I do. I could write up some neatly bulleted list of things to do like so many websites promote, but to be honest, such lists annoy me. Life and emotions and the complexities of being human cannot be wrapped up neatly in 5 must-follow steps or 7 or 10.
Sometimes it is the simple things that work when my ego is demanding to be heard. Seen. Listened to. Seen as right.
Sometimes having an ice cream cone works.
Sometimes journaling or going for a walk is all that I need.
Sometimes I just need to ask for or give a hug.
Other times, 5 minutes wailin’ on my punching bag does the trick.
The key, I believe, is not to ignore it. Find some way to be in tune with that ego. Give it a voice. Give it your attention. Your love.
And the more you do that, the quieter it will become and you will have moments, more and more of them, where you ask “ego ego wherefore art thou?”
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