The ego is a loaded topic, though I’ve decided to spare us all the deep dive into its Freudian roots. In its simplest, most basic explanation, the ego is the idea of who we are.
Often ego is recognized by its exaggeration like “He’s got a big ego” or “All that praise will go straight to her head.” It tends to coincide with narcissistic personalities or people who are highly self-involved and vanity-focused. Maybe you can think of particular people or certain characters in movies or television who have big egos.
It’s not only the seemingly high opinion of the self that builds the ego, but more so the reliance on the construction of self. People with low self-esteem can have big egos, only their construction of self has more negative tones. Some say the persona that we show the world and our attachment to that persona is derived no differently than the people who orchestrate the movements of Elmo, Kermit, or our friends under Fraggle Rock. In other words, the ego is the puppeteer of our sense of existence.
Becoming aware of your own ego: In other posts like authenticity, self expression, and dreams there is emphasis on understanding the components that make you, you. The trick is to not get too attached to the constructed you. Getting attached stifles your ever-changing self and embeds you in a single perspective of reality. Since our thoughts essentially create our reality and our sense of self, the inner voice of our intimate, personal life experience is easy to identify with. I suggest loosely here that thoughts are part of the ego. Are we our egos? When stripped of our egoic ideas, what’s left?
Potential signs your ego is big: You value your body and its abilities most highly. Your thoughts and logic rule your world with little credibility given to your intuition and sensations. You see yourself as separate and classified differently from nature, other animals, or other humans. Your viewpoints and opinions have not changed in over a year. Your mind keeps you from exceeding your expectations and trying new things. You consider your opinions personality traits.
Managing and shrinking the ego: Meditative exercises are a primary way to “eradicate” the ego. It’s new territory for most people to be suspended in the abyss. Some people choose to temporarily dissolve their egos by way of psychedelic substance intake, immersing themselves in creative pursuits, challenging themselves on a healing journey, or sometimes experiences happen spontaneously. These sorts of experiences develop the understanding of the ego as a barrier or what tethers a person to their own restrictions. The ego gets in the way, but it needn’t be discarded completely. Transcending the ego is a way to foster growth and development in your life. Ego is not an enemy unless it becomes your center.
What might happen if we relied less on our egos? How would it change the way we function, behave, interact, and feel?
Cut your puppet strings to see beyond the constructs you create. If you like this page, please share it!
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