We must go beyond the constant clamor of ego, beyond the tools of logic and reason, to the still, calm place within us: the realm of the soul. ~Deepak Chopra
Imagine it is a beautiful day. The sky is blue and the sun is shining bright. There is a light breeze that just feels like a gentle hug. You are walking down your favorite street. Everything you see is just beautiful.
As you walk, your sense of peace increases. You then turn the corner and all of a sudden dark clouds appear out of nowhere. The sky turns dark. The gentle breeze is replaced with powerful winds. Pretty soon, you are pushing yourself against the wind. You think you are moving forward but actually you are stuck.
This darkness that appeared is not the weather. It is what happens when you stray from your innate nature — bliss — and succumb to the power of the ego.
Have you noticed that some people have sparkles in their eyes, shining with joy, while others seem to be traveling with a storm cloud over their head, consumed by problems? Those who exude joy don’t have fewer life challenges, they’ve just figured out ways to better handle their egoic mind.
The ego does not want you to be happy, although it gives you the appearance that it is doing everything to bring you joy. The ego is a brilliant con artist. It knows you so well, it will use whatever tools it can to make you succumb to what it wants you to believe.
The ego will use logic, confidence and even sweet talk to make you do its bidding. If the ego were a real life person, it would be on the FBI’s most wanted list because it knows how to use people to do horrible things.
A Spark of the Divine
Eckhart Tolle teaches that we are not our story and we are not our ego. We are so much more than that. Every single one of us is far more powerful than we know.
Deep within all of us is a spark of the Divine. The Universe is within us, but we choose to play life small and would rather give power to a con artist than to a force that makes the sun shine every single day and which, like clockwork, makes the flowers bloom.
We have more faith in a GPS than we do in our inner wisdom. We trust a machine to lead us in the right direction, but we lack faith in ourselves to make decisions that will lead us to our birthright — that we are innately designed to be expressions of love and bliss.
Nirvana is not some mystical location. It is what life is supposed to be when you are in alignment with your truth and not under the seductive powers of the ego.
So how does one master the ego? I am going to share with you what I have learned on my journey so far about the ego and how to live in harmony despite it.
1. The Ego Will Never Die
The ego, being the smooth operator that it is, wants you to think that you can get rid of it. I fell for this one and spent a lot of time trying to get rid of it only to have my ego become more empowered.
I tried so hard to just make it shut up. It would last for maybe a day, and then the next morning, my ego would be back to its old tricks, but with far more intensity. It used to really make me mad, which was my ego talking too.
What I came to see over time is that the ego will never die. It will always be sure to get your attention in very subtle and discreet ways. It will talk to you in a loving tone but really be stabbing you in the back.
It will tell you to eat the extra piece of cake because it will make you think that the cake is your friend. It will make you insult someone you care about because it convinces you that being right is important.
2. Treat the Ego As If It Were Another Person
With time, I came to see that the best way to live with my ego was to view and treat it as if it were a person.
So I imagined what it looked like. I sat down and visualized the personality of my ego. I came up with a four-year-old little boy — a brat who loves to whine.
I realize this may sound funny, but trust me, it works. Whenever my ego raises its voice, I see the brat and I listen to him. I let him speak his peace and see if anything he says holds any wisdom. When he is done talking, I thank him for sharing and he then walks away.
This one step has brought about so much peace. Yes, there are times when he refuses to go away, but then I realize that is because I am eagerly agreeing with everything he is telling me even though I know he is just talking junk.
There also have been times when my ego has actually had something helpful to say, but I have to admit, it is rare. In my observations, the ego is more invested in making you unhappy. As a result, I have learned to decipher the messages. You will too if you just keep at it.
3. Reality vs. Illusion
The ego thrives on illusion. It wants you to buy into the illusion also. The reality is that life is not really that hard.
Life is a huge gift and we each have numerous blessings which we take for granted.
For example, the mere fact that you have access to the Internet to read this article is a miracle. Twenty years ago, there was no such thing as a blog or email. If you wanted to write someone, you actually had to mail a letter and sometimes it would take weeks until you received a reply.
We each have things in our lives for which we can be grateful for. The ego wants you to focus on what you lack, but the reality is that you lack nothing. Yes, we all would like to have more good things but at any given moment, we have what we need.
The more you see the reality of your existence, the illusion that the ego thrives on will diminish.
4. It’s All About Love, Baby!
The ego lives off of fear. Fear is powerful. Fear thrives on fear. However, life is all about love.
Every single day, you and I are constantly surrounded by love. Sometimes we see it, and most of the time, we don’t.
You are a creature made from love. Your mission in life is to spread love. The ego does not want you to remember this because if you did, you would no longer be under its influence.
Love conquers all. Love heals. Love brings smiles. Love is just too fantastic for words.
When you look in the mirror, don’t focus on what you don’t like. Focus on what you love about yourself. We are all beautiful in our own way.
You are far more powerful, intelligent and loving than your ego. Nothing in life is impossible to master. You can do anything you set your mind to. When it comes to your ego, just calmly tell it: “You are not the boss of me!” The ego, like a bully, will walk away powerless and cowardly.