People often ask me, “Why do we have ego?”
Well without it, you wouldn’t be able to know that there’s another part of you. Something grander. More brave. More joyous.
The soulful part of you. Spirit. Infinite Intelligence. The Creative Matrix. Potential.
Living in a world of duality, you can’t know something without having the experience of its opposite.
We know joy because we’ve experienced sorrow. We know what compassion is because we’ve been indifferent. We know what generosity is because we’ve experienced greed. And so on.
So to have ego creates the possibility to know the bigger part of you.
But ego tries to keep us in the dark, hiding from our Light. And its incompatible with creativity.
The journey of our lives in general – and of our artistic expression specifically – is to try to dismantle the ego so we live more and more in potential. But that’s difficult because the ego’s job is self-preservation. And its been preserving you for a very long time.
When we work on things creatively that bring up our vulnerability – which is (ironically) our natural state – the ego will kick in to preserve the self – our identity. When we hear criticism in this state of vulnerability – it’s not what we hear now that causes the ego to rear its ugly head. It’s that you actually hear it incorrectly from your 8-year old wounded self who was made to feel unsafe or unprotected or exposed. Your ego protected you at that time (perhaps legitimately), but instead of hearing the criticism from a neutral place of now, the ego misperceives and distorts how you receive it, confusing it as an attack. Just like when you were in the 3rd grade. Ego goes into full-on preservation mode. And it shuts out possibility.
But like anything, awareness is the first step to change.
This week, if you’re in any of the 8 “S’s” you’re in a state governed by the ego –
Stuck — Shut down – Shut Out – Saboteur – Safe – Separate – Small – Self Centered.
They are just states of self-preservation. Become aware of them, breathe, and let them go. Your 8-year old self can thank them. But they don’t serve you anymore.
“Are you placing enough interesting, freakish, long shot, weirdo bets?” ~ Tom Peters