The ego can be quite an unreasonable perfectionist.
Recently, I met with my ego. This side of myself is familiar enough that it didn’t feel like a meeting, but it was the first extended meeting on paper in a long time.
I have been wrestling since this encounter to put into words just what the ego is all about and what you can do about it, but nothing seemed right. However, I will share the few thoughts I do have about this side of one’s self, and you can decide if it’s valuable or not.
It can be all too easy to make the mistake that, just because something is inside of you, you can do whatever you want to it. “It’s just a feeling, I can push past it” we might think. “I shouldn’t be afraid, I’m not a coward.” “I’m going to stick to my plan, no matter what!”
…”My feelings aren’t right”, we think, all too easily.
Why Not Accepting Yourself is a Problem
When you step all over yourself no matter how you feel, you might end up achieving a lot. You might make a lot of money. You might win a world record in pie eating. You might also end up with a stomach ache.
Sometimes, the judgement of the mind can go a little too far.
Your feelings have their own reason for being– sometimes your mind doesn’t have it all figured out. You may think you have it all figured out, but just remember, the same voice that says “This doesn’t feel right” can also say “I’m unhappy”. And the less you listen to it, the less happy you’ll be.
Nevermind the brainwashing you can do to yourself. If you’re a logical kind of person, you can end up thinking your way into doing whatever your logical side wants to do all the time. But maybe it doesn’t feel right. If you just stick with logic, you’ll get disconnected from life. You’ll trick yourself into thinking it’s right to live exactly as you are. But slowly the feeling of really being alive and free will trickle out of you. Maybe it already has.
Had another self-conversation. This time I found that there’s a part of me who is distressed and looking for guidance, and opts to listen to others (or myself) who, authoritatively, tell him what he “should” do. I challenged this, asking “well, what if you DON’T?” – obviously, he would be punished by my inner authority figure, or others. I told him that I thought that this kind of treatment was unfair, that instead of giving authority to some demanding voice within, I believed that everything inside me, every single force, was a living being, who did not deserve abuse or mistreatment.
Therefore, if challenge your “shoulds”, and that voice inside you that tells you what to do, you’ll be more free. The alternative? When you want to do something, do it – examining things rationally. Listen to yourself, stand outside your inner judgments and conflicts. If you fail to do something you wanted to do, question the whole thing if you start beating yourself up afterwards. The inner person telling you what you should and should not do needs to be questioned, or else the parts of you whose voices long to be heard, and who are constantly attacked for wanting things that aren’t deemed “correct” or “right”, will continue to be abused, and you’ll suffer for it. And that will be 🙁