Listening to Your Ego is Keeping You Unhappy
Your ego is the part of you that believes you're separate, according to A Course in Miracles. It is rooted in fear, as the only means of maintaining this reality, this illusion, is through the ego. The ego is the voice that tells us that we are not all part of the same consciousness, that God is outside of us, and that we are a body. In a deafening whisper, the ego says that we are limited, mortal, guilty, and not good enough. The ego tells us: I am THIS, and because I fit so neatly into this box, that must mean that you are OTHER. Much like a small child, it screams: I am right, and you are wrong.
The ego is your identity. It's your name, your profession, your story; it's who you believe your lover is; it's who you believe you are. It's your house; it's the thoughts that tell you to possess, or earn, or you'll be happy when... it categorizes, classifies, and creates boundaries. It puts things in boxes. It ascribes definitions. I am a woman with long hair. I am a teacher. I have tattoos. I am American.
As a student of A Course in Miracles, I've learned to catch my ego. Just today, I was wrapped up in a string of fearful thoughts. Even now, as I write this, I have thoughts of loss playing over and over again in my mind. So what do I do? How do I interact with these thoughts? Well, I could choose to believe them, like most people do, like I have in the past, but that leads to a life of discontentment. I've been down the road of listening to my ego and following its direction, and I bet you have, too. Joy cannot be found at the end of that path.
Instead, I choose to surrender that which I'm using to give myself the most fear. If it's a person, I'll surrender my relationship with him or her up to the holy spirit, and I'll give them away freely (energetically, that is). Obviously, you can't give someone away physically. I'll do the same thing if it's a situation, a job, or a repetitive thought or belief that is causing me fear or emotional pain.
Here's the prayer: I release you, and in doing so, I release myself. I am willing to see things differently.
Pray. Rinse and repeat.
Unhappiness stems from our THOUGHTS: thoughts that we are not enough, thoughts that we NEED someone else or something else to make us happy, thoughts that THIS MOMENT is flawed in some way. Once you create just the tiniest sliver of space from your thoughts, just enough for you to observe them, you can allow them to come and go.
I am not tethered to my thoughts. I am not tethered to my fears. I am free. Here is how I define spiritual practice: any act that creates enough space in one's consciousness to discern between the ego and the heart/soul and to proactively choose to examine one's thoughts in order to release one from the bondage of emotions.
I choose to treat my ego like a small child throwing a tantrum. I do not indulge it in its fiery whims. Lovingly, I tell it that all is well, that there is no need to fear, and I give it a hug and some ice cream.
I release you, and I release myself. I love you, and I love myself. I free you, and I free myself.
Communing with spirit is the act of unlearning, unraveling, un-tethering... Until all that is left is God. Until all that is left is truth. Until all that is left is love.