Written by Deborah Kantor
This is something I’ve struggled with my whole life- where does my true-self begin and where does my ego end? The two run side by side, one is sometimes faster than the other but the two seem to always be in some kind of a race with each other.
My ego was at the front line for many years; then when I was about 24 things changed. I suddenly felt sad and out of control, unsatisfied with my life and restless, I looked around me and didn’t like the life I was leading, it wasn’t me- so I decided to leave it behind. I quit my job, broke up with my boyfriend of 7 years and left the country, starting with South America and ending in New Zealand. I came home after about 4 years of traveling and adventure. I was so busy having fun that only noticed once I’d been home for two months how I had completely changed.; but even though I had this huge transformation within me, my ego was still there running the show and I began to ask the question, “when will my ego finally shut-up and let me be me, and what the hell does it take for this to happen?!”
I was searching for something, I was searching for the real me, I didn’t know who I was. All I knew was where I grew up, who my family and friends were and what they thought of me, and I realized they didn’t know me and that I didn’t know myself.
“I felt more alive on my own than I had
my whole life surrounded by people”.
When I left to South America I didn’t know what to expect, I was so used to a protected, sheltered and safe life and wasn’t sure how I’d survive on my own. But once I was out into the big scary world I realized- yes it was scary but I was thriving more this way and I felt more alive on my own than I had my whole life surrounded by people. I thought that traveling would be the answer that it would fix me and I could finally relax and be my real self; but it was only the start.
After a while, the layers of my life peeled away. The more time alone I spent- the more bullshit I began to recognize, lies that I would say to myself, fears and thoughts that I would block out, all these ways that were stopping me from growing were everywhere and it was only until they became loud enough that I was forced to finally remove them once I started to have breakdowns. When I survived these, they was followed by a silent awareness and self study that I began to do. I had to start participating in my life by studying it quietly, seeing what came up in my body physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually and being present with it, allowing it to come up and allowing it to go.
“How to get rid of ego as dictator and turn it into messenger and servant and scout, to be in your service, is the trick.” – Joseph Campbell
Your ego will always second guess you, always tell you that you are not worthy enough, and it will get you to compare yourself to others and need to be recognized. If it doesn’t get any of this it rolls on the floor holding itself sobbing. It will hold onto grudges, jealousy, even pain, it won’t allow you to forgive, it will only show you people’s bad traits and remind you of your own.
Your true-self will stand up straight and know that you are enough. It knows that it’s soul is apart of something greater and that its connected to everyone and everything. Everyone has a gift and your true-self will see it in others and want to help those that can’t see it in themselves yet. It appreciates the small moments, the present moment. It is aware, it is mindful and open. It knows it is not perfect, it knows that each obstacle that comes up is a lesson and a way for it to purify itself further.
We are born with this knowledge but in life we forget and then have to relearn it. When it feels right it’s because it is right because we remember it, our DNA recognizes truth and sends the bullshit away. After you’ve been beaten up by your own ego and you have fallen and then pick yourself up, that’s when a true transformation is clear to you.
My ego is definitely still present and it always will be, it will never go away and I don’t want it to either, something needs to remind me who human I am and I need to be able recognize that trait in someone else as well. It is a truly humbling experience to recognize a weaknesses of yours in others and can allow you to help that person and learn a lesson for yourself too.
Only difference this time is that every time I will do something now, I will ask myself am I doing that out of ego or out of respect for myself.