The ego vs. the Self
Let’s discern between the ego and the Self. What’s the difference and why is it important to make this distinction?
I consider the ego to be the part of me that has worked so hard all of my life to create my identity. It’s the product of my mind’s judgments and labels and interpretations about my life, the people in it, the experiences I’ve had and the way I think things work in life and in the world. It’s an accumulation of my thoughts, feelings and perceptions.
on the other hand is the part of me that observes all of my experiences. My Self is the one who witnesses my thoughts, feelings and experiences, but knows that I am not
these things. My Self is the one who feels connected to life, to others, and has the capacity to feel peace, joy, love and stillness beyond measure.
What is Self-Love?
The idea of loving myself used to be a foreign concept. I always wondered how I could actually go about loving myself, what it would feel like and how I would know if I was doing it right. I was always somewhat frustrated and confused by sayings like “You must love yourself before you can truly love anyone else”. What does that mean?!?? It made sense in concept, but it never really landed with me as truth simply because I had never felt what it was like to experience true self-love. Sure, there were things that I loved about myself, but it didn’t mean I had mastered self-love.
I wondered how I could love my Self when there seemed to be so many different identities that I embodied. I had so many different sets of strengths, qualities and fears that would create different images of who I was, and play different roles in different situations. I had the mom role, the girlfriend role, the friend role, the professional role, etc, – all created by my ego to define who I was and how I was supposed to behave in any given situation.
So with all of these different images for different situations, you can see how difficult it can seem to achieve self-love. Who exactly is it that you’re loving anyway? Which one of these images is the true you?
This confusion led me to question and explore the difference between my ego and my Self and dig down deep inside until I found who I truly am.
Til death do us part
When you begin to realize that who you truly are is not any of the images and roles that your ego has created, your ego is NOT happy about it. It immediately puts up resistance and will do anything to trick you into thinking that it is
who you are. It needs to be needed. It will bring up an enormous amount of fear in you of the uncertainty that lies ahead if you go on without it. It can be downright convincing that the two of you are inseparable. But the truth is it just doesn’t want to die, it doesn’t want to face the fact that you can life a live of true happiness and perfection without it.
In letting your ego go is liberation and freedom from fear and suffering
. It’s the freedom to live life with openness and unconditional love. The ego hates this. It wants you to think that it knows everything and that you need it to tell you how you should feel and what you should think about yourself, people and life in general.
The only way to find that freedom from the control of the ego is to break-up with it and let it die. Stop listening to what it says. Like a voice in your head that won’t shut up, you have to ignore it. At first the more you ignore it, the louder it will talk, but eventually the voices will quiet down and you will just be left with you – your true Self.
A bitter-sweet goodbye
It can be a little (or a lot!) disorienting to break-up with your ego. The way you used to react to people and things no longer exists. You have the freedom to choose new responses that feel true in your heart. You see things much more clearly, from a perspective of truth rather than a perspective of past experience and conditioning. Admittedly it can feel a little (or a lot) scary, because you no longer have the voice telling you what you know, how to feel and what to do. Life becomes uncertain, but with that uncertainty you have the freedom to go with the flow, to be right there, completely present with life as it unfolds. And there’s no need to be any other way than present, at peace and happy with whatever life flows in your direction.
Letting your ego go doesn’t have to be a difficult experience. It can be a beautiful one, just like any break-up when you just recognize that the time has come that you are no longer benefiting one another.
Decide that today is the day when all of your images and roles become one, all of the parts of you that you thought were separate or that thought they knew anything about life become synchronized with your heart and your spirit. Make the commitment to know who you are underneath the layers of thoughts and feelings and experiences and decide for your Self that you want to be unconditionally happy.
There’s no better time than now!
With warmth, kindness and gratitude,
P.s. For deeper support with embracing your true Self, please contact me. firstname.lastname@example.org
Jenna Chandler is a NVC Practitioner in San Rafael, Ca offering the skills to master your communication, your relationships and your life. Through private sessions, group coaching, workshops and customized communication trainings for individuals, couples, families and businesses, Jenna gently guides you to replacing ineffective patterns of communication with masterful patterns of communication that create the types of relationships that you dream of having – relationships filled with love, kindness, honesty and respect, etc. Jenna holds the belief that effective communication is a critical component to every successful and satisfying relationship and when used skillfully, becomes both a process of discovering what is important and alive inside of us, and
as a tool to create our lives and relationships in harmony with what we value.
1930 4th St #1
San Rafael, Ca 94901