When I hear, “Lose the ego,” I can’t help but think it’s like pulling a rabbit out of a hat — unless, of course, you have a magic wand and a very special bag of tricks. However, I have neither.
In this sense the ego is the foe. An unwanted force that surfaces as criticism, wayward desire, ever-expanding expectations, hostility and intolerance towards ourselves and others, jealousy, pride, resentment — none of which are fuzzy feelings.
Combine these, less than pleasant emotional sensations with the fact that they’ve been deemed our foe, and we have the perfect conditions for an internal cyclone to form. And that twister spins us into a reaction, instead of a response.
We react because we’ve been taught that unpleasant feelings are toxic and don’t serve us; that what we’re “supposed” to do is: “pay no attention to them… laugh at them… forget them… and stop comparing ourselves to others.”
I’ve tried those tricks…I’ve yet to see a rabbit.
Whenever I brush the ego off, the foe feelings subside for a bit… but always reappear; and when they do, they’re even stronger.
Paying no attention to unpleasant feelings nurtures them — this is when they become toxic and wreak havoc.
I’ve learned the ego is not our foe, it’s our friend. The best kind of friend too — a profound teacher who isn’t afraid to shine the spotlight on what we need to focus on right now, in order to expand into the people we are meant to be.
Once I became aware of this, I began to take a different stance to those feelings. I shifted my perspective from foe to friend, and because of this new relationship based on acceptance, I’ve stretched my capabilities in ways which at one point in time seemed as impossible as pulling a rabbit out of a hat.
Rejecting the ego means we are rejecting a part of ourselves.
When you tune in and fully accept every single feeling and thought that comes up — rabbits appear.
Originally published at medium.com