Monday, December 3, 2012

Ego Managemnt

The ego is the executive function of our minds, navigating between our infantile cravings (id) and our (often guilty) conscience, derived from parents and society (superego). These three functions are unconscious; we don’t know where they are or what they’re doing.

Rarely are we  content with our lives, so we end up being anxious, depressed, empty, exhausted, lonely, struggling in our relationships.  Eventually we have to take a deliberate and mindful journey to recognize and learn to work with our inner lives.

It is difficult  to get and stay conscious. We may try meditation; but we quit. We go to yoga and may wind up just working-out.  Inconsistency is the ego’s way of avoiding change. why? because change is a journey into the unknown. …and what is anxiety if not fear of the unknown.

Ego Management

Ego management is like trying to catch a fish in a river with your bare hands while blindfolded. Our ego uses defenses like denial, projection  food, drugs, alcohol, shopping, gambling, unhealthy relationships.

If I could give you three steps for ego management they might go like this:  First, we must realize that the ego, well-intentioned as it may be, has created problems that are worse than our real problems.  While we are busy being defended, our feelings are still there and unresolved. Our solutions to pain only worsen the pain. we aim for change but “it doesn’t work.”

The second step is to seek within ourselves for something greater than the ego, something “trans-personal,” into which we begin to place the care of our ego, much like we would hand over a screaming child to a capable caregiver.  Each morning on awakening, we set our sights on these two steps, being powerless over our ego’s defenses and the willingness to believe that there is something larger than the ego that can help.

The third step is the same in nearly every spiritual philosophy:  We ask this inner force to help us so that we may help others. This force is the antithesis of fear and anxiety.

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