I like to think of the ego as a survival mechanism. it is what keeps us alive.
I imagine throughout history the ego played a huge part in human survival.. to hunt, to fight enemy, to make sure there is enough to eat etc. The ego identified potential threats and kept us on alert for survival reasons- Am i safe? Am I in danger? Do i have enough? etc
So it makes sense why the ego is so important and it is there for a reason, just like our human five basic senses, our limbs, our organs. It is part of being a healthy functioning human being.
I have recently started running again, as I was running i noticed that there were two voices constantly playing in my head
one kept telling me to keep going.. one kept telling me to stop..
it was so loud, distracting and constant. The voices were making me more exhausted than the act of running itself.
Of course.. I was doing something physically uncomfortable, my ego was threaten so it went all crazy on me hence the voices in my head.
and no, the ego was not just the negative voice telling me to stop, it was the “positive” voice too..
While the negative voice was dramatic and the “positive" one, was even worse- highly judgemental..
Whenever I chose to stop running, the “positive” judged and guilt me.
If you have mistaken the “positive” ego voice to be your true voice- oh you would be living in constant guilt and fear!
After noticing the two voices during my run, I decided to stay focus in the present moment, focus on my breaths, the surrounding sounds in the park, the wind, the warmth etc.. and allowed the crazy voices to quiet down.
Oh It felt great.. I wasn’t as tired anymore, I could run for longer.. As I toned down the voices I believe at times I was experiencing some called “the peak state” or “flow state”..
The first couple of times I could only quiet the voice for a few seconds and they quickly flood back in.. but as I practiced more, I could quiet the voices for longer each time.
I realised that the empty space, in between the voices, is where inspirations can come in and allow you to truly perform.
Thanks to this aha moment during my run..
I began to really notice more of my ego voices in my day to day life.
Like that tiny bitter negative ego voice that comes up from time to time when I see other people doing “better” than me or when someone did something that annoyed me..
and then I, ( the “positive” ego voice), would judged myself for it, what’s wrong with me? Why can’t I get rid of have these “evil” thoughts?
but now I’ve came to know that.. the ego is a survival mechanism and it is probably never going away, for as long as you are alive.
I’m not here to stop it or suppress it or feel bad about it… Be aware of it, notice it.. and know that your ego voices are NOT who you are.. so don’t let it take over and dictate your actions.
The other day I got a text message that I got really offended by. I notice my ego response was so dramatic ‘ what are you trying to say? you are better than me ?’ Horrible.. it kept replaying in my head.. and I was so tempted to fight back with some passive aggressive response. but then I paused..
because I knew that wasn’t me.. It was my ego being threaten and ready to attack..
Although my ego voices kept going loud and crazy in my mind at the time, I did not let it dictate my actions.
I also did not to judge… I dug deeper into the situation and try to understand why my ego was so threaten. and soon the voices calmed own.. and I wasn’t bothered by the message anymore..
I am glad that I didn’t let my ego dictated my actions and said something I would’ve regretted later on.
Now I know, my true power lies in:
- the awareness to be able to differentiate my ego voices and my true self
- taking back the driver seat while it is tempting to just let your ego (negative or “positive” to drive your decisions, your life.
- Hit pause often..find more empty spaces, in between the voices.