Love and the ego. Do you long for love? Most of us do. The intimate touch of another soul is the most powerful antidote for the all-too-human experience of aloneness. It may be the most compelling and pleasurable experience there is.
So why do we spend so much of our time and energy avoiding intimacy by defending ourselves, being angry, critical, closed and judgmental – in short, blocking the experience that we most deeply want?
Defending The Ego Gets In The Way Of Love
The answer is that we are wired to constantly reinforce our limited ego-based identity – our sense of who we are.
This ego-based identity plays a very important role in human life, but it does not have the power to love. Ego is all about the self. It can and does experience need, and need is often easy to mistake for love. And it can certainly love how another person makes it feel.
But these things aren’t true love. True love and intimacy doesn’t come from the ego. In order to experience the power of true love you have to get in touch with a different part of yourself – the part that lies beyond the ego.
The True Nature Of The Ego
This process is easier when you understand the true nature of your ego-based identity: It doesn’t really exist.
Although it functions as if it’s the most real thing about you, in actual fact, your ‘identity’ is only a perspective. It’s kept alive solely through the stories you tell yourself about life, others and yourself.
You could literally say that your ego is all talk – an incessant monologue whose sole purpose is to reinforce your sense of self – who you are and who you aren’t.
Most of the time it goes something like this: “I’m better than he is, uglier than she is, smarter than him, richer than her, worse than I should be. I can do this, I could never do this, I shouldn’t have done that, they shouldn’t be that way. Life is good, life is hard, he’s right, she’s wrong, I’m great, I’m no good, it’s my fault, it’s their fault…” and on, and on, and on…
Just as a whale identifies its location through bouncing sound waves off nearby objects, your ego pinpoints its own presence – defines itself – by relating to the people, ideas and objects around it.
This process is continuous. Your identity must be continuously reinforced or you will quite literally lose the sense of who you are. That’s why it can be so very threatening to have something or somebody confronting your ego – your beliefs about yourself, others or the world.
Since the ego is actually made out of these beliefs, perspectives and opinions, and you identify the ego as ‘you’; when your beliefs are threatened it can feel just like a threat to your very survival.
Quite simply, the more you get to be ‘right’ about things, the more real and solid you feel, and the more you have to be ‘wrong’, the more threatened and diminished you feel.
Who Are You Really?
This would be really bad news if not for the fact that there is another part of you. This part – your core essence, your authentic self – has an intrinsic reality. Unlike your ego-based identity, its existence is not dependent upon outside circumstances or stories. And unlike your ego, it’s not threatened by someone else’s success, or enhanced by their failure. In fact, the opposite is true.
You could visualize your ego/identity as like the surface of the ocean; changeable, vulnerable, reflecting the sun, sky, and clouds, affected by every wind. Your core is the vast, calm, still, deep water beneath. Those deep mysterious waters teem with every kind of life and potential, but this life is invisible from the surface.
All transformation involves a process of seeing beneath the changeable surface and connecting with the vast deep life-giving waters beneath. This process usually involves a level of discomfort as your identity is shaken out of its placid solid form and made to expand and reflect a deeper level of reality.
But it’s worth it.
How It Works
We have entered the Era of Transformation. This means that you can train your ego-based identity to recognize and align itself with the voice of your authentic self. The ego doesn’t have to be defended or suppressed – it can be transformed.
Your ego can be used on behalf of the purpose for which it was created in the first place – to allow you to enhance your relationship with your Creator, express the potential of your essence, and fulfill your purpose here on earth.
Your defensive ego-based reactions will probably not go away for now. But instead of being a slave to them, you can use them as the impetus to connect to these deeper parts of you. T
The moment you choose to observe yourself rather than react, to question your own defensive instincts, to genuinely see another person’s point of view, to admit where you may be wrong, to connect with something higher, to be generous with your time, money or resources when you don’t have to, you have made your ego your ally.