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Recognizing the ego

Written by jayson. 2 comments Posted in: Ethics, Philosophy, Spirituality

Everything we do or say is painted by our own experiences and our own values. The truths we state, and the opinions that we make, are not just reflections of everything we’ve become, but creations. It is for this reason that it is important to be acutely aware of what we say and do and where it is coming from.

Nothing brings this out in others more than when their norms are challenged. When those norms are challenged, especially radically, our ego tries to wrap itself into a shield to protect those norms, because we have used them to reify who we are. When someone does something far outside of those norms, we are faced with the realization that the things we’ve held dear don’t necessarily need to be that way.

This expereince is unavoidable, but like all things unavoidable, the best we can do is to be aware of it so that it can become a piece of information – a tool – rather than a ruler.

I’ve experienced this recently in making some rather radical life choices. Nearly all of the fear or bias or negative thoughts about the choices came from the outside – from other people – reacting from a place of fear. It was either fear of change in their life, or fear that came from things that had happened to them in the past; but either way it was solely based on information in their life, not mine. I don’t mean to make this fear sound bad; it can manifest as concern just as much as it can manifest as hatred.

After realizing this, I did not feel hatred or that my choices were under attack – it allowed to me really understand where they were coming from and realize that their reactions were not about me or my choices at all. It is a true step towards recognizing others’ values and coming from a position of love.

2 Responses

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  1. freespirit

    I am afraid to comment.

    August 16, 2011 at 12:41 pm
  2. freespirit

    If I choose to take on a responsibility I am making a decision to do a particular something, which necessarily means that I will not have time to do something else. The feeling I have when I am presented with competing choice options is called existential anxiety. The feeling I have when I am confronted with the effect of my decision is called existential guilt. Every decision in life means that we are deciding to do one thing and not another because time and energy are finite. Doing everything is not possible.
    But many of us are uneasy with the freedom we apply to make conscious choices that we believe are in our best interest. Sometimes we hedge our bets by attempting to leave one foot in each door of the choice options and we end not doing either action well. We have too much anxiety and guilt.
    Other times we cop-out and blame others for the anxiety or guilt we feel. Blame partners come in handy that way. Blame allows us to avoid responsibility for our own decisions by playing the martyr.
    Use your freedom wisely. Do the things you want to do and do them well.

    reprinted from Kevin’s Korner 052510

    August 16, 2011 at 12:49 pm

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