I can have an ego as big as a lion.
I can have a swelled head that rivals
The King of the Jungle!
I don't know about you, but I can have real problems with my ego.
Now, as we go on here, I'm going to expand this term beyond the
typical way people think of "ego". Like in: "her ego is the size of
Texas" or "he's on a big ego trip" or "her ego is out of control" or "he
has an inflated ego".
I have to face it, this can be me when I'm in a particularly obnoxious
frame of mind. Makes me think of the saying:
If I was half as smart as I think I am,
I'd be twice as smart as I really am!
Since I'm a classic "people pleaser", my big ego can be disguised as
other things. After all, what people would want to be around another
people who is boasting all the time? How very boring! How very
How ultimately reeking of insecurities!
So my "big ego" can be under the radar or even disguised by subtle
braggadocio, rather than blatantly "tooting of my own horn"; a
humorous approach to my accomplishments rather than a shameless
bragging; and judgments and put downs of others whose big egos
remind me of my own!
Ram Das says something that's good to say to yourself when you fall
into judgment mode: "And I am that too." That can be a tall order for
for sure, I don't know about you.
Then we've got the good kind of ego that we need to function in the
world and to feel good about ourselves. Good kind of ego: "winning
boosted my ego" (made me feel proud of myself); not so good kind of
ego: "she has such a fragile ego." (she lacks confidence in herself).
Well, I guess you could say, I have racked up more hours in the
former than the latter! (I just love to win at anything but sports...in
that arena, it's not even worth the try for me ... I don't stand a
chance!) And certainly no one ever accused me of the second kind of
ego -- being fragile! I'm a lover of people, full of life, strong,
outgoing, a fighter, an adventurer,
a can-do kind of person...
Wait a minute! Don't be so cocky Kathy! Many years ago, when I was
in the midst of one of my mind-numbing depressions, my youngest
brother, who is a doctor, called my family members and told them:
"Kathy's in a fragile state", meaning "She's about to go sround the
True as it was, it really hurt my other kind of ego. I think it's getting
confused with all these egos together in one room!
Anyway, for today, my friends, (in my best school marm's voice) I'd
like to talk about a different kind of ego that you often hear about in
writings. And you're not going to like this one either!
OK, this is the one that I experience the very most, so listen up since
you probably do too. I think this one is part of the human condition
and cannot be
totally overcome by anyone except the most advanced avatars.
(meaning highly evolved beings such as Jesus or Buddha; not meaning
"she chose a penguin as her avatar in a chat room.")
Ego, in this spiritual sense, is the false self - the part of each of us
that is driven by fear, greed, selfishness, a sense of never having
With this ego, the solution to all your problems is to obtain more
of what you think will make you happy.
A bigger house, a better job, a more compatible partner, a luxury
car, more money, more friends, more travel, more beauty, more
prestige, more toys, more material things, more, more, more.
Now, I KNOW for sure that these things can make me feel more
secure and many times they do make me happy. I admit it. But that
usually doesn't last that long -- until I think of of the next thing that
will cure all my ills or that I can't live without.
Gina Lake says in her book, The Jesus Trilogy (no, don't worry...I'm
not a Jesus freak, but do think of him as one highly evolved and
developed spiritual being who can teach
me a great deal!)
"Fear is the point of view of the ego, the primitive conditioned
aspect of yourself, which is largely what makes you human. With the
ego, people experience fear, and because they do, they are driven
to conquer, control, and dominate their environment and other
The belief of the ego is "to eat or be eaten".
The ego's solution to the problem of survival is to conquer, be on
top, vanquish. In pursuit of this, the ego seeks power, recognition,
strength, beauty and intelligence. If it attains these things, the ego
believes that comfort, food, sex, safety, security and happiness will
Even if you feel safe, totally comfortable, and think you don't relate,
you must have some fears. Such as, fear of aging, ill health, loneliness
and death - anyone who is breathing on this Earth has some of those,
some of the time!
So what to do about it? Not so easy! It's difficult to master the ego
from a spiritual point of view because it's always fighting the
effort.The end game is to step out of your false self and into your
When you are able to make this shift, the ego has less of a hold on
you. Simple as it sounds, you can feel the love, wonderment, awe and
gratitude that are actually available to us right now. Are we wiling to
quiet our minds and do this in this very minute?
Lots of lessons for me here. Some of the things I have to do
in order to get out of my spiritual ego are:
Get off what my sister-in law calls:
"The Pasley High Horse."
Learn to love what I already have.
Give up one of my favorite mottos:
"I may not be much, but I'm all I think about."
Turn to love instead of fear, because they truly are opposites!
GUESS I REALLY CAN HAVE A BIG EGO!
HOW ABOUT YOU?
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Who is Kathleen Pasley?
Kathleen has a life that encompasses numerous
areas of endeavor: writing, fundraising, marketing
Two things help define her: she has been on
a serious spiritual path for 35 years and has
known serious depressive episodes.
She is committed to speaking from the heart
on spiritual issues and sharing honestly
and openly about mental illness.