If only it were that easy. If only I could don my superhero costume and go rescue my hubby’s soul… imprisoned by years of manipulation and abuse from his ego.
It’s like the old devil and angel on your shoulder, you know, the wolf you feed? We all have a devil and an angel, and only we have the power to give that will elevate or deflate.
But that’s not the hard part, you see, this can get really tricky.
Our ego sounds just like us, and not only lies to us, but does not hesitate to pounce on us the moment we are in a vulnerable situation.
For example, you recently put on weight- a lot of it and instead of continuing to stuff your face, you decide to face the mirror. You get serious. You make an appointment with a nutritionist and sign up for a gym membership, because you’ve had enough, gosh darn it and going to lose the extra pounds once and for all.
The first week goes beautifully. Everything is within your control and you manage to keep junk food out of your house, hit the gym everyday and stick to your meal plan. The first week you manage to lose over 5 pounds.
Week two starts off lovely. More of the same, gym, salads and lots and lots of water. Only, this time the scale doesn’t budge. It’s Friday, you’ve been working hard all week and just found out that you are actually one pound heavier than the day before. “Oh well,” you think as you head off to work, “It’s just water weight, I’m sure.” You try to convince yourself, while you notice a tiny raging voice in the back of your mind (aka, your ego).
You get to work and the entire scale debacle is forgotten. Until you get an email about a bunch of donuts and cookies in the lounge.
“No.” You firmly tell yourself. “I’m on a roll and not going to ruin it.”
As the morning goes on, your stomach rumbles get louder, and so does that nagging voice.
You never get treats dropped off at work, you’re missing out.
What does it matter anyways? You’re already up a pound!
You’ve worked so hard for two weeks, you deserve it.
And, unless you have the skills to recognize and ZAP it, the voice carries on until you either give in or are driven to the point of absolute misery.
So you head to the lounge with the intent of grabbing one, small cookie, which you manage to do successfully.
The day drags on and as the stress piles on and you glance at the crumb covered napkin, reminding you about the treats and making your stomach growl. By lunchtime, you’ve not only gone back into the lounge, but you’ve taken an entire paper plate full of cookies back to your desk and promptly inhale them without barely tasting them.
But that’s not all.
As you try to focus on the afternoon, that voice is still persistent. Only this time it has a different tune.
I can’t believe you, you’re such a pig.
I bet someone saw you, you’re the laughing stock of the building.
And you thought you could lose weight, you’re just a loser!
What the heck freakin’ ego?!? You just want to make me miserable 😢😢😢
I’m very very lucky that now I know enough to see the truth, and recognize that bastard ego (they’re all bastards, yours, mine, they’re all the same).
But, not realizing your ego is abusing you, you persevere and manage to stop at the gym on the way home. While getting in your car, you notice a missed call and voicemail from your buddy who invites you to dinner. You call him back and agree to meet him at Ruby Tuesdays, where you know you can make a phenomenal a salad, but instead you order the fish and chip special and split a liter of beer with your buddy- who only ends up drinking 1/2 glass, while you slowly suck the liter dry. You figure you already messed up, so what’s the point of holding back now, right?
The next day you’re up two more pounds and you spend the weekend binging on pizza and Netflix, because when you consider going to the gym – or prepping your meals- that mean voice won’t stop chiming in.
You’re wasting your time.
You’re nothing but a fat slob.
But that’s not working, so your ego takes a different tactic.
But you’ve worked so hard, you deserve a break.
You starved for two weeks and are no better off than you were before, so just enjoy the pizza.
And so you do, because it’s right. Right?
It’s wrong, very wrong, all wrong, but all so tricky.
The ego wants external comfort, food, alcohol, sex, etc. The ego wants to compare you with everyone else and wants you to see yourself as separate, as special. The ego is a master manipulator and looks at our fears to grow its power.
So you have to call it out, and tell it to go to h***.
And then you have to pull up your big person pants.
If you ate the donut, fine, but don’t use it as an excuse to derail. And for heavens sake, if you know the donut will end in a downward spiral, then don’t take the first bite. Sugar addiction is real, just like I physically can’t just drink one drink so I have to completely stay away.
But, this goes much further than food and alcohol. Our ego is always with us, and more often than not bringing us down.
When I’m writing it tells me my story sucks and no one is going to want to read it.
When I’m celebrating an accomplishment, it tells me that I should have or could have done it differently and the praise must be a mistake.
When my key card at work doesn’t work to unlock the door, it tells me it’s probably because I got fired.
It doesn’t contain an ounce of niceness and often snickers at my aging body parts.
I want to challenge you to find, explore and defeat your ego. It’s very simple. It starts with recognizing that nasty little voice whenever it rears its ugly head.
Just recognizing it is power.
And when you notice it, tell it to go take a hike. That’s even more powerful.
It’ll start to get smaller until eventually it’s hardly noticeable.
Until you start going through something tough and become vulnerable. You might not even realize that you’re vulnerable, but your ego does!!! (Remember those cookies in the lounge? Your ego made sure to remind you of the unhappy number on the scale that morning- because your vulnerability gives it power).
The great news is that once you start calling it out, it becomes addicting. It feels good to be the one in power and to recognize it for what it is- a master sabotager.
It’s not a hard thing to change but it does require you to be conscious of it and consistent with turning it off. It becomes a habit not long after- and you’ll more than likely experience an immense amount of happiness during the process.
The process is subtle but transformative.
As the ego fades away, self-appreciation, self-confidence and self-love tends to take root and flourish. With the tiny ego in the background, the good stuff will blossom. You may notice positive changes.
•You might gossip less, because it no longer makes you feel good.
•You might choose the salad for lunch, because your body is craving a nourishing meal.
•You might skip a workout because your body feels exhausted and allowing it to rest feels like you’re honoring yourself.
•You might go the extra mile, because even though you only committed to three, it feels just so darn good.
•You might get teary eyed, driving home on a sunny day. Not because you’re sad, but because you’re looking around at the grass, the trees, the houses, the other cars, the sky & clouds, and you just feel so incredibly grateful for the beauty and simplicity of this life.
Killing my alcohol addiction was also the death of my ego. But you don’t need a vice or addiction to squash your ego.
Just recognize it- that voice, the rude one that likes to ramble. That’s it, it’s that simple.
So no, honey, I didn’t kill your ego. I’d love nothing more than to gruesomely murder your ego, along with every other ego out there, but that’s just impossible. But now you know how 😊