The Ego Versus Spirit: Which One Are You Living By?
Your ego is mind-driven. Anytime you are operating in your ego you will have a racing mind, anxiety, anger and fear. The ego is a flame that feeds you to be right all the time. It will convince you that you are superior in all ways and that any misfortune that came your way was the result of an outside force that has nothing to do with you.
The ego convinces you that you are special and unique. No one else is like you and you feel sorry for all the poor slobs who cant be as evolved and superior as you are.
The ego competes and strives to be number one in all things. It is based in external gain to promote internal strength. The ego is all about appearances and impressions. An ego-based person is one who lives by acquiring material possessions to feel whole and valuable.
The problem with living this way is that the ego is a bottomless pit. Filling the ego is like dropping a penny in the Grand Canyon. It will never be filled.
The drive behind the ego is survival, and once the ego is threatened in any way it will resort to any measure, no matter how destructive, to make itself feel back on top and in control.
A person who operates in ego is a master manipulator. They have a keen ability to distort, manipulate and expose your most vulnerable areas. They can take a clear situation of right versus wrong and twist and turn the truth in a way that makes you feel like you are in the twilight zone.
This twisted behavior is rooted in always being in control and maintaining their identity of perfection.
If you work with someone operating in ego they are the type of colleague who will step on you to get ahead. They will reel you in and get close to you and then throw you under the bus any chance they get.
If you are in a relationship with an ego-based person (be it friendship, family or romantic), they will constantly shift the blame and manipulate the truth to expose the most vulnerable pieces of your heart.
They have no ability to give praise or encouragement because that would take the spotlight off of them and create a loss in their identity.
An ego-driven person gives a compliment with a twist of a put down. For example, Oh wow, you look amazing in that dressâ€"its a good thing you lost all that weight, or, Congratulations on that promotion, you really worked your way up from the bottom of the barrel!
An ego-based parent will give praise like Mommy Dearest: Christina, darling, you swam those laps so fastâ€"but its too bad you are not as fast as Mommy.
I can still recall being at a very fancy southern wedding the summer I graduated from college. I was fortunate enough to be picked to be a bridesmaid decked out in a peach chiffon, sweetheart neckline gown and dyeable shoes that stained my toes a nice shade of Creamsicle orange. Shortly before the ceremony, the brides mom approached me and in her thick southern drawl that was sugary sweet said, You know, you girls from the north are just so natural. Imagine what you would look like with just a pinch of makeup? Um, what?
I remember feeling totally confused and wishing I had plucked my eyebrows and traded the natural look for the Tammy Faye way. Its a touch of a compliment with a kick in the face. The ego is unable to give props or praise of any kind because it results in identity death. They cannot bear to be outshined in any way.
A dear friend of mine just received a well deserved promotion that will lead to a significant increase in salary. When I asked how the colleagues in the office responded to his promotion, he said that people had been chilly and avoidant. As the discussion unfolded I asked him if anyone took him to lunch and offered to pay him for the secrets to his success within the company. He said only one person had the strength of character to approach him and say, Congratulations! That is awesome; now, tell me how you did it.
Its disheartening to me to think that in a huge company, only one person was genuinely happy for my friend.
This, dear friends, is the footprint of the ego: a bottomless pit that can never truly be happy for anyone because that would threaten their own special and unique identity.
True living and true peace comes from living by the spirit.
The spirit is the core heart and soul within us that is able to connect to others with a genuine, pure heart.
A person of spirit is one who does not live by the ego-driven mind because they know that this only produces emptiness and shallow living.
They look at life with a deeper sense of meaning and connectedness. They are there to cheer you on in your successes because they have reconciled and accepted their own faults and weaknesses.
A person who lives in the spirit is free of the competitive drive of the ego.
They carry with them a strength and elegance and an ability to speak straight and truthfully with no pretenses.
They are comfortable in their own skin and refuse to let the ego grasp hold of their heart, spirit and soul.
Each day we wake up, we have a choice on which one we will feed. A person who feeds the ego daily will become fat with arrogance and emptiness. A person who feeds their spirit will grow brighter each day and continue to draw in healthy people, places and opportunities for abundance.
Take a good look in the mirror today; are you operating in ego or spirit?
The only control we have in our lives is the type of person we choose to be: Make the right choice and see how everything in your life falls into place.