Ego as Ally

The site’s Manifesto points up the dangers of ego while extolling the virtues of love. But the story isn’t all that one-sided. Forged together, love and ego can make us supple and strong.

Ego is made up of the stories we tell ourselves about the world, the reflexive conditioning of a lifetime’s experiences, and–especially–every time we’ve accepted another’s story of “this is how the world is” over our own deep knowing. It’s a whole family of sub-personalities, shifting from moment to moment in an endless dance. In most people, ego is a series of fearful constrictions, a haven of self-hate, and a well of recriminations.

And yet, we still have love. It comforts us when memories of past hurt well up in the face of present challenge. It can open us up to comfort others when they are hurting or afraid. It can transform us.

One part of my spiritual path seeks to sidestep ego entirely, living in moment to moment awareness, free of the stories and the history. It is a path of extraordinary freedom. It’s not the path I’m pointing to here. I’m pointing to a life where love is at the center and ego is an ally.

Ego’s collection of stories, when held with love, is a powerful tool. It’s an extraordinary detector of weakness, both in ourselves and others. It can guide us to our places that need healing. It can hear another struggling in the grip of their own ego and find common ground. It can lead us to empathy and compassion.

Take a breath. Notice if something in you struggles with those words, notice if something longs to be touched and held. Take another breath, slower. Soften. Gaze on that part with tenderness and understanding. Stay with it a few breaths and see if something shifts. (Did you sigh?)

This is how the healing begins, with patient awareness and flowing breath. This is how reactions soften into reminders, fear becomes a guide into growth, and ego turns to ally. This is the training ground for love’s warriors.

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