Learning to Let Go of My Ego

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Recently I decided that I had enough road signs from life to start paying attention to what they were telling me and this is why I started learning to let go of my ego.  Up until this point in my life I had always been a very caring and helpful person towards others, striving to live my life according to the Golden Rule.  Little did I know though that my Ego was causing a lot of havoc in my life.

road-signs-to-learning
The signs started off small, but grew in size and frequency as I traversed through life.

Define Ego

Before I dive into my perspective and story, let’s take a minute to see what our friends over at Dictionary.com have to say about the definition of the word Ego:

Define-Ego-at-Dictionary.com

As you can see there are several different perspectives when it comes to defining this word.  Today we will be focusing on more of the second part, but will touch base with many of these.

The Road Signs Where Everywhere!

share-a-piece-of-pie-at-a-time
10% of the info at a time is like sharing a piece of the pie with someone.  They would be overwhelmed if they had to eat the whole pie.

For a long time now I have realized just how important it was to pay attention to the road signs that life gives you along the way to help let you know that your either on the right path or to see a possible path ahead of you.  Coupled with that was another perspective that I recently heard when listening to someone explaining that the best way to share a new concept with someone is to give them 10% of the info at a time in order to now overwhelm them.  I had started seeing small signs that where getting bigger and more frequent that I should be paying more attention to my Ego.

At first I didn’t notice the signs about my Ego, but soon there were enough synchronicities to tell me that I should be paying attention to it.  Then it happened…

For the first time in over 20 years of marriage my wife and I hit a very rough patch for ourselves.  We both love each other tremendously, but we had some serious issues to overcome and have been diligently working through them.  While I won’t get into the nitty gritty details of it here, the overarching themes are more than enough to get the point across.

“We were hanging out one night having a few drinks and relaxing when something triggered my wife and she started to lash out at me with some comments that before would have set me off and an argument would have ensued.  However, this time those little road signs all started shouting at me to let go of my Ego!!  So this night I would not go down the roads we traveled before, rather this time I acknowledged her comments with the love that I have for her.  Low and behold, the night did not turn sour and we were able to move on in a positive manner.”

hit-over-the-head-with-a-hammer
I felt like a nail reading that first article as it hit me on the head like a hammer.

The next day I was ecstatic as I pondered over the events of the previous evening.  I kept reviewing what had happened, what I did and how I felt, trying to make sense of it all.  I decided that I wasn’t just going to blindly learn about this whole Ego thing, so I started doing some research on the Internet to see what I could find.  The very first article I found and read hit me over the head like a hammer… I mean here it was in a nutshell, exactly what I needed to see at the precise moment I needed to see it.

The article was at SpiritualityHealth.com titled Let Go, Transcend the Ego.  As I read through this, an analogy was used to describe Ego as being two sides of a coin.  On one side was the Ego that wanted to control the world around them and on the other was the Ego that wanted to be accepted by the world around them.  This to me was so profound as I had not realized it, but up until this point in my life I was controlling people around me with my Ego.

I was shocked to say none the less, but as I read on I could see as clear as day how I had been trying to control my wife when I thought I was just trying to help her.  With each paragraph completed the picture just got more and more clearer for me.  I needed to stop the behaviors that I was doing in my efforts to “help” and instead focus on being a better example and just always showing her how much I truly loved her.

clarity-seeing-clearer
After doing some research and reviewing my life, I was able to have much more clarity about the situation.

Once I finished the article I started doing a review of many of our major events from over the last year or so and I was just shocked at how clear it became to me.  While I felt at the times that I was doing things to help, I was only making the problem worse more often than not.  I could even see this now with things that she would say to me and it made so much sense now.

Practicing What You Preach

This skill is one that I thought I was very familiar with and understood it very well, however, I came to learn just how novice I was at it.  There are many areas of my life where I do this well, but now I am learning how to take it to the next level and be a novice no more!

Loving each other was never our problem, matter of fact it was often said in our arguments that it was because we loved each other so much that was causing the issues.  I can clearly think of several times we were upset with each other, but only because the other person was upset.  It made no sense to us how we were only upset because the other was and how did that even work?

loave-was-never-our-problem
Loving each other was never our problem, our burned brightly.

“It was just shy of a week later when we had some friends over and were having a few drinks again.  There were several things that happened throughout the night that I knew were potential triggers for my wife, but I persisted with keeping my ego at bay and just showed her how much I loved her.

However, as the night grew long I could see it building up in her.  We were listening to music and there were a couple triggers that really started to fan the flames with the particular lyrics, but I stood my ground.  Then, right when I thought she was going to explode the next song came on and it was like Karma saying well done James, you have learned and here is your reward.

Randy Travis’ I Will Love You Forever started to play.  My wife and I began to sign the song to each other and several tears of joy cascaded down our cheeks.  When the song was over she was as giddy as a school girl, just so happy.  I had to get a kiss after the song was done and a little nibble on her neck to seal the deal.  Somewhere in there too I whispered to her, “Everything happens for a reason” which is something that we are both firm believers of.”

I really wish I could convey just how amazing it felt when that song started to play, it was like everything that I have been striving to learn about life, love, spirituality and so forth came together in the perfect moment of synchronicity for me.  Many of my life’s lessons came together in that moment and it is one that I will be thankful for a long time to come.

What Have I Learned

we-are-all-in-this-together
We are all on our life journeys together.

So at this point it is pretty obvious to me that I have definitely learned a few things, but also still have a long way to go as well.  That is an important part to remember on your own life journey as well, that we are here to learn and that it takes time to practice and get these skills down pat.  Have patience with yourself and make sure to own up to mistakes and be sure to forgive yourself too!

The most important thing I have learned from all of this is that at some point you need to break the cycle of what is happening.  In our case it was for me to stop forcing things that could help and to break the cycle by showing my wife the unconditional love that she deserves.  While it is still hard at times to hear things that can hurt, if I react by showing my love to her to her then that pain is transmuted and replaced by the joy of experiencing that love.

The other thing that I have picked up and am working on is taking the time to think before I speak.  While I have written an article on just that before, I also mean just pausing to allow yourself to compose your thoughts and to be able to say them in a way that does not exert control or seek acceptance.  Rather to speak with an understanding that we are all in this together, part of a whole, that needs to learn and grow from our experiences.

Lastly, I have learned that it is very important to be continually reviewing your life and the actions you take in it.  Every action has a consequence and it is of dire importance to understand what they are for you.  When I stepped back and did this for my wife and I it became clear that I was not helping things get better.  Now that I have my Ego in check though, things are going down a much more positive path.

What is Your Perspective

Please share your thoughts and perspective with us.
Please share your thoughts and perspective with us.

I would ask that before you go to think about how your life experience may have had similar experiences or stories that you can share with us here to help to add to the perspective.  With each story shared, we connect better not only with the topic, but each other as well.  So I ask, plant some good seeds of Karma for yourself today by sharing something from your life so that we may all learn and grow from it.

If you enjoyed this article, here are some others that I have written that you may enjoy as well:

Thank you for stopping by today.  I hope that the words here have given you pause for thought and that they benefit you in your life.  Remember, we are all on this journey together and we are all here for each other.  Everything happens for a reason, even this article coming to you today!

James W D
james@spiralrevolutions.com

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12 Replies to “Learning to Let Go of My Ego”

  1. Dear James,
    I forgot to mention about how important it is as you say: “..to pay attention to the road signs that life gives you along the way..” This was valuable to hear again. Hope you write more about the ego. Especially when it comes to relationships and the issues coming up all the time. I like it!

    Blessings,
    Margherita

    • The road signs are an extremely important part of this whole process that I am working on explaining with this site. They were an integral part of helping me to wake up and see the world around me for what it was.

      Now that I pay much more attention to those signs, I am able to get to my “destinations” much easier. They are here to guide us and we just have to have faith in that when we see a road sign, that it was meant for us to see it so that we could learn and progress.

  2. Dear James,
    I like your post on ego, right away I got clarity about what ego is and what it means. Karma is also another term that is helpful to understand.
    For example you say: “I have learned that it is very important to be continually reviewing your life and the actions you take in it. Every action has a consequence and it is of dire importance to understand what they are for you.”
    This is very valuable indeed. As a healer I prefer sites that give the correct information about terms like karma, and ego. Good Job!
    Margherita

    • Margherita, Thank you for your support it means a lot to me coming from someone with your background. I strive to bring honest and factual information to the best of my abilities with my content. IF it doesn’t resonate well with me I don’t post it. Much like with Karma, I am focused on planting positive seeds with this site so that it can harvest a positive crop for us all.

  3. What a beautiful article and your words described my ego to a tee. You see, it is either trying to control the world around me, or it desperately wants me to be accepted by others. But the interesting thing is, I identified this some time ago and like you I’ve accepted that this is a part of who I am and because it is a part of who I am I’ve learnt to love my ego as well. And amazingly this self-acceptance has broken the cycle of the reckless self-sabotaging behaviours I used to use.

    But more importantly, I want to thank you for sharing your truth and allowing me to share mine.

    • It seems as if some of our life lessons are similar then. The more I have looked into learning and getting a better understanding of my ego the more I see how much I have played to both sides of the proverbial coin. Learning how to accept how things were and learning from it is a key part of the process in moving forward.

      You are very welcome and thank you for sharing as well!

  4. First of all, the way you described that moment James, I could feel it and to amplify the feeling I played the song to read the rest of your post..forever and ever..amen..!!

    I think you just changed something there with your conscious awareness of what’s going in your mind.

    For me “ego” is our identification with our thought process and when it comes to the most important part of our lives like what was happening between you and your wife, we form some strong notions about them which keeps on getting stronger when we feed it with out negative thoughts..so they are fighting with this thought monster we have created against them and once we let go of it, like you did, they sense that the monster has stop guarding the gateway to our hearts and things change.. that’s how I see it.

    Retrospection is very important as you have mentioned because then only we are able to destroy the miseries we have been creating unconsciously, only consciousness can dissolve unconsciousness and yours is a perfect example.

    A great lesson you have learned and taught us..!!

    • Hari, nice to see you stop by again first off!

      I am glad that some of the power of that moment was able to come through with the content that I shared here. It was an extremely powerful moment not only for me, but for my wife as well. For it to have happened that perfectly with the timing was just the most amazing synchronicity that I have ever experienced. This easily trumped the multitude of little ones that I experienced on the way to my current job’s interview.

      With being able to take my Ego out like that it has helped us tremendously as now a bad anxiety day for her no longer means an argument for us. Now it means we have a deep conversation and seek answers together as it should have always been.

      In the end I am very humble and thankful for the lessons that I have learned from this experience. It was far from easy and I would chalk it up to some of the hardest experiences of my life, but in that I know what doesn’t kill me just makes me stronger.

  5. Lovely article, and glad that you and your wife are sorting through your issues, instead of throwing the towel in.

    You are so right when you blame our ego’s. I am sure without ego’s many confrontations would not happen in life and we would all be a lot happier.

    Sometimes when we would like to blame others, we actually need to take a deep look within ourselves.

    • It is always important to remember that it takes two to tango. So in situations like this it is never the fault of just one of the parties, there is blame for both. This means that you not only need to forgive each other, but also to learn how to forgive yourself as well.

      By taking my Ego out of the equation, I have been able to communicate much better and have avoided any arguments. This has helped us bring things to the table in a much more clear way and allowed our love for each other to flow much better. Over time, that love will heal our wounds.

  6. Great article, James! You have such a wonderful handle on how the wheels turn.
    I, too, have been practicing removing the ego when I’m having a “situation”…it’s really helping me to see things through the other person’s perspective. I have discovered that every time a friend or family member is upset (or happy) that it doesn’t always have something to do with me. I usually go on the defense or start apologizing before I even know what’s happening. All I see is my friend upset…so, surely it must be something I did wrong!
    But, by taking the ego out of that scenario, you see and understand that you’ve done nothing wrong…so, you ask the person why they’re upset. You’re ready to listen. You’re ready to be their true friend.
    Thanks for sharing your story…made me cry a little. :'(

    • Glad to see you stop back by again Barb and thank you for sharing your perspective. Like you said, ask the question and be ready to listen. During that process it is also important that you are paying attention to your feelings and to make sure that you are sending them the love and support that they need at that moment.

      Often when people are hurt they will lash out at you. Those are best left to fall to the ground and to not let them phase you. Instead ramp up the true feelings you have for that person and be there to support them in their time of pain.

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