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.
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:
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!
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.”
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.
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?
“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
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
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:
- The Importance of Learning From Mistakes
- Everything Happens for a Reason
- Even Little Steps are Progress
- Why Should You THINK Before You Speak
- Stop Bad Habits – Breaking the Vicious Cycle
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