peace or ego

This dance with ego can take many twist and turns. The ego is not something to be destroyed, banished, decimated or attacked, it is something that is like a lost child, crying for our loving attention.
Despite over two decades of concentrated attention to moving beyond the fear and upset ego stirs up in its belief in a false identity, I still sometimes get very entangled in its web. It is not easy to both love the one caught and love without animosity the situation or person believed to be triggering the ego attack. Yet this is the royal road to freedom.
How do we know we are under the influence of ego? Very simple, we will experience an immediate loss of peace. If we are never completely at peace, then we will notice an increase in agitation. This is our red flag urging us to bring out the big medicine of self love and peace, finding another way. Can we immediately feel what sensations are arising in the body without reacting or denying our discomfort? Can we allow the wave of energy to flow through us as we witness the energy’s passage through our bodies as it may tighten our chest, bring constriction to our breath, heat our bodies up or perhaps create a throbbing pulsing of discomfort? Once we have gained some balance, can we then look at the situation with new eyes, making peace and love our priority rather then being right? Big medicine, yes, easy, no.
A personal story. For the last few weeks several situations with loved ones have cause discomfort and put me on high alert to find another way. About a week ago I felt as though a loved one had stabbed me in the heart. I dealt with it by blaming the other of my hurt and trying to get the other to correct MY pain. Let’s just say that did not work out well. Now, despite being convinced I was right, I committed to finding another way. Within days I stumbled across a book I had not looked at in years. This in itself alerted me to being blessed with miracles as it was in a cupboard I had not looked in for maybe over a year. The book is A Gift of Love, Marriage as a Spiritual Journey, by Ann Tremaine Linthorst. It talked about how “should” is a major spiritual stumbling block. We can use it against ourself or another, blaming ourself or another for our pain. As spiritual adepts we may use “should” to makes ourself wrong for perceived imperfection on the spiritual path. The book suggest we always use discomfort as a spiritual opportunity for growth, making the Divine our priority. I was sitting with this intently and spoke about it in a lovely group I attended on forgiveness.
So it was not long until the test came. I will detail it as it is such a perfect example of this dynamic. First know this is a long standing dynamic that has played out many times and this time I was determined to find another way. I told my daughter we would have salad for dinner and she objected. I had bought her her favorite type of salad before and she never ate it yet I was determined to get some vegetables in her so I asked her to choose what she would like as she is very particular. We drove to a special store and she made her choices. Yet when we got home she discovered a blemish on her very expensive vegetable and did not want it. She had other choices too so I asked her to choose something else. Then she could not find it and said just forget it. By now I am seeing red but took a deep breath, found it myself and brought it to her. She pushed it aside. Now I took a DEEP breath and held on to my intent for peace. I literally was at a loss. The certainty that I was right pushed me to react so I had to dig VERY deep to make another choice. Another book, The Wisdom of Your Face by Jean Honer was helping me understand that behaviors I had previously seem as deviant or controlling were an offshoot of my daughter’s very different personality and expressing real needs. I went whole heartedly within seeking understanding, compassion, peace. Yet inside I was screaming that I was right and anger was justified. I just sat in silence as I literally did not know what else to do that would not provoke upset and conflict. After some time my daughter reached for the vegetable, ate it, kissed me and then, when asked, agreed she’d like another vegetable. MIRACLE!?! or not.
All the previous times I had approached her from a one up, dominate, I am your mother, control position. Now I initially approached her with control- eat your vegetable now (initially she would comply but then she defied), explanation with energy of why it was upsetting me, then I finally calmed down and moved away from the old energy of control and domination, being right and she complied. She probably sensed what it had cost me to stay out of attack mode.
This small example is what is happening every day numerous times a day. The ego can drive us like a locomotive and it is not easy to step back and find another way. Because I am no longer willing to tolerate the loss of peace within and the loss of connection, intimacy without, I have been forced on hands and knees to find another way. May this small example be of service in supporting all of us to let go of the screaming voice of ego that assures us it is not fair and it is the other person’s fault to having the courage and wisdom to find another way. The feeling of freedom and peace, the exhilaration of not falling into upset made the choice so satisfying. Let all upset be a red flag asking us to choose again.10306634_766887540011543_974928115917836734_n

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