Wednesday, July 25, 2012

That Sneaky Ego!

A Course in Miracles states that every day of our lives we are constantly choosing between love and fear. It says that our natural state is love and joy, but we have "fallen asleep" and forgotten this, we have "detoured into fear." The voice of the fear is our ego. To paraphrase Marianne Williamson; "The ego is like a virus in the computer that attacks the core is like a gravitational force field, built up over eons of fearful thinking. It is our mental power turned against ourselves. It is clever, smooth-talking, and manipulative. It counsels us to look out for ourselves, at the expense of others. It teaches us selfishness, greed, judgement, and small-mindedness."

The main goal of the ego is to keep us believing we are separate from everyone else, so it can keep us isolated, fearful, and powerless. It will use whatever tricks necessary to do this. It is the voice in your head that tells you that you aren't good enough, encouraging you to judge others as "less than" so that you feel better about yourself. The ego always emphasizes what someone has done wrong so that we have reasons and excuses to push them away and keep them at an arm's distance. Encouraging you to point out the faults of others is one of the ego's sneakiest tricks. It even goes so far as to tell you that you are "helping"them by doing so. When we try to change someone by "helping them see" what they could do better, or what their issues are, we are not respecting them. We are basically saying "I don't think you can figure this out on your own, I don't believe in you." The ego creates this dynamic to keep them away and you separate. To understand that there is no separation, except in our thoughts and mind is death to the ego because it takes it's power away. It rules through fear. If we are One, then there is only love, and fear ceases to exist.

In actuality, the best way to help someone else to grow and ascend is to reflect back their own magnificence. We do this by giving unconditional love, which releases blame and judgement. Holding the highest vision of someone else; their true nature as a being of pure love, their innocence, their potential, makes you both a mirror and a light. "We help another person access their highest by accessing our own. Growth comes from focusing on our own lessons, not on someone else's. When we choose to join with them, through approval and unconditional love, the miracle kicks in for both parties. The ego doesn't want us to see that our pain doesn't come from the love we weren't given in the past, but from the love we ourselves aren't giving in the present."

I am working on detecting the tricks of my sneaky ego. That voice is so strong and so deeply ingrained though, I have to really pay attention. I monitor my thoughts and continually ask myself "Am I thinking with love, or am I thinking with fear?" It never fails that when I am thinking with fear I am simultaneously experiencing negative feelings, such as depression, anger, guilt, and shame. When I am thinking with love, I am always experiencing feelings of happiness, joy, and peace. Gabrielle Bernstein writes in her book "Spirit Junkie" that laughing at your ego is " the spiritual equivalent of martial arts", it takes it's power away. I've started picturing my ego as the "Wile E Coyote" on the "Roadrunner" cartoons. It comes up with the craziest schemes to "get" me and make me think unloving thoughts! Now when I catch my sneaky ego in action, like the roadrunner I just laugh at it and go on my way, and like the Coyote, it slinks back off to it's cave to plot until the next time. It takes constant watchfulness, and hard work, but I am learning that I can change my thought patterns. I can choose love, not fear. And this is what makes miracles happen!

Love and light to all.

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