Greetings, Luminous One,
As we culminate our month of focus on Authenticity, we need to explore how it's different than Ego.
We all know (or have been) that person who just has to express themselves out of a need to "be Authentic" yet is not at all mindful of the consequences. This behavior is especially evident in the late teen years when the Ego is driving the search of discovering itself.
Hopefully, we grow out of this as we age but sometimes the Ego, a wily coyote if there ever was one, can disguise itself in surprising ways...
The Many Faces of Ego
Ego's gotten a bad rap because it's seen as the anti-thesis of spirituality: the out of control naughty self who craves satisfaction and wants to live life on its own terms, no matter what, and no matter who it affects.
While that may be so, I don't believe that's the entire story. Anything that's either "all this" or "all that" smacks of duality, and I prefer to think more broadly.
I've said this before, so please excuse the repetition, but I believe that nothing is wasted in the human psyche - everything serves a purpose of some sort at some point in our lives, including Ego.
Ego can be a motivator, a creator, an adventurer, an innovator, and an achiever.
Sometimes Ego is the only thing that gets us out of bed in the morning - thank you for your courage and determination, Ego!
The Dance of Ego and Authenticity
Harnessing the Ego's positive energy is a lifelong skill and I'll only be scratching the surface of its many iterations here. We all know that it can get the upper hand and wreak havoc, so the trick is to keep it in balance and define the lines between it and Authenticity.
Ego may get us to the party, but Authenticity will ensure we have a meaningful time.
Authenticity requires vulnerability, which makes the Ego uncomfortable because it thinks it's job is to protect the psyche by erecting barriers (facades) to pose as something formidable so as to keep the intruder from perceiving any imperfections.
Yet, as we learn to fully accept ourselves, we realize that there's no need for hiding and we can gently invite the hard-working Ego to stand down.
We're safe in the arms of our own self-love.
Another way the Ego stays in control is to avoid conflict as a "people-pleaser" or a "situation-fixer."
By making sure everyone else is happy, Ego can simultaneously become the most important person in the room while also distracting others from its own shortcomings. The Ego is full of ways to help.
Perhaps, like me, this is a familiar one to you.
As empaths, many of us are healers and helpers who naturally lean in to assist when someone is in need. It's just who we are.
But these same abilities to quickly perceive someone's struggle and find solutions to them can, over time, quietly become somewhat Ego-driven.
Personally, I came to realize years ago that my interventions gave my Ego an identity in which I felt needed.
Once I recognized that, I clearly saw that my offered solutions also caused an unintended side-stepping of a crucial opportunity for the one whom I was helping.... because, almost always, struggle forces us to push deep into our Authentic selves to make the choices that will determine our evolutionary growth.
I might have been more in service if I had stood back and let the person work it out themselves with my support in the background. I had to learn how to drop being the Ego-driven helper and instead become an Authentic one.
Authenticity knows how to create healthy boundaries and relationships, while standing solidly in its truth.
It knows what its role is, which sometimes is to do nothing but observe and offer quiet support while the necessary struggle occurs.
Does this mean that we shouldn't try to help one another?
Not at all - we can still be in service, but from a different vantage point: the clean space of non-attachment to outcome.
My experience of having assistance from my guidance team in the unseen world means I MUST empty myself of all attachments, which ironically includes the attachment to helping.
The goal for all of us is to winnow away at the constructs that shield ourselves and instead to choose the freedom of being exactly who and what we are while staying alert to the consequences. The naked soul wants to be free to be itself, knowing that that's enough.
“True belonging is the spiritual practice of believing in and belonging to yourself so deeply that you can share your most authentic self with the world and find sacredness in both being a part of something and standing alone in the wilderness. True belonging doesn’t require you to change who you are; it requires you to be who you are.” - Brené Brown
By switching our allegiance from Ego to Authenticity, we acknowledge who our true partners in life are.
Ego holds our hands while we’re growing into who we really are until we can let go of that reliance and evolve into relationships that truly guide us: our intuition, our higher self and our Creator.
For a fun Authentic finale, watch this Virgin Atlantic video HERE. :)