It is almost comical how schizophrenic our relationship with our ego is. On the one hand we have this lingering sense that having an ego is a bad thing and that we should really get round to getting rid of it one day. The next moment ego takes over and makes lots of decisions on our behalf.
Like anger or other modern day ‘undesirables’ we are somehow under the impression,
that if we work hard enough our ego will stop making our decisions. Usually for some reason what ends up happening is that the fiercer we fight ego the more it strikes back.
I don’t know about you but acceptance and self-compassion have been much more helpful allies to me than treating the ego as an enemy. It goes something like this:
I completely accept that some things about me are ego-driven and kind of douchey (or could at least be construed that way): checking podcast download stats everyday or the satisfaction I get at work when someone who is particularly annoying finally shuts up. But the thing is that even monks have an ego. Instead of picking a fight with my ego I prefer to be pretty well acquainted with it. To know in which situations in takes over an makes decisions. Whether some habits are actually destructive or not so much. And if the answer is that it’s not destructive why not grin and be like ‘yes ego, you can have your boost now’. The weird thing is this: good-natureadly letting my ego check podcast stats without attacking it somehow makes ego think it’s less necessary, to show up in situations, when it would be truly unwelcome. And it ensures that ego doesn’t feel the need to be sneaky, so I can spot it miles away.