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The Ego… Two Sides of One Coin

This last post in April is the last of a four week discussion on the “Ego.” If you read this blog regularly, you may realize that this post is later in the week than the usual Tuesday night ramblings. The simple reason that I am finally posting at 11:59 on April 30 is that I feel I must get this written in April or this will be just one more thing that reflects my inadequacy.

You see all week long, I have been living in the worst part of my ego. Surprisingly enough it is not so much the “I am better,” or “prideful” part of my ego as it is the “woe is me, I am in a bad mood” kind of thinking. As I was trying to build up the other side of my self which tells me that I have something worth contributing, I realized that the flip side of my false self is when I am way too concerned about failure or rejection. It is then when I want you to validate my ego. I am fascinated at the dances that we (I) perform on both sides of that coin (pride and less than.)

Ekert Tolle says that the ego is fed and nourished when we live in the past or the future. I have been consumed with the past and the future this week and was unwilling to simply take this moment, this minute that God gave me right now to simply be whoever I am; right or wrong, good or bad, loved or unloved, accepted or unacceptable, happy or unhappy. I have missed the now because I am angry about the past and fearful of the future. Notice the lack of freedom, grace and sheer pleasure when I live in one of those two extremes.

Tonight, as I am unable to set an example of someone living outside the “ego,” I would like to share some of the teachers that are encouraging me on this most difficult journey of “losing my life to find it.”

“Jesus did not move from Jesus to the Christ without death and resurrection. We have to let go of the ego names by which we have named ourselves (good and bad) and become the naked self before the naked God. That will always feel like dying. We need to know, experientially, that “I am who I am who I am”, and THAT naked, undecorated self is already and forever the beloved child of God.” Richard Rohr

“In order to become myself I must cease to be what I always thought I wanted to be, and in order to find myself I must go out of myself, and in order to live I have to die.” Thomas Merton

(This passage from Merton is my favorite. It is a good way to usher in the month of May)

“Give me the strength that waits upon You in silence and peace. Give me humility in which alone is rest, and deliver me from pride which is the heaviest of burdens. And possess my whole heart and soul with the simplicity of love. Occupy my whole life with the one thought and the one desire of love, that I may love not for the sake of merit, not for the sake of perfection, not for the sake of virtue, not for the sake of sanctity, but for You alone.” Thomas Merton

• Are you feeling inadequate in certain area’s of your life? If so, ask yourself how that could be the false self or the impostor deceiving you.

• Are you angry about the past or fearful of the future? What could you gain by living in this moment?

• Meditate on this simple prayer by Thomas Merton… Give me humility in which alone is rest, and deliver me from pride which is the heaviest of burdens. And possess my whole heart and soul with the simplicity of love

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