Up until the beginning of this year, I would actually pride myself in not having what I understood an “ego” to be. It’s a commonality among creatives, entrepreneurs, and businessmen/women to have a tendency toward ego considering how much of their time is spent convincing themselves they do, in fact, have “that something special to separate them from their competitors.” When we think of culture icons who have “big egos”, we immediately consider Kanye West, Donald Trump, and idk… Paris Hilton? Based solely on media presence, we’ve established these rich and famous individuals as so full of what makes them so special, that they have become a little twisted. But I’d like to break down even further what it means to have an unbreakable ego.
It took living through 2016 and walking into 2017 to realize that an ego is not only dangerous for the obvious Donald Trump reason, but it can manifest itself in a very silent and secret way. An ego can be a humble, slithery thing that poisons your psyche and I didn’t even consider this until it happened to me at the beginning of this year. I would pride myself on my ability to stay humble about my achievements, talents, and self-love but never considered that I actually don’t know everything, that uniqueness is not uniquely mine, and that really, I have no idea how to love myself.
But wait, doesn’t having en ego mean you love yourself too much?
Nope. It means you think you know everything; not self-love, rather, self-destruction.
At the start of 2016, I invested my entire soul into someone else. It was the best feeling in the world. I loved the steadiness of not having to be so wrapped up in my crazy imagination all the time. I loved learning from someone who had a more logistical, simple perspective on life. I was awestruck by how completely fascinating this individual who was so opposite from me was. The issue arose when I realized I had fallen deeply in love with someone who was unable to reciprocate the feeling. We were opposite, but not aligned. I became so unconditionally attached that when they decided to pry themselves away from me for both of our sakes (their issue, not mine), I felt they were walking away with my soul. Imagine looking into the mirror and seeing someone else. Dramatic, but I am intense (no shame) so this is honestly what it felt like.
When I lost this person who I felt so strongly was the missing piece to my puzzle, I naturally felt sad. When the sadness left, a new demon arrived in a stone-cold package labeled “Hello 2017” on my doorstep. I thought “This is funny, I thought I ordered something else.” But my curiosity could not be contained so I opened it up and was shocked to my core. A wave of anxiety I had never experienced before that made me physically ill had entered my psyche but only because I let it in. My body shook, and my fear-driven thoughts gave me such a massive migraine, I was bedridden. This was absurd. I used to not believe in anxiety attacks. Then I was quite literally infected, like “catching the flu” as my a loving friend explained to me. I was sick. My brain got sick. What the hell?
What I didn’t know, is that it wasn’t me and that I had the power to ignore the whispers of my ego and open myself up to some truth medicine: Just because I have access to a channel of genius consisting of an imaginative stream constantly in motion, doesn’t mean I am “too advanced for this world.” That is my ego talking and let me tell you, it is straight up stupid. It is naive. It is unintelligent. And I’m not saying this with a “woe is me” intention, I’m saying this because 2017 is this first year I have ever been afraid of my own power. I have to put myself in check. Yes, I may be developmentally advanced in some areas such as emotion and imagination but I am also developmentally behind in logistic and linear thinking which is just as important and beautiful.
Suddenly, it became more crucial than ever to pry the logic switch on in order to see tthe open arms of truth waiting to be met in the rooms of my life. When I slowly gained the ability to do this, I saw some stunningly beautiful things. Just to name a few…
I can fall in love with myself.
People of faith are the smartest people in the world.
People of happiness are the smartest people in the world.
I do not know everything.
Thank God I do not know everything.
We are all needy.
Selfishness is okay sometimes.
Love is real.
Things don't work out, but a lot of things do.
An overwhelming number of geniuses change the world for the better.
Good eliminates evil when recognized and fought for. Period.
Spiritual growth, like anything, is a step-by-step process.
"Just being" is a beautiful, beautiful thing.
I am very helpful to others and others are very helpful to me. This is love.
Wonder is crucial.
Thus, I am working on morphing the lie I received into a brilliant light of hope. Two hours ago, I met with an amazingly inspiring friend who told me I need to be the voice I want to hear. She told me to use my romanticism as a tool not a trap. This is precisely what she has done with her individual, creative power. She walks through life lifting people up by always seeing the glass half-full regardless of the shit that has happened in her own world and the world surrounding her. This is what it means to be touched by grace.
So yes, I have a lot of power in my hands. We all do. But it has to be manipulated and morphed into good. It has to be poked, prodded, punched, defeated, stifled, and burnt out but just as a flame can be re-ignited, so can your own ability to create the change you want to see.
I encourage you to examine your ego and practice self-love in a way that is beautifully logical. You cannot help others until you help yourself. You cannot manifest change without a solid ground to stand on and the most unsteady ground you could possibly dig your roots into is “I Already Know It All”. That is an earthquake waiting to happen. Touching divinity means accepting that this life is a stunning mystery in which beauty, love, and change are certain.
The ego is an illusion. Love and hope are real. Rest up, fight on, and spread the word.