Our Ugly Side
We all have one.
It’s called our ego. The imagery of the little devil on one shoulder and the cute cherub angel on the other, really do exist within us, and are at war.
We choose who we want to listen to and act accordingly.
Very few have lived this planet ridding themselves of their ego completely, Jesus, Buddha, and Mother Theresa to name a few. I don’t feel worthy enough to make the distinction any further.
Some of us say we are on a spiritual path, trying to rid ourselves of this ugly side, this ego, and our paths can look different with different faiths, but with the same desired outcome. It is a striving toward ultimate peace, love and compassion.
Others don’t care, and live to indulge their ego and their time here on the Earth as much as possible.
Most of society falls somewhere in between. Which means, we experience both loveliness and ugliness, sometimes cherub angels singing and dancing all around us and sometimes little devils cackling with pride.
What we must ask ourselves is: how do we respond to this truth? The truth that we all have the capacity to be lovely and ugly.
Dealing with people when they are living from their heart is easy.
How do we deal with people in their ego?
1. Acceptance of everyone and the condition we all have, the war between our ego and our heart. If we can accept that everyone is in the same boat, we can offer more patience and compassion.
2. Be in our heart when we need to engage with someone in their ego. Rather than get upset and include our ego in on an argument, take space if needed, prayer always works, and move to our heart. Our heart behavior has the magical capacity of moving someone else from their ego into their heart.
3. We can see our ego as a teaching tool. Our ego wakes us up to how much work we need to do to live from our heart.
4. Our ego forces us to need loving support, through our faith and trusted friends. The group of friends we choose to be around, will lovingly accept us, and call us out on our egoic behavior. This is good. We need these friends.
5. Be grateful when ego laden people come into our lives, for it is our opportunity to practice living from our heart. The goal, like the Buddha, is to be unaffected by the world. Wow! How amazing would that be?!
What about Me? What do we do when we are stuck in ego?
I have allowed a few people recently take me down with them into their ego tunnel. Boy did it get ugly. I did not like myself. I felt disgusting. I experienced self-loathing. Ugh. Disappointment in myself.
1. I prayed. Prayer forces us to get real. In the light of Divine love, it is much harder to stay in anger/ego.
2. I admitted I was not behaving honorably, and asked for forgiveness from the other party. Keep in mind, I did not wait for the other person to recognize they were in their ego too. I focused on my poor actions. I knew I did not want to carry this poison within myself. If we wait for the other person to clear the air first, we may live in pollution for a long time. This takes humility and can be really hard, but I have learned it is the only way to find peace. Remember, the other person has the war going on within themselves too. We can be the example.
3. I shared with a few supportive friends my justifiable anger, and my desire to move from my ego to my heart. They heard me rant, acknowledged the unfairness of the situation, but exhorted me to do the right thing. They did not demand I do the right thing. These are true friends.
Sunshine & Smiles