My ego is feeling rather bruised at the moment. In other words, the part of me that is proud and prone to endless rounds of self-inflation and deflation is feeling a little beaten up. Let’s just say I’ve convinced myself I’m not as beautiful as I would like to look today, scratch that, this week. But hey, despite this surface egocentricity, I am far more committed to vibrancy and health of the heart, than to that of the overly important head. Besides, this is nothing compared to what I’ve been through with the tyranny of ego before.
My most extreme experiences of ego to date were in the various pockets of anorexia that peppered my late teens and early 20′s, and in the one episode that even crept in at 30. In these intensely obsessive times, my egoistic head has swelled with the sense of triumph at the thinness of my body, the ability to rock any piece of clothing, and the convoluted sense of power that comes with it. The realities however of anorectic episodes, filled with deprivation, self-obsession, and constant anxiety, are the farthest thing from powerful or deep.
Fortunately for my truer self, and unfortunately for ego, I also started practicing meditation in my late teens and sit everyday. I’ve come to understand that, when not super aware, we experience the reign of ego most all the time, and hence most all our thoughts and beliefs are fueled by it. Reminding myself of this, like right now, reveals the aim of sneaky ego, to simply keep on perpetuating its little (or big) self.
The good news is that we can legitimately work toward letting go of ego. Just as Rodney Yee, yoga teacher extraordinaire, has likened yoga practice to a steady chipping away, so too, is the exposition and subtle dethroning of ego. The anatomy of ego in fact, when you really shine the light on it, just sort of scampers away, like a startled cockroach into a crack. Ego is indeed afraid of the light, or rather truth, and I love how Cheri Huber puts it, the truth in “the realization that there is nothing separate-from All That Is, from God, from Essence.”
Can you, if only for this split second, bask in the freedom of this realization, that there is no separation between you and me and the wonder of it all? Can you be lifted by that sense of unity—minus ego’s pseudo-largesse, judgment, strain, and delusional groping—as if we were all connected across the landscape of the sky, like a wonderfully clear and crystalline rainbow?
I can, at least in this instant, and all I can say is: What peace.