EGO: Three letters that stop us from saying the three words that our hearts are dying to say like ‘I love you’, ‘I am sorry’, ‘Please forgive me’, ‘I miss you’.
EGO: Thatcentres on ‘me’ rather than ‘we’.
EGO: That has no relationship skills and only creates conflicts.
EGO: The death of happiness.
Ego is essentially an illusion -- an exaggerated notion we have of ourselves, which is not reality. It creates chaos within and around us, creating unhappiness. An egoist has a grandiose sense of self importance, is rigid, attention-seeking and uncompromising in behaviour, constantly blaming others, complaining and avoiding any responsibility for the problem or the solution, needing excessive admiration, constantly expecting special treatment, envious, has a haughty attitude, unable to accept a mistake and apologise and unable to see good in others. That’s a lot to handle for one person!
No one is born with an ego. Ego comes in when emotional needs are not met; life becomes a constant struggle, fending off loneliness, fear, emptiness and rejection. This lack is compensated by domination and a superiority complex. As a society we need to be concerned that this type of behaviour is on the rise. We are constantly trying to be cleverer, more talented, and more attractive than the next person. We have trouble accepting criticism and extending empathy because we are too busy being judgemental and are too pre-occupied with our own lives. Expectations are just too high. It starts at home where undue pressure is placed on children to outdo each other. In the work place, friendships and even parenting, the pervading culture seems to have become one of competitiveness, superiority and one-upmanship. Egoist attitudes adversely affect workplace and personal relationships and worse still, these traits continue to transmit to the successive generations of offspring. As the ego becomes strong, it surrounds intelligence with a thick layer of darkness making our minds become closed and impenetrable.
Also read: Relationships are always worth the effort
Love, compassion and acceptance of self are what it takes to let go of one’s ego and all the conditioning that goes with it. Ego can never be fully eradicated, but the moment we become aware of our ego, it ceases to be ego, but just an old conditioned pattern. According to Osho, any action that leads to misery comes from a space of ego; if it leads to a beautiful feeling of blessedness, it was from nature as anything from nature is harmonious and just fits in. He also advises noticing the intention behind each action and not being in a hurry to sacrifice ego or else the greatest egoist is born. The person, who thinks he is humble and has no ego, is the biggest egoist of all. This is the same story played on a subtle level.
When nails grow long, we cut the nails not the fingers; similarly, when misunderstandings crop up, we need to cut the ego not the relationship. When you truly care for someone then mistakes should not change your feelings towards them because it is the mind that gets angry, but the heart always cares. No relationship dies a natural death; it is killed by ego, attitude and ignorance. Romantic heartbreak has got to do more with ego and pride than of the actual loss.
As ego is dropped, love, peace and happiness arrive from all directions. It becomes easier to live in the present moment and to enjoy life to the fullest. Accessing our inner courage, calm and gratitude, breathing these qualities throughout our beings and choosing our words, thoughts and actions in alignment, can quickly change situations for the better. The idea is to consciously sail away from ego battles into calmer waters of real love.
As Julian Michaels rightly said, “A bad day for your ego is a good day for your soul.”
(Kamalrukh Khan is a Mumbai-based clinical hypnotherapist and wellness coach. She's intuitive, strong and positive and loves travelling. She believes travelling to a new country is the best education she can give her kids. Painting and flying a plane or chopper top her bucket-list)