Recently, I've felt a lot of challenges concerning the ego. What I've realized is this:
I'm not completely free from the ego because I still use words like "I," "mine," and "me."
But don't we all?
Today I decided to try and loosen my grip on those three little words that cause so many problems. Instead of saying, "I wrote a book about my life," I've decided to try "I wrote a book about a life." What a difference!
It started with a phone call from my editor. It was a good phone call full of great feedback and constructive criticism. Some of this criticism would have been hard to take had I not decided to drop the word "I."
But in the end, I suppose, it was a lost cause because I stood up for my voice. I wanted my voice, which I felt might have been lost a bit in the editing process, to be heard.
It's hard to tell our own stories and not be attached to the story we are telling, especially if it is the story of our lives. Even though I stood up for my voice, I'm learning to see the writing I am doing from different angles and different perspectives. I think this is important and I also think there is validity in much of the criticism we receive if we'd just LISTEN and get beyond this "I."
The irony of it all is that much of the story I am telling in my book is about learning to listen to the "voice" inside of you (and me) and to follow it. I think that this voice inside is very different from the ego. The voice inside knows much more than the ego we try so hard to protect and the images of ourselves that we create in our own minds and the minds of others.
The voice inside of you is very wise. It doesn't care about "how you look" to others. It is not interested in keeping up with appearances. In fact, when you choose to follow your inner voice or inner wisdom, you may feel like your outer world is falling apart. This is because your ego is fighting to survive. It doesn't feel comfortable with the changes going on inside you. It doesn't want to give up or lose its "shininess" or "good standing" on the outside.
But believe me, if you choose to follow that inner voice or inner wisdom and loosen up on the ego or the "I" a bit, you'll find that there's nothing to lose and EVERYTHING to gain.