So many people have lost their sense of wholeness and connection to our deeper nature. The result, they serve their ego.
The ego is a function to differentiate what is self and what is other. We need to know what’s our body and what’s not so we can walk and cut vegetables, for example.
Yet when we put what see’s itself as separate in charge, trouble begins.
The ego likes to have confidence in its faulty position, so it creates stories in the mind about the world. This can help it adapt and make choices. But all too often, those stories are based on distorted assumptions. Imagined ideas and brief experiences it rated important come to dominate the rest of our life. For example, we may see a bearded man as “like daddy” or as suspicious when that feature has nothing to do with either.
Our daily “rating” is full of such assumptions, leading us into regular conflict with the flow of life. Suffering results.
Worse, we also associate many of those stories with our sense of self. We thus defend them, despite other evidence.
Ego is habit-driven, so if something is said or heard often enough, we can take it as true, whatever the evidence. Like being called stupid or brilliant by a parent many times. Or believing the world is out to get you or is here to serve you. This is why it’s important to choose your friends and sources wisely.
Notice the stories your mind tells over and over and that you tell others. Are these really true? How does that belief affect you? Byron Katie, for example, explores this in her The Work process.
Notice how we communicate. When we’re chatting with someone, are we looking for a chance to tell our story? When they’re talking, are we thinking about what we’re going to say? Are we assuming what they’re going to say, jumping ahead? Are we actually listening and present for them? Or are we lost in our own stories? Are we only serving ourselves and our narrative?
Frankly, there are better things to serve. The ego is a useful function, but it makes a poor master.
What about serving your family or community? Or your spiritual source? Or life itself? Or the Divine?
And by serving, I don’t mean subservient. I mean serving from sufficiency, recognizing our gifts and shadows, and offering all to our greater nature.
The Yogas of India encourage a surrender to our deeper being or higher Self. This allows the deeper flows of life to be in charge, rather than an identified me.
We may serve knowledge, or love, or serve others through action.
By serving more than ourselves, the resistance to what is arising falls away more easily and we move into harmony with life.
You may be doing well here. But be alert to the ego, thinking it’s above all this. That’s a story too.
Consider what you serve and what that serves.