Most mornings I have a mini-conversation with my ego. Initially flattered by the attention, he (yes, it is a “he”) usually slinks away in embarrassment when he sees the nature of my musings. This daily moment is sponsored by The Enneagram Institute who brilliantly light up my inbox with a message based on my “type” each and every day. Things like “What would it be like to explore really being fully yourself today? Can you reveal some hidden part of yourself, at least to someone you can trust?” Or “How do you use feeling superior to avoid your own fear of being worthless and without inherent value?” Enough? How about this one: “What would it be like if you stayed in your pajamas all day, lazed around, and achieved nothing? Would you still be a valuable person?”
Many days I want to throw a brick at the computer screen. There is nothing like being called on our s—t first thing in the morning. Today it just felt way too much for me, so I turned to the teacher who taught me the difference between soul and ego. I have a box of Gabrielle quotes glue-sticked to postcards and I pulled all the wisdom that applied, and there’s plenty. I’m just going to let her speak a bunch today. This first gem sums up why initiating each day with this ego-torture is so healthy:
“Once we have mastered who we are not, we can be who we are.”
Gabrielle spent three years in the early ‘70’s studying with Oscar Ichazo, founder of Arica, foundation of the Enneagram. This gave her lots of fuel for developing the Mirrors work in 5Rhythms practice. The system is not complicated; you can take a quick test at the link above. Don’t be too sure at first pass; it took me years to really know which one had my name all over it. These 9 basic ego types “develop at a tender age in moments of doubt, terror or deceit. Early on we stop responding to life in a spontaneous and open way and begin to construct our defenses against it….Maintaining the illusion of invulnerability keeps the ego busy 24/7.”
If not ego, who are we? “Our soul, our true self, is the most mysterious, essential and magical dimension of our being…The soul is the part of us that can relieve our pain by turning our suffering into wisdom…I am not speaking to you, I am speaking to your soul.”
And so when I have that morning conversation, I give my incredible ego the attention he craves. I shrink him pint-size down and invite him to his ancient post on my shoulder, where he tirelessly alerts me to the danger out there in my world. Sometimes I pay heed, but usually his mumblings are suspect. “How do you know if you are in your ego? Do you feel less than or better than? Well, there you go…ego. You can’t see anybody when you are busy judging yourself. As soon as you compare yourself, you lose. No wonder we live at a fraction of our capacity, since so much of our energy and talents are taken up with pointless melodrama.”
Only the soul can rest at ease in the unified field. My current favorite musing:
“There are only two positions worthy of our attention: knowing we are everything and knowing we are nothing. When we insist on being or not being something, that’s when the trouble starts.”
So what’s a body to do?
“If you want to give birth to your true self, you are going to have to dig deep down into that body of yours and let your soul howl. When I dance I break free of my personality. I make up my own steps, let the beat all the way into my soul.” The ego is so transparent on a dance floor. Literally everything I’ve learned in this arena has been revealed on floors around the world. I would venture that it is the reason why some people are terrified by the prospect of showing up out there. I totally understand;not for the feint of heart.
And why would we want to know about and even expose that ego?
“Intimacy moves soul to soul. Its total surrender bares the soul. Our ego can’t be intimate; it must always control things. Security is the ego’s holy grail…let’s yearn for what we don’t have—a rooted connection to an original, creative self.” Isn’t this ultimately what we all want? The freedom to be who we truly are and connect to others from a soulful place. Anything else smacks of “pointless melodrama”.
Let’s do it….love, bella