Another day, another sayonara to my ego

on

Ego.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Ugh. I despise that word.

In many circles, it means the bit of you that gets too big for its britches. The one that boasts, brags or feels entitled.

And don’t tell me you don’t have that bit. We all do. We all make asses of ourselves occasionally. Even you, my angel.

Ego is also our saboteur.

Not familiar with that side of ego? Betcha’ are, even if you don’t know it.

I recently wrote about joy in my life. Joy after a long hiatus from it. Joy that I don’t want to share, don’t want to explain, don’t want to analyze. Just want to feel when it alights on my shoulder.

Joy scares ego. Because when we are joyful, we begin to glow with that inner light. Dream big dreams.

Ego takes a distant backseat when joy visits. And when has ego ever liked the backseat?

So I find that when joy makes a house call, my ego cannot sit quietly and listen to the conversation. She begins to needle me.

woman sitting on a wharf with a box in her face
woman sitting on a wharf with a box in her face

“This (fill in the blank) is so foolish. You’re going to get hurt/be broken/be made to look foolish/fall flat on your face/make the same mistakes you did last time.”

She tells me not to take a chance because it hurts when chances do not pan out or pay off.

She tells me I’m not wise enough/beautiful enough/strong enough/grounded enough.

Ego is such a Biyatch. I’d prefer to sit her sorry tush by the side of the road somewhere, banishing her from the backseat from here through eternity.

What she does not know is that the still, small voice that has always been inside me—the one that let her have the floor for years—has a whisper stronger than any megaphone ego uses to make her voice heard from the backseat.

And, with this whisper, that voice and I clue ego in on a few things.

First, the past few years have changed me. Immensely. I am tempered steel, in a way ego will never be because she is untested. Always untested. Too scared to take a real chance equals too small to play for real stakes. I’m playing for real stakes now.

Second, yes it hurts when things do not pan out. Damn straight it hurts. Tell me something I do not know and have not experienced, ego. I’ll take hurt over numbness any day of the week.

Third, I am wise. I am beautiful. I am strong. I am grounded. Tears in my eyes as I type those words.erotic

Those are earned things. This is how I know them in my soul:

I am wise enough to know every single tough thing I have braved has finally convinced me that deserting myself is not an option—ever—even when I am deserted or disappointed by those I love. I. Am. Staying. By. My. Own. Side. Always.

I am beautiful enough to have earned these fine lines, these child-bearing hips that accommodated two beautiful bouncing baby boys, a mischievous belly laugh that only comes from years of experience and experiences (yes, two very different things), a look in my eye that says I’ve lived and after all, isn’t all of that pretty beautiful? At least to the trained eye?

I am strong enough to have been brought to my knees more times than I can count. Strong enough to know I never do any of this thing called Life by myself. A power much higher than me leads me. Strong enough to have broken—completely—and been rebuilt.

I am grounded enough to know that I will survive whatever comes my way. That joy and sorrow are passing, even if each sits in my marrow.

It’s not perfect. Any of it. I don’t want to pretend that I’ve weathered some big storm and now am enlightened beyond belief.

But I do know this. Ego making me doubt myself, my convictions, my adventures, my beliefs is something I am far from alone in—each of you has had the same experience. Some of you may have mastered it long before I did. Others may be just starting to discern the havoc ego wreaks in your own life.

And if I can hear my soul’s whisper above ego’s raucous wail, you can.

My most recent words to her? “Not today, ego. No. You are not welcome today. I may not be able to guarantee that I will not let you slip in the door in the future, on a weaker day. But today is not that. I am about to go with my joy into the next moment, the next hour. Perhaps to make an ass of myself. Perhaps not. But either way, you cannot take this joy from me. Not now. Not ever. This moment, this hour, this day, is mine.”

Say it with me now, people. Come on.

Sayonara, inner demons.

We don’t have time for you today.

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23 Comments Add yours

  1. You are wise indeed, Kay. I never considered self-doubt as a part of ego. You’ve given me something to think about. Thank you. x

    1. candidkay says:

      Thanks, Jennifer. It sounds counterintuitive, I know, but I think of ego as what sabotages my happiness and growth. And self-doubt–wow–that one does both in spades.

      1. Yes, I see it now, the way you explain it. Self-doubt is selfishly clinging to ego, not letting go.

  2. Sometimes I think of all the things we wrestle in life, ego is the hardest. That’s the part of us that’s most scared but one we must master. Sounds like you’re going a good job. Self-awareness is everything.

  3. Most of the times I agree with whatever you say Kay. I’m doing here too, agreeing with the essence of the post, but are you sure that’s ego? Or just uncertainty or insecurity?

    1. candidkay says:

      I hear you on this one. I think ego in our culture is perceived as brash and boastful. But I see it as the bit that is threatened by true spiritual enlightenment and progress. Who, for me, is my saboteur.

  4. cristi says:

    I love that wisdom, beauty, and strength are “earned things” and “I will survive whatever comes my way”. You really spoke to me…thought about this all afternoon. So true. So beautiful. Thank You!

    1. candidkay says:

      Thank you! Glad my words touched you.

  5. “I am staying by my own side always.” I love that! My ego is a knife that cuts pieces of me away and tries to make me forget that I’m whole. ❤

  6. JB says:

    Great writing! Your perspective is inspiring.

  7. Beautifully written Kay, words of a master…now breeeeeathe :). Imagine the yucky bits going out with the breath.
    By the way lovely lady, you have crossed that threshold of ‘knowing’ within, and are on your true journey and have the rest of your life…just go with the flow my friend. You have found your strength, tested it, and can smile because you dared it 🙂

    1. candidkay says:

      Love those words, Mark! Thank you:).

  8. You are honest and understand who you are Kay. Beautiful 🙂

  9. markbialczak says:

    You are listening to the proper voice, Kay. Yes, you are. Your friends out here are happy and proud.

    1. candidkay says:

      Thank you, Mark! I get it right once in awhile:).

  10. Loved this.
    “Ego takes a distant backseat when joy visits.”

    “I am wise enough to know every single tough thing I have braved has finally convinced me that deserting myself is not an option—ever—even when I am deserted or disappointed by those I love. I. Am. Staying. By. My. Own. Side. Always.”

    Poetry. Poetry. Beautiful poetry.

  11. Molly McCloskey says:

    “I am wise. I am beautiful. I am strong. I am grounded.” A new mantra to begin (and end) my day! You are all that and more, Kristine!

    1. candidkay says:

      Thank you, Molly:). I hope you do begin and end your day that way! All true in your case.

  12. Amy says:

    “I am wise. I am beautiful. I am strong. I am grounded.”

    Yes, you are, my friend! Wishing you all the joy your heart can hold. xoxo

    1. candidkay says:

      I might say the same to you, sweet Amy:). Joy and then some!

  13. Willow-Marie says:

    “deserting myself is not an option”…tears in my eyes as I read these words. A really meaningful post, thx Kay.

    1. candidkay says:

      Thank you:). Have done it enough in the past to finally know better. Sigh of relief:).

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