How to Address Your Ego
After months of preventing myself from producing written content for fear it is not creative enough, I have returned to talk about some recent encounters with the ego.
Which leads me to the question: did I ever really leave?
Depending on which psychologist or spiritual teacher you talk to, the concept of ego can differ. However, you’ll find that in each definition there is a central theme amongst all of them: reality.
In Jungian psychology, the ego is one of two parts that make up the personality.
As you can see in the diagram above, the ego is the center of consciousness, with the self being the holistic view of the subconsciousness that envelopes our consciousness and the rest of our personality.
This is interesting because Michael D. Singer, a spiritual guru and author, describes the center of consciousness to be the soul itself — with the ego being an entirely different entity known as “the inner voice.” To Michael, the ego is like a roommate of ours that is distracting our consciousness from what our true intentions are. If we listen to it, we are more likely to lose our center of consciousness by getting lost in emotion and anticipation.
Either way, no matter how I choose to distinguish the ego, I can’t help but notice that I am coming face to face with each of them.
The ego is often brought to the attention by an emotional response, and right now I’m experiencing plenty — Including fear. While I typically experience either shame or anger as an emotional response, I’m learning that my ego comes out in full force when I am fearful. It’s no surprise that right now — as I write this article about encountering my ego — I have plenty to be “afraid” of.
On June 1st of this year (a single day before the writing of this article) I left the comfort of multiple internship opportunities and summer classes for the uncertainty of contract work and personal-portfolio development. On top of that, I’m not even home. I’m couch-surfing in cities I’ve never even been to before.
I say this because — as I’m sitting in a coffee shop, hundreds of miles from home — I am experiencing both “my inner voice,” and the consciousness that gets to choose what it allows into its lens of awareness.
So to rephrase the question in the subtitle: if I am able to experience my consciousness (ie. The part of me that is doing the experiencing), then is what I’m experiencing actually my consciousness? And if not, is it the ego?
I think herein lies the answer to addressing the ego. If you’re able to experience it, then it’s not you. It’s simply something that is being observed by you, which means that you get to choose what to do with it. You get to choose how to address your ego.
I really think that’s all there is to it.
Do you listen to what it says? Do you embody what it feels? Do you ignore it outright?
The choice — and the resultant growth — is yours.