Lesson 1: The False Power of the Ego

by Neseret on November 17, 2011

Tuberous begonias / Begonia x tuberhybrida / 球根(きゅうこん)ベゴニア“Ego is a false sense of self. To have a foundation of your sense of identity based on an image of who you are. It is a split self.” ~ Eckhart Tolle ~

Where Does Your Sense of Self Come From?

Your sense of self can come from true and authentic place within you or it can come from a myriad of misguided sources and places. Many people derive their sense of self from their ego.

What exactly is “the ego”?

No one does a better job of explaining “the ego” as does author and spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle. If I had to pick books that have influenced my life for the better Eckhart’s A New Earth would be at the top of the list.

Eckhart does a wonderful job of describing the ego in its many facets. Essentially the ego is something that pretends to be you but is not you. The ego is things you believe about yourself, about who you are that are not representation of your real self.

For example, you are not the car your drive, your job title, how much you make, your status in life etc. Any identification with what Eckhart calls “form” is the ego.

“No-thing has ever defined who you are.”

“Form” can mean physical things (ie: the house, the car etc.)  but it can also be mental concepts (ie: your beliefs, opinions etc.)If  the thing you think you are is something outside of yourself that has to do with “form” then it is not you.

So if you are not all of these things then who are you? How do you find your true self?

Oprah answers this question beautifully in this first lesson. “You have to learn to become still to be in a state of awareness to hear your inner voice. The most important thing is to be able to go to the still space within yourself. The voices of the world will drown out your inner voice. Knowing your true self comes from the willingness to still yourself. That is how you start to feel your inner voice. When you know you don’t have to ask anyone else. ”

The ego feeds itself on wanting. It is never satisfied. Your ability to disconnect with your false self and connect to that inner stillness is the arising of your awareness of your true self. Eckhart Tolle calls this process “AWAKENING”.

“The real work of your life – to discover the truth of who you really are apart from the ego.”

What holds us back from becoming all we’re meant to be is our ego. Understanding the ego and how it operates is an important first step in getting to know who we are beyond the ego.

I would highly encourage you to read Eckhart Tolle’s book A New Earth: Awakening To Your Life’s Purpose for greater understanding of the ego. If you’re currently experiencing pain, and suffering in your life you are most likely operating out of your ego. “Operating out of the ego means operating out of fear. You’ll always be afraid and running away from your life.”

How does your ego get in the way?

Until I read A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle I was mainly operating out of my ego. I felt fearful and vulnerable most of the time. I didn’t really know who I was and definitely didn’t feel comfortable in my own skin. I looked for love in all the wrong places. I often got involved in romantic relationships to validate my self worth. My self worth was non- existent.

You can’t begin to love yourself unless you know who you are aside from your ego.

It took a while for me to really recognize my ego and how it was getting in the way of me becoming all I could be. More than anything in the world I wanted to just be at peace and happy. I also wanted to be involved in loving and nurturing relationships.

The biggest thing I needed to learn was to accept and love myself. This was a huge step for me. I had to come to the realization that I was limited in the amount of love I could give anyone unless I accepted and loved myself first. I was afraid of being alone and didn’t know I could be o.k on my own.

You alone are enough!

Once I recognized the dysfunctional part of myself or what Eckhart calls “the ego”/ “false sense of self” it became easier to begin to see my true self. Therefore to accept and love my true self. This of course was and still is an ongoing process. I’m still working on it each and everyday. Every step you take to disconnect from your ego is a step closer to more  peace, happiness and joy.

When you acknowledge the ego in yourself. You diminish it.

Please take time now to share your understanding of the ego and how it may have gotten in the way of becoming all you can become. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic.

If you found this article helpful please pass it forward. Share it on Facebook or Twitter.

Peace, Love & Gratitude,

Source: OWN, Oprah’s LifeClass, Lesson 1: The False Power of the Ego

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