Monday, April 12, 2010

Me - Me - Me

Quote of the Month:
Get me out of here!
-unhappy little boy in a bounce house

I have a confession to make this month. My ego/voice has been going WILD and CRAZY for the last few weeks. It has been all about me-me-me!

I've been complaining that there is:
too much noise,
not enough time,
that girl put her mat way too close to mine in Yoga, doesn't she know that this is "MY space?"
There is too much laundry,
not enough "me" time,
too many problems to solve.
I even found myself JUDGING ..... can you believe it? After just last month I wrote about what a waste of time it was to judge. Good to know I am human!

So, why am I sharing this with you?

There are two reasons.

1 - First of all, so you know that this is "normal" if it also goes on in your mind once in a while.... or even a little more often than that!

2 - I found out something that was significant (for me) and I wanted to share with you.

After I noticed how crazy my ego/voice was going..... I made a decision to stop fighting against it. I simply went to the observer mode and sat with it.... and sat with it..... and sat with it..... Allowing, watching, observing, and even loving the it. For those of you not familiar with my terminology, there is a post on both the voice and the observer. These are not really separate parts of ourselves, more like aspects of us, but it can be helpful to speak about them in this way.

But back to me-me-me...... : )
The situation was almost the way a parent must allow a toddler's temper tantrum to run its course, once it is in full bloom. The more I,
and loved it,
an incredible thing happened..... the more distance I could get from it.

This is often where problems come in - when we become too close to or too entangled in our ego/voice. We BECOME the ego and act AS the ego rather than the more objective observer.

Three parts:

1 - Observe - as in to watch, view, or regard with attention. This is much the same way a parent might observe the toddler once the tantrum has begun to ensure they do not injure themselves. 

2 - Allow - as in "allowing" it to unfold naturally and not control it. To permit something to happen or to exist. Allow and permit are often interchangeable, but allow implies complete absence of an attempt to hinder. Let me clarify here that this was a completely internal process and I am not saying that it is not OK to act out against someone in this manner.

3 - and Love - create an energy and space of love for the "tantrum" to happen. This is not an attached human love but more a reverent affection of the Universe that asks nothing in return.

Over time, the ego lost energy and momentum. When it was "allowed" to run its course, it simply relaxed.
Yes, there is a lot of noise.
Yes, there is a lot of laundry.
Yes, there is not much "me" time.
Yes, yes, yes!
You are right ego!

Anything else? (As when I tell my kids, "Get it ALL out!")

Then -

It lasted for about 2 minutes.
Then started up again! So repeat as necessary!

The good news is that each successive time became shorter in duration, less intense, and less dramatic!

As always, I would love to hear your feedback or questions. You may submit them by clicking on the on the "comments" link at the end of the post.

To read posts on related material
Judgments..... click here.
Ego/Voice...... click here.
The Observer..... click here.

Until next month,
Here's hoping you keep it simple!


Liz said...

Wow -- the whole part about ego and me, me, me puts me in mind of "Loving in the Moment," by Gina Lake. Her whole thing, as the rest of the title says, is about "moving from ego to essence in relationships." Those who enjoy Eckhart Tolle's books will like this one, because it helps you be in the "now" in your relationships even when they are challenging. I like the part about taking responsibility for my feelings -- who knew I was causing my own unhappiness? It always seemed like if everyone else would just do things the way I wanted, I could be happy -- instead, I can be happy without anyone else changing. That is amazing and life-changing, to discover that. I am on the way to being a much kinder person now.

Anonymous said...

Keep up the good work. I wish you well.

Anonymous said...

p.lo, In thinking of this, this raised the question for daily living, is there an optimal amount of time to divide between observer (detached) mode and ego mode to be most effective? I mean in addition to using it as a strategy when the ego becomes too strong or out of balance.

Penelope said...

Thank you for the comments and also for the question above above!

There are those that say we should do away with the ego.... but my personal feeling is that this is not possible. I do not personally feel that this is even a desirable goal. The ego is part of who you are - Elizabeth Lesser says, "It's like having an arm." You wouldn't wish to do away with your arm.

I also do not think it is realistic to suggest one live all of their life in the "observer" mode. My personal desire is to be able to live in the world and function but not be driven by the ego. (A common way of saying this is to be in the world but not of it.) One needs their ego in the world - Leonard Jacobson says you wouldn't know what your name was without your ego. He sees it as a useful tool in service to the "observer" or "higher self."

As far as a balance of time.... this is a good question. My personal suggestion (at least in my own life) would be to attempt to be in the "observer" rather than the ego as often as possible. Since most of us spend 99% of our time in the ego anyway, I don't think there is any concern over being in the observer "too much."

Though it may sound like somewhat of a contradiction - when one realizes the ego has taken over, one should NOT become upset or wish they hadn't... simply, gently re-direct your attention back to the observer. For me, this is as in yoga where one "pushes their edge" to do a little more and go a little further, hold a pose a little longer each time they do it - but it is a gentle practice.

Hope that helps!

Anonymous said...

I loved how you described the ego moments like a child having a tantrum and just having to observe its events. Thanks Pen!