Sigmund Freud, founder of psychoanalysis, smok...

People refer to their ego all of the time. I refer to it, myself. But, do we really know what we’re talking about? I wasn’t so sure, so I turned to the vast knowledge base we call the internet.

First stop, Wikipedia:

Ego is a Latin word meaning “I“, cognate with the Greek “Εγώ (Ego)” meaning “I”, often used in English to mean the “self”, “identity” or other related concepts.

This is sort of what I thought. But that’s not the end of it. Wikipedia goes on to say:

It may also refer to:

Ego, one of the three constructs in Sigmund Freud’s structural model of the psyche

Ego (religion), as defined in various religions in relationship to self, soul etc.

Ego (spirituality), the “self”, “self-concept”, “false self”, “conceptual identity”, or identification with individual existence

In discussions of kinship systems, the person through which the relationship is traced

Kinship systems? I’ve had enough, already. My eyes are crossing, and I realize that it sort of doesn’t matter what the actual definitions are, since almost no one else seems to know either. If you picture an orange when I say apple, we are not communicating. So, if I say ego and your idea of what that means is not the same as mine, we are not communicating.

I’m considering dropping the word ego from my vocabulary. Seriously.

I Am my Ego. Who Are You?

Okay, I’m still using it. Even if I drop the word, I feel the need to understand some things it evokes. I feel that I need a healthy sense of self; of who I am and how I want to express myself in the world – and I think my ego is the thing that enables me to do that.

Once I become sufficiently evolved in a spiritual sense, that may not matter to me, but it does now. I do feel that we are all connected; all part of a greater whole, but more than that, I feel like an individual. And as long as I feel that, I rely on my ego to stand up for me when others try to tell me I’m something or someone other than who I feel I am. OK, so maybe it goes too far, and maybe it’s not really right. Sometimes it thinks I’m really someone from long ago, or hangs on to old habits that I want to shed. That only means I need to become more aware of my ego and what it’s trying to accomplish.

Set Yourself Free From the Tyranny of Your Ego

I don’t know about you, but my ego has gotten me into trouble more times than I can imagine. So, while I recognize its utility, I also recognize how it needs to be challenged. Here are some things I do:

  • Become aware. Become very aware.
  • Detach from outcome.
  • Let go of the need to be right.
  • Let go of the need to please others.

I sense that there are more things, and even these deserve elaboration, but that will all have to wait for another day. (See, I’ve already given up on impressing you.) Until then, maybe you can help me out with some other ways to train my ego.

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