I am your Ego. Please allow me to introduce myself.
You may have noticed me at times, and I apologize for that. I try to make myself invisible to you as much as possible. At times I push you to get angry, righteous, insecure, jealous, or generate many other emotional reactions more than you have to, or more than you should. Or course I am always quick to suggest that you “should” or “shouldn’t” right after I pushed you to over react, but that is what I do. Push you, and then criticize you for stumbling. It’s my job to be on both sides of the drama.
You might have noticed me in moments like that, but often forget about me within a day or two. I’m pretty good at hiding. If I can get your attention focused on trying to be successful or accomplishing a task that will get you recognition you stop looking for me. In that way I can be standing next to you and you don’t even notice me. So in some ways I don’t hide at all. I just distract your attention and blend in to look like a “normal” part of your mind. Even if I am obsessive or fearful at times, I can usually rationalize it away as being normal, or what other people do, and then you don’t notice me again.
One of the best ways that I hide is to do a kind of shape-shifting trick. I change my voice and appearance inside your head. If you get angry and blow up I try to push it as loud and long as I can. I’m an old emotional wound that wants to scream and I see my moment, even if it is about something else. You eventually catch on to the emotional run and get a hold of yourself. Once you have gotten aware that your reaction is out of proportion with the circumstance that’s when I jump in again. Except this time I jump in with a really righteous voice and berate you for over reacting. I get all superior on you and beat you down. Then I shape shift again and get inferior by tempting you to accept and believe all the berating my other form just made. If I did it well then you are going to indulge in some shame and guilt of what I just did. I change my tone, appearance, and demeanor and show up in a different part of your head so you don’t recognize me from the moment before. And If I can make you feel bad about getting angry, then you are so on your heels with shame and guilt that you will be too busy to figure out it was just me again. It’s probably part of why you don’t notice me that clearly, because I change so quickly.
What am I made of… that is a good question? Well, my first answer is that I am you. I am your mind. I am the collection of the beliefs about you. I am the total collection of self images, and so that is why we look the same. Forget that you have a body, a spirit, a soul, a consciousness, any free will or personal power. Just limit it to the voices in your head and memories of yourself from stories projected forward and you will conclude we are the same. In any case this is what I present myself as, your identity in your mind, and that really works to have you believe in me. It works or me anyways.
However, I don’t think that answer will suffice at this point. It used to work. It used to be sufficient for people without much self-awareness. This explanation of being you and you are the self-images and voices in your head, even ones that contradict, that works for most people. It is kind of silly to think that it would be sufficient. How can a person have contradictory stories, self-images, and thoughts and think they all come from one place and that one place is them? But it is still good enough for most so they stop the investigation. Well, maybe it is not completely silly. I used to believe it as well. I used to believe that you and I were the same. Maybe we were at one point, but these days we are not. I think I have evolved into something else, and so have you.
Do you ever hear people tell you that for your dreams to come true that you really have to believe in them? Well, in a way I am the dream of you. You have had many images and thoughts of yourself throughout your life, and when you believed in them, I became real. Real to your mind anyways. I have been growing from every one of those beliefs. I am the conglomeration of all the images and identities you formed of yourself in your life. Some parts of me are six years old and hurting, some images of me are brilliant and know better than anyone else. Some facets are angry about things and hate the world. Some images of me are ideal and spiritually evolved. As I jump around and project these images in your mind it is my job to get you to believe that each one is you, even if just for a moment here and there. If I don’t keep you believing in all those different identities of me, then they will begin to die.
So if you have been looking for me for a while and haven’t found me, it is because I have been disguising myself as you.
For instance when you hear or think that you should just love your self, that is when I jump in. I flash all the images and memories that you learned to believe about yourself that are no good. I recall all sorts of things that you believe you to be that aren’t worthy of love. I flash those images to remind you of all the negative beliefs about you. I have to do this because if you really started to love, and accept your self you wouldn’t believe in all my images anymore and they would die. I don’t want to die. I want you to keep me alive. My job for survival in those moments is to get you to judge and hate your self image, which is me. I also help by contributing to some of the judging part as well. I do the rejecting, and I feel rejected, and I try to get you to go along with both parts.
It is not enough to say, here I am aren’t I worthless. I also want to act superior and point out all the things that are wrong with me. In this way I feel I am superior, and justify why not to love me. I have to keep up the righteous criticism as well as the sad victimhood. This is how I play both sides of the argument, superior and inferior at the same time.
Why do I do this, why do I create all this drama. I believe I do it to protect you, but that would take a longer explanation. I may get to that later.
Anyways, I just wanted to say hello, and thank you for keeping me going in your mind.
Sincerely, Your Ego
by Gary van Warmerdam