I’m going to own it… My ego is completely self-obsessed.
When I meditate I can watch my fearful, dramatic, and selfish thoughts pass by with their trove of stories and beliefs. My fearful thoughts even contradict each other:
“I’m afraid I may get pregnant.” vs. “I’m afraid I can’t get pregnant.”
“I’m afraid I will get a corporate job.” vs. “I’m afraid I won’t get a corporate job.”
“I’m afraid of too much challenge.” vs. “I’m afraid I’ll get too bored.”
I notice my insecure, overly-dramatic obsessions about silly things:
“Did she ignore my text message because she doesn’t want to be my friend anymore?”
“This company obviously knows I’m a fraud and a failure, that’s why they aren’t contacting me immediately. They clearly don’t want me as a consultant because they know I’ll screw something up.”
“He didn’t clear my dish because he doesn’t care.”
The scary thing isn’t even that we tell ourselves these types of stories, it’s that we usually believe them! Thank goodness my ego isn’t who I am and your ego isn’t who you are. If it were, we would never get anything done and the world would be madness.
A byproduct of these fearful, insecure, and melodramatic thoughts is selfishness. All of the above thoughts, whether good intended or not, are all about me. They are about my needs, wants, desires, fears, etc. They are small and unconcerned with the greater world at large.
This is the real trouble with our frenetic and chaotic ego-minds. The ego-mind isn’t contributing to humanity and isn’t able to look at the world as a whole. It’s only able to look at a fragmented piece of the whole that it identifies as “Me”.
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Now there is a contradiction in this, or really a dichotomy, that in order for the world to be at peace, individuals need to be at peace. In order for the world to be happy, individuals need to be happy. So there is a certain level of “contributive-selfishness” that’s necessary.
This is the “contributive-selfishness” of growth, healing, and setting healthy boundaries. Don’t confuse this with the ego-mind’s selfishness.
Contributive-selfishness also involves the reality that people are more at peace and happier when they are contributing to society and acting in altruistic ways. When we are outside the mania of our ego-minds, we are able to enjoy the blessings of life. When we are outside the smallness of the ego-mind, we are able to graciously contribute to the betterment of our world.
It is like all complimentary cycles. Do good – feel good. Give more – receive more. See yourself in the eyes or others – others will see themselves in your eyes.
How often during your day today were you more focused on “Me” than on “We”? How did you contribute to The World today?
This doesn’t have to mean some grandiose gesture. It could be smiling at a stranger, listening intently to a friend, or opening a door for someone that needs help.
Contributing to the flow and goodness of each other’s lives is what ensures our future existence as a species. Focusing on selfish gain will wipe our species out.
Now we humans are unique from other species because we have the gift, or curse, of freewill and choice. We can feed the ego “Me” or feed the greater “We”.
You choose in every thought, word, and action every single day. Make the best choice for something bigger than “Me” and contribute to “We”.
Image by Jiuck, CC