In the modern world, there is this misconception that ego is something bad and one should get rid of it. However I would remind you if it were not our egos, our sense of identity, we would be like goldfishes: experiencing the past 3 seconds for eternity (or at least that is what the legend says). We need narratives that give us continuity through time and don’t allow us to despair too much when it comes to the meaningless of life.
Despite its nature, we forgot that this I is a fiction we weaved in our heads over the years. Sooner or later, we grow attached to it. It’s not bad, but everything that is too much can do harm. There are 2 particular situations when „I am” can inflict more pain than pleasure.
1. You are not the person you used to be 3 months ago, you can’t remember how you used to think 5 years ago, I bet you can’t remember at least half of your childhood. And you still say you are the same entity. This “ me “ is nothing more than a chain of stories one tells about who he/she thinks is at a particular moment. When we cling to one phase of the narrative we don’t allow ourselves to transform and manifest our full potential. When you are fixated on a certain belief about who you are or you are not, you don’t make space for your wholeness to be expressed. Why? because you are fixated one thing, on a particularity.
For example, I see a lot of people that won’t do something creative because “I’m bad at… writing, drawing, singing etc”. We have all these sets of limiting beliefs, some we took from the outside (society, culture, parents, friends, educational system): “Girls are not as good as boys when it comes to…”, “A man shall never cry…”; or that we created them ourselves: “I can’t do this…”, “I am not good at that…”. Only when we give up the story we tell about ourselves in our heads we allow ourselves to grow and transform
2. Ego is not bad. , on the other hand, is not that good either. We all think that we are important and unique. We are. Not only you or me. All. However, we tend to think that only our way of seeing things is just. Thus the whole universe gravitates around our being. Truth be told the Universe cares about you as much as it cares for a stone. At a certain level, subatomically speaking, there is no difference between you and that stone. We imagine there is one through the story in our head. The ego means borders between ``you`` and the rest. When those borders are too tall one will feel isolated. Everything else is as important as I, as you.
Homo Sapiens is a storyteller by nature.
The contemporaneity sees ego as a flu that has to be treated. I would rather suggest that one should see it as part of his or her and treat it properly by feeding it with good company and fulfilling emotions. We all need a well-educated ego.
Want to read more about identity? Check out this article: Ego & Masks