The Negative Ego's Favorite Response.
Here is this week's Food for Thought. Let me share the story of Jane. It is not her real name, of course, but it is her real story. She is an old friend of mine and right now she is going through a crisis. It is the same crisis she's been through before. Many times and for many years. It's one of the repeated problems people have. Usually they will cluster around these 4 areas: Money, Career, Relationships and Health. In my friend's case, it's money. Always, it is money, and always she doesn't have enough of it. And it is getting worse. Before you hurry to point to the current economy as the reason for her troubles, wait. My friend is so powerful she has successfully created the same crisis over and over again regardless of the state of the economy. Did I say powerful? Yes, you read it correctly. Because it takes a lot of powerful focused energy to continue to create constant financial disasters. To the point that it doesn't even matter how much money she makes. Her bills are always more than her income. "I am the one who never has enough money" has become her identity. How does she deal with her situation? A very good question. This is what Jane hears in her head every time she runs out of money: "You are no good. You can never manage money well. All the money you made in the past... where is it???? You've squandered it! You can't be trusted with money. You will always be a loser. You ARE a loser. Here you are again, calling people, begging for help. You should be ashamed. You will end up in the street, living under the bridge. And you deserve it..." Relentless negative ego chatter, coming in the form of thoughts that are always putting her down. And when she succeeds, gets a big check, gets a new project, does the job well, she hears: " You could have done it better! Sooner! Years ago! It won't last anyway. It never does. Don't keep your hopes up. It never happens to you. You are not good enough. Go spend some money while you have it. Have some fun, you deserve it." She can't win with this voice, can she? No, she can't. But she can always tell this voice to shut up! "But Auriela, isn't this voice telling her the truth? Just look at her life..." Not so. The voice is not telling her the truth at all. The voice is using "what looks like truth" to bring her down, so she never gets up. Because the truth is: She is not a loser, she is not a failure and she is not a jerk. And she is totally capable to live differently and to manage her money better. Just as she is totally capable to find a different occupation, the one that would come with a more stable income. Why doesn't she do it then? Because at a certain point in her life she had refused to think. Because thinking for herself looked like too much work. Too much work to be evaluating, analyzing, looking at her life and her choices, taking responsibility for them, making different decisions. It was easier to just look the other way, smoke a joint, get high, distract herself, avoid taking action. So how does this relate to the Negative Ego? Who do you think is whispering this self-destructive garbage in her ear? Her Negative Ego, of course. It is that voice in her head that interprets everything that happens in her life in a way that is most devastating and destructive to her. And she is so used to listening to it, she now believes it. And the way out? She needs to start thinking for herself. As soon as a disparaging (or a self-aggrandizing) thought enters her mind, she needs to question it. -Is it true that I am unable to take care of myself? -No, it is not. -Is it true that I should go and spend the money I need to save? -No, it is not. -Is it true I will never find a different career? -No it is not! Why hasn't she started thinking for herself yet? For the same reason she has let it happen to her in the first place. She has given her negative ego the power to interpret her actions and her life, instead of doing it herself. To such an extent that she doesn't even recognize it. That's why I said last time that the phenomenon is anything but benign. Several things need to happen for Jane so she can break out of the cycle: 1. She needs
to tell herself the truth without beating herself up. 2. She needs to start thinking and acting. This won't happen without her also forgiving herself for all the "lost time," all the drama and all the pain. But she already knows all this. We talked about it many times. Will she do it? It will depend on who she decides to listen to this time. Her own critical thinking, or her negative ego. Scary? Yes, it is. The situation and where it can lead is scary. NOT the ego. The ego would like you to believe that it is scary. But it truth, it will be nothing but an empty voice, as soon as you take your life in your own hands. Take charge of your life! Toss the negative ego out and get yourself into the driver's seat. How can you apply this information to your own life? Start thinking! "But Auriela, I already am! How can you tell me this?..." And this, my friends, is the ego's favorite, immediate response: "I already am." "I already do," "I've done this already." "Got it," "Handled it." "Next...?" Always question these thoughts. If you are a thinking person, great. Then check your thoughts. Teach yourself to think better, deeper, more. Your ego will hate this idea, and will try to dismiss you, me, and this blog. Who will you listen to?
There is a lot more in the book, The Power of The Possible, with very good examples, and if you don't have it, it may be a good idea to get the book and to read about this in depth. Here is an excerpt: (it is on pp. 158-160, in more detail.)
"...And soon enough it all tumbles down: a valued friendship - broken, a career - damaged, a relationship - destroyed...." And yet we listen. Contrary to all common sense we don't just listen, we follow its advice. "The negative ego has but one purpose: to bring us down and to destroy everything we have. "When a friend gives us a constructive criticism, it tell us it is because they are jealous of our success. When someone pays us a compliment, it says it is because they want something from us. When we've done a great a job it tells us we could have done it much better. When we need to work harder it tells us we've done enough and need to rest. "There is a voice inside our heads and it never ever tells us the truth. It plays the same old tapes over and over again. Every time we allow it to speak, it lies to us. Every time we listen to it and obey it, it brings us destruction, suffering and pain. It is not overly intelligent. Quite the opposite. Our negative ego is dumb. Dumb but cunning and it is masquerading as our best friend..." Let me end this blog with a quote by Lazaris "It only takes your negative ego one minute to destroy what has taken you a lifetime to create."
I have witnessed this happen many a time in the lives of people I know and in the lives of people I know about. And all of us have seen this in movies, and read about it in books.
All for now..
As always, much love, and remember never ever to give up Hope!