Studying the ego vs. the soul and its motivations and what drives us to succeed and accomplish. How does the ego and soul work together and fit into the picture?. I get both the ego and the soul have their place – even when they are in conflict with one another.
The ego is a set of programs and conditioned behaviors that form our sense of self, mostly from our external environment during our formative development.
In my view, the soul drives us to be, rather than do – the soul is connected to our highest purpose and isn’t as concerned with the day to day or with the outer world. It’s a delicious part of ourselves we sometimes forget to take time to nourish. Where our inner wisdom lives. We know we’re exactly right and perfect just as who we are and where we are. It’s a place that is always satisfied and doesn’t experience the longing that is so human and so defeating sometimes.
The soul is where we know that exactly what we’re doing right now and exactly what we’re experiencing is what is right for our growth and development.
And, it is. Truly it is. So often we don’t really see, believe or understand it’s all right and perfect until we have the distance and luxury of time. We can look back and understand perfectly why things unfolded the way they did and get that crisp, brilliant perspective on life. That’s when we understand it all happened/happens as it ultimately meant to.
Our Soul Values
Our soul has a long term view of ourselves, and has not attached to form. It has not preference to what physical experiences we have. In fact, the soul does not quantify and evaluate. dividing our life into categories. The soul sees our life as a journey of discovery and learning. A ‘work of art’ with no specifically view of success or failure. No matter what experience we have along the path the soul seeks to learn and grow whether we like them or not.
The ego on the other hand is like the competitive neighbor who wants what the person next door has, just because they can. Obsessive with competition and material rewards. Because why? Because we can(!) The ego seeks desires and wanting and can become agitating. That ego agitation does generate motivation and drive certainly serving a purpose. Mostly keeping our feet on the ground and moving forward.
The ego usually gets caught in one of two games: inflation and deflation.
With inflation comes a feeling of superior or grandiosity that leads us to overestimate our ability. It gives us a feeling of being “better than” others. With deflation, we feel less than others. We feel unworthy and perhaps incompetent. Things like imposter syndrome become common where we underestimate our knowledge and abilities. (We’ll address imposter syndrome later on.) An inflated ego, in particular, is easily blind to its shadow. In fact, an inflated ego denies the negative aspects of the shadow entirely.
An inflated ego resists coming down to reality and seeing itself fully (including its flaws and weaknesses). As it says in the Bible, “Pride goeth before a fall.” (Proverbs 16:18). Did either of your parents say things like “You’re so special,” or “You’re my special boy/girl”? Were you praised a lot by one or both of your parents or teachers or other family members?
In some ways, the degree you were praised in childhood is related to the level of resistance you’re likely to meet in getting to know your shadow. The other extreme has the opposite problem. A deflated ego denies the positive. The ego values a complex set of identifications, opinions, positions, desires, preferences and judgments. Basically, any identification consciously or subconsciously is an aspect of your ego.
Listening to our ego and its operation system isn’t congruent with how our soul operates. When you are ‘coming from’ your heart (a soul perspective), your ego will take a back seat. Our fears of wanting and having more it doesn’t care; it just wants what it wants. You can sense when you’re operating from ego; you feel disconnected, even lost.
Do we throw out the ego vs the soul?
In my experience and my judgment, the vast majority of people have fears and concerns about what will happen if they access their inner teacher/wisdom. They question what will happen and if they utilize this guidance. There most likely will be fears and concerns interfering with the ability to receive information with clarity. When those fears and concerns are fully dealt with — underline “fully“ our capacity to open and receive guidance improves dramatically.
Realistically our formula for success is to bring our unique skills talents at hand. Yet part of what does dork is understanding the soul knows the path, how to work with your strengths and improve areas. Learning
Why not skip waiting and just know we are okay just the way we are right now? Not so easy you say? Agreed. But we can work toward that…
I’m going to spend some time this month on the soul vs. ego and I hope you’ll join me on the journey, by reading along and telling what you think, and how you see it. Together, let’s gain clarity about it all and see how we define these ideas….ready?