Yesterday, I was reminded, yet again, that it is not for the sake of egolessness that we are here…..but to be human.
The Relentless Pursuit of Ego-lessness….and pop-culture’s addiction to perfectionism
Yep. I’ve been there. With both feet, body, mind and spirit I jumped on board the pop-culture Ego-eradication craze, reading every book, embracing every practice, watching every movie in the hopes of being freed of my ego. Hmmmm I might have even written a book reflective of this desire. 😉 And….I am the perfect victim. My Perfectionist LOVES the idea that with the right kind and right amount of spiritual practice, learning, etc. I might indeed become perfect….free of ego….an enlightened being, spiritual teacher and master. All of this has been the perfect fuel for the inner critic and judge that wags her finger of shame and blame at me pointing out all the places where I am still imperfect….all those places where I still judge, where I become angry, harbor resentment, feel pain, grieve losses, hurt those I love, lose my temper, etc. etc. etc. “But if I just pray and meditate enough all of this will be forgiven, I will finally be free and I will have the life I dream of filled with happiness, joy, opportunities for creative expression and I will be fulfilled, safe, secure and rich.” This is what all these teachings promise, right? But there is one thing missing in many of these pop-culture ego-eradication teachings: the fact that we are not here to be EGOLESS…… We are here to BE HUMAN!
So…what DOES it mean to be human? As much as we might like to deny it….being human means we get to experience ALL OF IT. As a Divine Spirit being Human…..we get all of it: Suffering. Pain. Worry. Loss. Deception. Betrayal. Our hearts get broken. We fall apart. Really bad things happen to really good people. And really bad people get really good things. We lose our minds. We hunger. We experience poverty. We know injustice. We might have to agree to things we don’t really believe we want to do. We give our power away. People rob our power from us. We get sick. And we die. While we might want all of this to go away and to be freed from the reality of the human condition….this is NOT why we are here. No matter how hard we pray or how much we engage our spiritual practice…all of these things will continue to happen. I’m guessing even the Dalai Lama struggles with anger and resentment at times. I know Jesus did. So if even our greatest teachers struggle with being human….why do we think we should be any different?
No Congratulations Necessary
Yesterday, after setting my foot along a path that I have been avoiding, dreading, and not at all wanting to accept, I was congratulated for being a “great ego-less leader and teacher.” BAH! Egoless my ass! I was mad as hell. Frustrated. Angry. Ashamed. Disappointed. Grieving. I was anything BUT egoless. Instead I wrapped my arms around my ego as she was biting, kicking and screaming and set my foot along the path. “You can rant and rave all you want,” I said to her, “we are going anyway. I don’t know why this is where we are going or for what purpose, but we are going. And….we’ll make the best of it.” So, I forged on, in spite of my ego; and perhaps this is the best that we can do.