Spiritual development is not an accomplishment but a way of life. It is an orientation that brings its own rewards, and what is important is the direction of one’s motives..
The ability to be aware of the ego allows us to streamline our attention in any moment and to orientate our intention in whatever manner we choose. By releasing the ego’s long-held grip over our lives, our priorities and perception expand. We are then able to take our place as productive and considerate members in the human family collective. This article written by Wayne W. Dyer offers seven ways to initiate the process of releasing and overcoming the ego.
Here are seven suggestions to help you transcend ingrained ideas of self-importance. All of these are designed to help prevent you from falsely identifying with the self-important ego:
1. Stop being offended
The behavior of others isn’t a reason to be immobilized. That which offends you only weakens you. If you’re looking for occasions to be offended, you’ll find them at every turn. This is your ego at work convincing you that the world shouldn’t be the way it is. But you can become an appreciator of life and match up with the universal Spirit of Creation. You can’t reach the power of intention by being offended. By all means, act to eradicate the horrors of the world, which emanate from massive ego identification, but stay in peace. As A Course in Miracles reminds us: Peace is of God, you who are part of God are not at home except in his peace. Being is of God, you who are part of God are not at home except in his peace. Being offended creates the same destructive energy that offended you in the first place and leads to attack, counterattack, and war.
2. Let go of your need to win
Ego loves to divide us up into winners and losers. The pursuit of winning is a surefire means to avoid conscious contact with intention. Why? Because ultimately, winning is impossible all of the time. Someone out there will be faster, luckier, younger, stronger, and smarter-and back you’ll go to feeling worthless and insignificant.
You’re not your winnings or your victories. You may enjoy competing, and have fun in a world where winning is everything, but you don’t have to be there in your thoughts. There are no losers in a world where we all share the same energy source. All you can say on a given day is that you performed at a certain level in comparison to the levels of others on that day. But today is another day, with other competitors and new circumstances to consider. You’re still the infinite presence in a body that’s another day (or decade) older. Let go of needing to win by not agreeing that the opposite of winning is losing. That’s ego’s fear. If your body isn’t performing in a winning fashion on this day, it simply doesn’t matter when you aren’t identifying exclusively with your ego. Be the observer, noticing and enjoying it all without needing to win a trophy. Be at peace, and match up with the energy of intention. And ironically, although you’ll hardly notice it, more of those victories will show up in your life as you pursue them less.
3. Let go of your need to be right
Ego is the source of a lot of conflict and dissension because it pushes you in the direction of making other people wrong. When you’re hostile, you’ve disconnected from the power of intention. The creative Spirit is kind, loving, and receptive; and free of anger, resentment, or bitterness. Letting go of your need to be right in your discussions and relationships is like saying to ego, I’m not a slave to you. I want to embrace kindness, and I reject your need to be right. In fact, I’m going to offer this person a chance to feel better by saying that she’s right, and thank her for pointing me in the direction of truth.
When you let go of the need to be right, you’re able to strengthen your connection to the power of intention. But keep in mind that ego is a determined combatant. I’ve seen people end otherwise beautiful relationships by sticking to their need to be right. I urge you to let go of this ego-driven need to be right by stopping yourself in the middle of an argument and asking yourself, Do I want to be right or be happy? When you choose the happy, loving, spiritual mood, your connection to intention is strengthened. These moments ultimately expand your new connection to the power of intention. The universal Source will begin to collaborate with you in creating the life you were intended to live.
4. Let go of your need to be superior
True nobility isn’t about being better than someone else. It’s about being better than you used to be. Stay focused on your growth, with a constant awareness that no one on this planet is any better than anyone else. We all emanate from the same creative life force. We all have a mission to realize our intended essence; all that we need to fulfill our destiny is available to us. None of this is possible when you see yourself as superior to others. It’s an old saw, but nonetheless true: we are all equal in the eyes of God. Let go of your need to feel superior by seeing the unfolding of God in everyone. Don’t assess others on the basis of their appearance, achievements, possessions, and other indices of ego. When you project feelings of superiority that’s what you get back, leading to resentments and ultimately hostile feelings. These feelings become the vehicle that takes you farther away from intention. A Course in Miracles addresses this need to be special and superior: Special ness always makes comparisons. It is established by a lack seen in another, and maintained by searching for, and keeping clear in sight, all lacks it can perceive.
5. Let go of your need to have more
The mantra of ego is more. It’s never satisfied. No matter how much you achieve or acquire, your ego will insist that it isn’t enough. You’ll find yourself in a perpetual state of striving, and eliminate the possibility of ever arriving. Yet in reality you’ve already arrived, and how you choose to use this present moment of your life is your choice. Ironically, when you stop needing more, more of what you desire seems to arrive in your life. Since you’re detached from the need for it, you find it easier to pass it along to others, because you realize how little you need in order to be satisfied and at peace.
The universal Source is content with itself, constantly expanding and creating new life, never trying to hold on to its creations for its own selfish means. It creates and lets go. As you let go of ego’s need to have more, you unify with that Source. You create, attract to yourself, and let it go, never demanding that more come your way. As an appreciator of all that shows up, you learn the powerful lesson St.Francis of Assisi taught:”…it is in giving that we receive.” By allowing abundance to flow to and through you, you match up with your Source and guarantee that this energy will continue to flow.
6. Let go of identifying yourself on the basis of your achievements
This may be a difficult concept if you think you are your achievements. God writes all the music, God sings all the songs, God builds all the buildings, God is the source of all your achievements. I can hear your ego loudly protesting. Nevertheless, stay tuned to this idea. All emanates from Source! You and that Source are one! You’re not this body and its accomplishments. You are the observer. Notice it all; and be grateful for the abilities you’ve accumulated. But give all the credit to the power of intention, which brought you into existence and which you’re a materialized part of. The less you need to take credit for your achievements and the more connected you stay to the seven faces of intention, the more you’re free to achieve, and the more will show up for you. It’s when you attach yourself to those achievements and believe that you alone are doing all of those things that you leave the peace and the gratitude of your Source.
7. Let go of your reputation
Your reputation is not located in you. It resides in the minds of others. Therefore, you have no control over it at all. If you speak to 30 people, you will have 30 reputations. Connecting to intention means listening to your heart and conducting yourself based on what your inner voice tells you is your purpose here. If you’re overly concerned with how you’re going to be perceived by everyone, then you’ve disconnected yourself from intention and allowed the opinions of others to guide you. This is your ego at work. It’s an illusion that stands between you and the power of intention. There’s nothing you can’t do, unless you disconnect from the power source and become convinced that your purpose is to prove to others how masterful and superior you are and spend your energy attempting to win a giant reputation among other egos. Do what you do because your inner voice always connected to and grateful to your Source-so directs you. Stay on purpose, detach from outcome, and take responsibility for what does reside in you: your character. Leave your reputation for others to debate; it has nothing to do with you. Or as a book title says: What You Think of Me Is None of My Business!
“In truth, we exist and survive, not because of the ego, but in spite of it.”
~ David R. Hawkins, Along the Path to Enlightenment