How to Stop Cuddling With Your Ego.

Via on Dec 31, 2011

 

“You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake.” ~ Chuck Palahniuk

 

 

 

 

 

 Well, you are beautiful and unique, but…

Ever have one of those days where things keep knocking you down, and you end up feeling a little squashed and unimportant. And then you decide the best course of action is to greet all of your friends with choruses of “Validate me! Validate me! Tell me you love me! Tell me I’m wonderful!”

I had that day recently. My little fluffy ego bunny was feeling small and in need of cuddling. We all get that way sometimes.

But it’s a quick trip from an ego that’s like this:

(Photo: Captain Subtle)

To one that looks like this:

(Photo: teletoon)

And which ever state it’s in do you really want some silly rabbit running the show? Sometimes when I look in my ego mirror, I see:

“F*ck yeah, you’re awesome! You are talented and gorgeous and you smell nice and everyone loves you and if they don’t than they can go suck it. Morons!”

And other times it’s more like:

“You suck. You are an opinionated, no-talent hack who will never amount to anything. Your hair is a mess, your life is a mess, and no one likes you so shut up already!”

The thing is, neither one is true. Neither one is healthy. Neither one matters if I really want a mindful life.

So how to stop seeking fluffy bunny ego cuddles all the time?

1. Go outside. Go for a run. In the rain. In December. Get to the highest point you can and look around in amazement of how vast it all is and what a tiny speck you are. Or even look at the stars. Or the ocean. Anything in nature that reminds you how wonderful the world is and that while you are a part of its magnificence–you are a miniscule part.

2. Shut up. For real. When you listen to other people, shut off the part of you that is waiting for your turn to talk, to explain how it makes you feel or why it relates to you. Give that part a rest and listen to someone else for awhile. You might learn something.

3. Stop seeking ego food. You know, fishing for compliments, seeking validation, looking for approval. And instead…

4. Breathe. Doesn’t have to be fancy, or on a cushion, official mediation time (though that’s a great ego leveller too.) When you feel the sad ego bunny syndrome coming on, instead of trying to find someone to stroke it, stop. Take a few deep breaths. Shake it off. Do something that actually nourishes your soul instead of just revving up your ego. One great way to do this would be…

5. Remember how to be happy. “If you want be happy think first of others, if you want to be unhappy think only of yourself.” It’s true. I love telling other people how much I appreciate them, how they amaze me. Not to feed their egos, not so they’ll reciprocate, but because it’s true. The more time I spend focused on how I can be of benefit to others, the less that stupid bunny begs to be cuddled.

My ego is in check enough at the moment that I can fully admit, Pema Chödrön sums it up much better than I have:

“Ego is like a room of your own, a room with a view with the temperature and the smells and the music that you like. You want it your own way. You’d just like to have a little peace, you’d like to have a little happiness, you know, just gimme a break. But the more you think that way, the more you try to get life to come out so that it will always suit you, the more your fear of other people and what’s outside your room grows. Rather than becoming more relaxed, you start pulling down the shades and locking the door. When you do go out, you find the experience more and more unsettling and disagreeable. You become touchier, more fearful, more irritable than ever. The more you try to get it your way, the less you feel at home.”

Unlock that door. Stop sitting in there snuggling with your ego or asking others to stroke it for you. Come on out where it’s cold,  wild, wet and unpredictable and you might get a little bruised sometimes. It’s worth it.

About Kate Bartolotta

Kate Bartolotta is the strongest girl in the world. She is the love child of a pirate and a roller derby queen. She hails from the second star to the right. Her love of words is boundless, but she knows that many of life’s best moments are completely untranslatable. When she is not writing, you may find her practicing yoga, devouring a book, playing with her children, planting dandelions, or dancing barefoot with her heart on her sleeve. She is madly in love with life and does not know how this story ends; she’s making it up as she goes. Kate is the owner and editor-in-chief of Be You Media Group. She also writes for The Huffington Post, elephant journal, The Good Men Project, The Green Divas, Yoganonymous, The Body Project, Project Eve, Thought Catalog and Soulseeds. She facilitates writing workshops and retreats throughout North America. Heart Medicine, Kate's book on writing, is now available on Amazon.com You can follow Kate on Facebook and Twitter

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36 Responses to “How to Stop Cuddling With Your Ego.”

  1. James Stewart says:

    True True and True…

    Ego is what buts us way up and what puts us way down… it is the wrecker of equanimity. Love the fight club reference at the start. Brilliant!

    James

  2. Warriorsaint says:

    Thanks, Kate ! I was fishing around for some good New Year's resolutions and I think #2 learning how to SHUT UP just bubbled up to the top.
    Brilliant of you to not just list an anemic LISTEN MORE. I am trying to remember the writer Fran Libowitz's quote (so I am paraphrasing here) that the opposite of talking is not waiting….

  3. Andrea Balt Andréa Balt says:

    Yes, I've often found myself swing from total goddess to total ant. Thank for unlocking today’s ego-door. By the way, I've never seen an evil rabbit before; wow, good choice for a picture.

  4. Yogatchr says:

    Love it. Breath is my crack…my addiction and key to feeling good. And this:“If you want be happy think first of others, if you want to be unhappy think only of yourself.”, is so very true. Thanks and happy new year.

  5. Carla says:

    "Unlock that door. Stop sitting in there snuggling with your ego or asking others to stroke it for you. Come on out where it’s cold, wild, wet and unpredictable and you might get a little bruised sometimes. It’s worth it." BRILLIANT! You inspire me to get cold, wet and banged up! What power of persuasion you wield! And I'm not just petting your ego bunny either ;)

  6. and btw that angry rabbit got me :)

  7. [...] can grow. If it was unwarranted criticism, then learn the lesson of detaching a little more from your ego. You don’t always have to be right. You can let it go. (I’m writing that for me…I [...]

  8. Megan says:

    I freakin' love you Kate! Thanks, again, for another fabulous article!

  9. jldlv says:

    I really really love this and think it should be mandatory reading for all mankind. BUT, what I love even more is your bio!

  10. [...] point is: Can my sense of self-worth be so easily bought and sold? After some scathing criticism from a friend, I am on suicide watch, [...]

  11. [...] Something that I struggle with on a regular basis is my negative reactive state in relation to my all encompassing unflappable stability that is usually marked with the word “egoless.” In the Eckhart Tolle subscription to life, ego is not you want. Reactions to anything are bad. Bad thoughts about yourself or others are bad. Inspiration is bad. Anything concerned with the self is something to be exfoliated off. I seem to have subscribed to some of this even though I do believe that the ego isn’t inherently bad, but that sometimes we just need to keep it in check. [...]

  12. Aborn says:

    more articles like this pleeease
    I love the Ram Dass one also from last year.

    my scribblings: facebook.com/humaneudaimonia

  13. [...] is the kind of freedom that the ego wants. If left unchecked, the ego wants to be able to do whatever it wants, whenever it wants to. But spiritual freedom is vastly [...]

  14. Chris Fici Chris Fici says:

    Great article Kate.
    Especially liked the point to stop searching for "ego food."
    It's a natural reaction to seek comfort and validation from others-but I think its a sign of spiritual maturity to know when not to seek it.

    Similar to something I wrote recently in the HuffPost on "false ego". huff.to/MWTBLZ

  15. [...] don’t know about you, but I like to make a big deal about things sometimes. It’s awesome ego food. Making a big deal means I’m a big deal, right? It also means I am keeping myself separate and [...]

  16. [...] We accept everything that comes our way as part of the path. We accept that most of the suffering we’re feeling, the actual pain of it, comes from ego clinging: [...]

  17. Joe Sparks says:

    The truth about all humans is that each of us was born inherently good, intelligent, attractive, life loving, blameless, connected with every other man, women, young one, unique, a leader, just, visionary, eager, gentle, brave, and many more. When we don't act according to the inherent reality, it's because we have been hurt in some way. As children, we were sometimes given examples of behavior that was not smart, enthusiastic, cooperative, and loving. For example, we were handed misinformation about people of color, men , women, people with disabilities, gay people, children, elders, etc—this is a form of hurt. We begin to believe that we and other people are not intelligent, loving cooperative. We can heal those hurts completely. Healing happens when we cry, laugh, tremble, talk with enthusiasm, and feel angry. We can help each other heal by listening to each other. As each of us heals, more and more of our good thinking, our enthusiasm for life, and love for ourselves and each other is uncovered and shines forth.

  18. lisa cohen says:

    I needed to read this article this morning. I had periodontal surgery the other day…i'm feeling fat, kinda lazy, and my face is all bruised (a shiner under my right eye and bruises around my mouth and upper lip)…normally I am energetic, upbeat, and motivated..and i look pretty good too! this past week…not so much. this too shall pass…. going to teach a yoga class, then be the student in another yoga class. getting on my mat is one of the best ways i know to get out of my head…xoxoxo

  19. Jordan Epstein jhepstein says:

    Awesome to see this getting re-circulation. What a new years treat!

  20. karlsaliter says:

    Excellent piece, Kate, and I'm not just saying that so that you will compliment my hair today.

  21. oz_ says:

    Terrific reminder – thanks Kate!

  22. James Degner says:

    Kate, your posts always make me smile. Your blend of great humor and really useful advice is something I always look forward to. I also forwarded your bio to my mother, whom I thought would find it clever, hilarious, and enjoyable…and she did.

  23. [...] a funny and self-deprecating note: I realized a few minutes ago that I wrote about this a little over a year ago, and yet have made seemingly little progress. I don’t take myself too seriously most of the [...]

  24. I still want a date with that angry bunny….

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