Ego can take on many forms and is often greatly misunderstood by society as a whole.
Many times throughout the day, we are tasked with making decisions: what we eat, how we dress and what activities we will engage in. What I have found to be true is that often, the decisions we make are made with our ego—our false self, rather than with our heart or our true self.
We are so often consumed by what others will think of our actions that the decisions we make are fear or reaction based.
The desire to please others, to fit into society and to have instant gratification is intense and can cause conflict within ourselves as we struggle to decide on doing what we want or what is expected of us from others.
When we allow society to dictate how we live our lives, we are giving in to our ego. We are telling ourselves that being authentic or unique isn’t good enough. In order to be accepted, we believe we must alter our appearance, our career or our relationships to fit into the normal standard of society.
In today’s world, it is impossible to escape the constant messaging being thrown at us in every direction. Magazines tell us that we need to wear a certain brand, or have a specific body type, size or weight in order to be desirable or attractive. We are often told we are too thin or too thick, too muscular or not muscular enough.
Our appearance has become the standard upon which our value is judged, perceived and based.
The media gives more coverage to stories about the personal appearance of celebrities than it does to the actual newsworthy events happening all over the world.
Girls are hit hardest, being body shamed, slut shamed and living in a rape culture where our bodies are constantly objectified and referred to as objects. Of course we care how we look! How could we not care when the rest of the world is obsessed with it?
All of these examples and experiences create a superficial world that is centered on creating insecurities within ourselves so that we, as a consumer driven society, will purchase the next miracle pill to lose weight. We will sign up for program after program that promises to turn our bodies into sculpted machines that will be the envy of the lunch room and so on.
The messaging delivered through print, TV, radio and social media is that we are not enough as we are.
We are constantly being lied to and being told that our worth exists in our looks. Our ego is constantly being fed and so it continues to grow. The decisions we start making are designed to serve or feed our ego rather than to serve ourselves or to feed our soul.
For as long as I can remember I thought that everything I ever wanted and needed would arrive for me when I was thin. It was a rude awakening to realize that everything I wanted was not on the other side of skinny.
In fact, being thin had nothing to do with having the life that I actually wanted.
I struggled for a long time to accept that losing the weight wasn’t the only work that I had to do in order to find my worth and my happiness.
I had more work to do on my mind than I ever had to do on my body.
When we are able to let go of the superficial way of life, let go of the expectations of others and truly lean into who and what we are as an individual, the world will open up to you in ways beyond imagination.
When you live without fear of judgement, without restraint and without the expectations imposed by yourself or others, you allow yourself to expand into the incredible being that you are designed to be.
When you strip away the layers of fear and ego and are alone with yourself, the raw beauty standing in front of you is enough to take your breath away.
Nothing, in my opinion, is more attractive and desirable than someone who stands with confidence, authenticity and with complete authority over who they are.
Allowing society, the media or others to lead you astray from your true self and your truest beauty is a crime.
Stand up, stand tall and stand proud for the uniqueness that you possess because it is yours and yours alone. It cannot be copied, it cannot be duplicated, but it is meant to be shared!
Author: Tanessa Holt
Volunteer Editor: Julie Barr; Editor: Catherine Monkman