January 7, 2017

Love Letter to My Ego. Go F#ck Your #Selfie.

Everything in our life is a projection of something.

The older we get, the more juice we add to the projection reel. The more footage we have in our subconscious for our thoughts and decision-making process. The more ammo we have during our fights and the more gas we add to our tanks for our flights when we aren’t up to the challenge of dueling it out.

This doesn’t just affect empaths, highly sensitive persons, or intuitive beings; this is all of us, collectively. This is the the law of attraction and our perceptions of one another—and most importantly, ourselves.

Negative projections are brought on by the stinging judgements and opinions that linger around our psyches gracefully given to us from the ones we love and trust—and even more from those who don’t know us at all. They are given to us even faster now by the information age with its rampant social media and cell phones that never stop texting and snapping selfies.

Positive projections are no different. The love, acceptance and bear hugs we receive from those that can shake our souls with just a look can create euphoric projection and perception that life is a ripe sweet peach. We are made whole with virtual affirmation via likes, targeted audience reach, shares and comments. We receive instantaneous gratitude for ourselves and how witty—or in tune, or creative—we are because of the response form our social media platforms. To counter, the forbidden trolls behind the scenes can immediately squash our self worth with a comment that took three seconds and a lack of brain power to manufacture.

We are each other’s projections, yet we must remain accountable for the interpretation our perceptions give us first.

My participation in the Elephant Journal Academy program was added to the list of egoic-minded interests that recent life changes have allowed for me to go after with grandiose ignorance. The same like-minded innocence of a free-spirited child envisioning future plans for their grown-up selves.

It didn’t take me long to thoroughly enjoy the weekly meetings which created a desirable mixture between social and creative pursuits with an added cherry of affirmations as we would share our writing abilities with one another. It is not lost on me that the affirmations were my favorite part. I craved them. Giving feedback to my cohort on some of the intensely vulnerable pieces that spewed out during a five minute writing prompt admittedly was secondary.

My ego along with a heavy-handed fear projection played a brilliantly strategic game with my subconscious to ensure I wouldn’t fully connect to this pursuit. I had other pressing life callings on my ever-growing egoic list, remember? Still, I stayed attached, yet albeit from a distance, attempting to squeeze the juice out of this program without taking to heart the real benefits of mindful journalism.

I came with honesty to one of our online meetings and asked for help, with authentic vulnerability. I told my team that I was fearful of the audience, the virtual “haters” if you will. I explained that I knew I was hardly important enough to even excite those who may wish to provide negativity on my work—but it was real enough to feel. What they told me then, I only now fully comprehend. “Your words may be of benefit to others.”

My first couple lame attempts at contributing to elephant journal were sent back with feedback asking me basically, what’s the benefit of sharing this piece? My ego was thrilled to conjure up the reasoning behind the editor’s request. I was unwilling to see that my writing samples were all about me and what I had to say because I was determined to prove my self-worth was as magnificent as the affirmations my group dished out to me so many online meetings previously.

Little thought was given to those who may be of benefit in reading my thoughts. It was never about them, on purpose. My fear projection turned me into a big jerk. I was writing about mindfulness topics, attempting to share on an mindful online journal, yet I was keeping tabs on my spiritual materialism and psychological intelligence first and foremost as a nice shield against the sophisticated critics with high noses and empty souls.

I metaphorically created a high castle with my words so that they were close to perfect in my mind and I had no room to worry about negative opinions and judgments of the audience, inherently leaving all benefits of sharing my work in the gutter.

Was I remaining accountable for my perception? No.

Was I projecting a completely separate screening of my thoughts in a different theater? Yes.

The film was called, “You don’t know what you’re talking about; this work is magic and needs to be published immediately—oh, and she’s a genius.”

The thing is, I know I’m not a jerk: I just play that role sometimes. I would jump at giving time to review and edit the work of others, and could be available to anyone that needed assistance or just to talk. My perception is that others were not available for me, that I wasn’t so fabulous and no one really cared about the evolution of my work. I was not being responsible for my perception, more than likely projecting that to others and most importantly not being of benefit to anyone or myself. I missed out on the full enjoyment and benefits of the apprenticeship because of my self-centeredness, and hopefully those that engage with the contributions on elephant journal will know and appreciate the irony there. Selfishness is the root cause of our suffering.

When we lose interest in our projections and collectively align with being of benefit to others, that’s where the real magic happens. There is no shame in falling short of being fully capable of dissolving our egos, but I’m hopeful that I can be of benefit no matter how loud my jerk of an ego is and that I can remain vulnerable to my perceptions without fueling them to project a separate storyline unto others.




Author: Lara Selten

Images: Author’s Own

Editor: Travis May

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Lara Selten