Last night I tried to calm myself by reading. I am currently reading a book by Deepak Chopra called ‘The Ultimate Happiness Prescription: 7 Keys to Joy and Enlightenment‘. As I started chapter two I came upon words that suddenly were aimed directly at me. I could feel the words striking me and sinking to my very core. I felt almost as if I was under a microscope. I had to remind myself that many people have read and will be reading this book. It also was exciting to know that someone was describing how I felt.
Anyway, this chapter discusses finding your true self-esteem. This is not the same as your self-image but what lies beyond images. Self image is when we identify with external things. We seek outside people or objects and think they’ll be happy. Or when we wait for someone to tell us how good we look so we’ll feel better. I have been unhappy lately because I’ve put on weight and I feel like everyone has noticed and is talking about me. So this is me confusing myself with my self-image.
Your true being has nothing to do with what others think and has no limitations. My true being wouldn’t care if I weighed five hundred pounds, it would be happy anyways. But I’m too busy listening to something else. And that something is my ego. The ego is very insecure. It is addicted to approval, control, security, and power. That’s me in a nut shell. I love approval on one hand but am ashamed of it too because I don’t know how to accept it. Control is my big issue. I must feel in control at all times or my mind will lose it. Security to me means I can relax and not feel anxious. Power is something mysterious but I think I obtain it from being in control; even if it is fantasy related.
This is what Deepak Chopra says about ego. See if you don’t relate to this:
If you want to know how strongly you identify with your ego as opposed to your true being, there’s no mystery about it. The ego has the opposite qualities from the five we described before. The ego feels isolated and alone. Therefore it needs outside validation in order to belong and have worth. The ego feels limited and bounded. Without power and control over others, it fears that its helplessness will be exposed. The ego prefers routine and habit over creativity. It finds security in making today the same as the day before. The ego fears the unknown more than anything else. This is because it sees the unknown as a place of darkness and emptiness. The ego struggles to get what it wants. It assumes that without struggle, its needs would never be fulfilled; this reflects a deep sense of inner lack.
Chopra, Deepak (2009-10-28). The Ultimate Happiness Prescription: 7 Keys to Joy and Enlightenment (p. 49-50). Random House, Inc.. Kindle Edition.
I really found this fascinating on one hand and frightening on the other because I realized that I am a complete nut job. No, I’m just kidding. I realized that I could work on this by being aware of myself more than I was doing. It’s not going to be easy because I am addicted to so many of the things that the ego stands for. Control especially. But I can try to help myself. What have I got to lose?