The Toxic Ego
We all develop an ego of some sort as we grow. Sometimes the behaviors that go with our ego are healthy, like wanting to be well groomed so that others find us attractive, or wanting to please our parents and peers by striving for good academic grades and a productive future. But we have all seen the results of a misguided ego, or rather a misguided belief in the ego as self.
The ego can create a negative world view and a negative view of others and self. The ego can put inner pressure on us to live up to unrealistic expectations. It skews our view of what is and what should be, and takes us away from the reality of the present moment. It can be toxic.
When someone is behaving egoistically it is total turn off to others and is an indication that an individual has some deeper issues that are troubling them. When the ego is elevated to narcissism it can be socially crippling and quite toxic.
We can all recognize ego in our lives and when that ego needs to be checked. Watching our ego and taking our own inventory can help us keep our ego in its rightful place. Ego will attempt to keep us caught up in your own thoughts and emotions. It craves attention.
If you are able to remove your attention from egoic thoughts and return it to its rightful place in present moment awareness, you then remove the egos strength. The ego doesn't really exist unless you give it attention. By turning your attention away from the ego you embrace your true spiritual self which exists only in the present moment. This may not be an easy thing to do. It takes practice.
Ego deflation begins with first recognizing what the ego is, and then using the power of our attention to turn to the reality of the present moment and away from the fallacy of egoic thinking. We need to realize that we are not our egos.
Meditation seeks to train us to do so by practice. We sit, walk, and drive meditatively in the present moment and notice when our egoic thinking attempts to hijack our attention. Then, we gently bring the power of our awareness back to the reality of the present moment. We do this countless times over and over in our practice. In that way, the practice is the solution.
I encourage you to work on recognizing your own egoic thinking and practice to experience the real you, your higher-self, without ego. I think you will find that the practice is its own reward.
To learn how to put a driving meditation practice into action read Solan McClean's "Learning to Drive into the Now:PRND" a practical guide to developing and maintaining a Mindfulness Driving Meditation practice.