Keeping Yourself Grounded

A few years ago a spiritual teacher told me something that broke me.  It wasn’t so much what she said but how she said it.  As I have spiritually evolved I understand what she meant at the time.  She said in a very stern and patronizing tone, “You have a huge ego!  You need to let go of it before it destroys everything along your path. Because of your ego you will hurt so many along the way.”  I spent years analyzing that statement, tearing it apart, placing the words in different context, and even as much as researching to see how I could live a life completely without ego.  That last part can’t be done.  Unfortunately (and fortunately) ego is what makes us human.  I don’t know what happened after my move to the mountains but she stopped all communication with me.  I reached out to her after fifteen years of friendship and she just “had to let me go.”  That, alone, was a huge bruise to my over-sized “Ego.”

We are the sums of reflections that others see.  My gray hair to some women is a sign of me letting go of my femininity.  To others it is a form of liberation.  My optimism to some is unnerving, and yet to others a quality of endearing perseverance.  Every aspect of our lives is a direct perception that aligns with another’s reality.  It is impossible to make everyone happy all the time.  I don’t have to do anything catastrophic.  All I have to do is be a mirror of something they don’t like and, bang! it is all that’s needed to be disliked, judged, criticized and scrutinized.  I try not to take it personally because I love people.  I enjoy them.  I want to be liked and accepted.  It is important to feel a connection of love, trust and joy with another.

However, that specific statement has been returning for the past few months.  I’ve not shared this with anyone about its visit.  When my son left home in January the statement arrived in full force.  During the first disagreement in a new relationship it displayed its claws.  When the summer passed and certain family members hurt me deeply the statement once again embraced me.  When I had to set boundaries with friends as they began overstepping limits with my young daughter, once again I wore the statement as a neon sign on my forehead.  You get the picture…ego has been consciously present with itself about itself for itself.  The ego wants nothing more than to be in a one-person play with all the attention.  I get it.  I try to keep it in check.  Unfortunately I often fail!

Here are the questions I ask myself many times:  Does Ego also get recognized for the good it brings?  Is there a fine line between Ego and narcissistic personality disorder, if so then do we all border on selfishness and narcissism?  Is Ego another word for pure arrogance?  Does Ego know it is too big?  Is Ego misunderstood or lost in translation and what looks like a big ego is really a determined trait?  Okay, you get the picture.  There are many more questions. I am certain you can add some of your own from a curious point of view.

I am fortunate.  I have the ability to translate my thoughts and emotions into a written article, blog, story or poem.  I can rarely verbalize exactly what is going on inside but give me paper and I can let my spirit share away in details.  Perhaps then it is divinity working through me and not my ego.  I don’t know!  I only know that in person I am not eloquent enough to make a clear and concise argument.  Perhaps Ego only works through verbal processing.  I think not!

I once met a total stranger who told me that I was constantly battling an internal war.  This was shortly after we moved to Asheville.  He was a homeless man in downtown.  I gave him some money and he held my wrist and looked into my eyes.  He said, “You worry too much what others think of you.  They can’t see the love you have because their light is dim.  Don’t let the war of acceptance go on forever.”  I gently retrieved my arm and placed my other hand on top of his. I stared into his beautiful elderly face caressing his rough skin and said, “Thank you, sir!  I needed to hear that. God bless you for such a lovely message.”  I walked alone fighting the tears while returning to my big ego and how it was such a horrible thing.   Once again the statement that arrived from a motherly person turned and stabbed my chest.  It prickled and I gasped for answers.  The words from the stranger (and divinity) were forgotten as Ego made itself present through personal home movies inside my head as I continued to walk for a few more hours.  Instead of people watching I began to feel sorry for myself, letting Ego win one more time.  And, I truly despise this!  I couldn’t grasp the message from the man because I was so deeply wounded in negativity.   Do you think that perhaps Ego won?  Hmm!

I deal with a fear of hurting anyone.  I have a hard time thinking that because of me someone is going through the same emotions I went through with my spiritual teacher.  On this cold morning I have decided that I need a sabbatical.  I usually take two or three during the year.  It has been eight months or so since my last one.  I need to check my ego into a place of quietness.  It needs to be mended and nurtured in many ways.  I don’t know how long I will be gone.  It is a matter of reaching in and healing parts that I have put off for many months.  Everyone needs and should have a retreat of sorts.

May you be aware of how much the Divine embraces you!  My wish for each one of you reading this is to look within and check your inner most thoughts, emotions and be truthful.  Be wholeheartedly truthful with yourself and spirit.  I plan on traveling a nice spiritual journey.  God bless!

17 thoughts on “Keeping Yourself Grounded

  1. unfetteredbs

    Every aspect of our lives is a direct perception that aligns with another’s reality—-

    Perception and awareness are two that need to go hand in hand but rarely does one take the time to focus on the inner self and how one is perceived.

    Well written my friend. One of your best. And very timely.

  2. Take all the time you need…I’ll be here awaiting your return as I always am. Sometimes we just need a break from whatever is “bothering” us, to take a step back and view things from a different perspective. I wish you love!

  3. I seen a lot of people have similar experiences with spiritual teachers, and I have had my own similar experiences. Did it ever occur to you that your teacher was coming from her own ego and wanting to put you down to make herself look pure? It is too easy to buy into an image of a spiritual teacher or guru as godly, but they are people just like any of us. I mention this not to villianize your teacher but just to create more space for you to forgive yourself and her. No one is above ego, we are all struggling with the same issues as humans on this Earth.

    1. Wow. Your words touched me. You have been just like that man in downtown. And although I have had the same thoughts I believe these things do keep rising for a reason. You are so eloquent and brilliantly wise. Thank you for the tremendous and generous insight. We are all just walking each other home. 😄

  4. Thank you again for sharing your heart,I love you for being you, all of you. All of us have emotional baggage we carry at least you are aware and continue to look with in instead of placing blame on others as so many do, On the path with you my dear friend always trying to see what I can do better, I’m such an emotional person, I come across as the opposite only of fear of scaring people away with such deep feelings, and soft hardheartedness, always afraid of letting people in because they may cause me pain.On the path to opening my heart, which is so much fuller that most people will ever get.Your always welcome here, as most find it loving and welcoming and peaceful. Walking with you.

    1. Your words touch the core of me because I know you so well. Thank you for your love and support. You are always welcomed here. I don’t see that part of you that you write about. I adore you. Talk soon enough.

  5. Really well written post and much to think about. I just want you to not beat yourself up though…I agree with Pua Nani above – our spiritual teachers don’t have all the answers 🙂 I feel her words were harsh, words should be chosen wisely. It sounds to me, from her words and her need to ‘let you go’ that she has some issues to work on herself.

    As do we all 🙂

    1. Thank you so much for this. I stopped trying to get answers from “spiritual gurus or teachers.” I try to get answers from Spirit and divinity. Nonetheless it was harsh. Mucho love to you. You are divine love.

  6. Deeanna

    Millie, this blog post, no it is much more than a blog post, is amazing and so touching. The work that you are doing and have been doing is the hard work, the meaningful work. There is a question that was asked of me many years ago that I continue to ponder, when you strip away our titles of mother, sister, daughter, nurse, teacher whatever that title may be, who are we? Who am I? That is tough. The life worth living requires tough work but the liberation and deep joy is soooo worth it. Also, I may be bias but natural hair color and embracing who we are and the wisdom we represent is VERY sexy!!! It is actual fun to watch other’s responses to graying hair, usually showing their fears. Fears that need embracing. Hugs, dear Millie.

    1. Oh, dearest Dee! I think your hair is absolutely gorgeous and sexy indeed.
      The question you posted is truly remarkable. I have asked myself about the many labels given to me. Those labels have programmed me to behave and become a fraction of who I am. I love that you noted such a deep thought today. I am always changing who I am. Who I am today will not be the same person tomorrow because of lessons and circumstances. The core of me is the same…but the labels will forever be changing. Remarkable. Thank you for your constant love and support, my sweet and dear friend. I love you!

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