Letter to Ego

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Dear Ego,

I know you are a part of me, and you look out for me.  And I appreciate that.  Thank you for getting me to this point in my life.  Now I’m ready to do some serious growing and evolving; I’m ready to break out of my shell a bit, feel the awkwardness, and move through it.

Today I realized that my involvement with you is a bit dysfunctional on two levels.  First, when I am criticized by another —  or anticipate criticism by another — the first thing you do for me is put up a defensive wall.  You do not want me to be harmed, so you make sure nothing can get in.  Then, you rally all the troops and go on the attack.  You carefully plan how to paint me in my best light, while drawing up all the possible smut you can think of for the other person.  You draw from all of your resources, replaying events from as far back as you’ve known the other and take particular pains with memories that may make the other appear the hypocrite.  You make it all about them .  There is that.  On the other side of things, Ego, you take note of my self-criticism and exact punishment, chastising me so that I may experience the proper amount of guilt.  You whip me repeatedly with your harsh word,s until I curl into a ball and cower in shame.  Truly, you must see how that one is unhealthy, Ego.

Let’s take an honest look at things, Ego.  There is actually no hostile take over happening..  Neither is there a need for punishment.  There’s no good or bad; everything is a part of learning.  If we build walls, nothing can get in, and attacks diminish my self empowerment.

I do value your feedback, Ego, and I value your desire to help me.  However, I wish to take a positive approach.  So, I have a proposal.   When I am faced with outside or inside criticism, we’ll treat it as a gift.  When I receive criticsim, we’ll stop for a minute and take a step back to get an objective perspective.  Let’s examine the thought carefully and see how it sits with us.  If it is true, we can take it in and work with it.  If it isn’t, we can let it pass on its merry way.  Let’s embrace.  Let’s love.  Let’s learn!

Thank you for your attention.  Here’s to our new life!

–Teri

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