Conquer Your Nemesis ~ Ego and Compassion

Some days, the shortest words in the English language are the hardest to say: I’m sorry, I was wrong, I love you, thank you …

Lately, I’ve been struggling with my ego. It dons a trench coat and dark glasses, turning my curiosity into suspicion. Its sneaky moves wrestle me away from peaceful introspection and push me toward presumption, drag me into traps of assumption, fill me with anxiety, and sucker-punch me into acts of manipulation.

Ego thrives on fear, anxiety, and ignorance. Fear of being forgotten, disregarded, unworthy, or unloved. Anxiety borne of mis-perceived judgments. Ignorance in seeing things as we imagine them to be, rather than as they are. We send out tendrils of anger to those who, we feel, have wronged us. Yet by doing so, we lose touch with the truth they, too, are struggling. We do our Self a great disservice by adding to their burden.

“The ego is your enemy, not your friend. It is the ego that gives you wounds and hurts you. It is the ego that makes you violent, angry, jealous, competitive. It is the ego that is continuously comparing and feeling miserable” ~ Osho ~

I am grateful for missteps; they send me stumbling forward into greater understanding and growth. By letting go of expectations, judgments, and assumptions, I take myself out of others’ equations and see things as they really are; not about ‘me’ at all.

At that moment of doubt and fear, switch over to compassion. Easing others’ burdens through loving kindness is the greatest gift you give to them, and to yourself.  Seeing things with love and compassion won’t change reality but it will improve your perception of it.


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8 Responses to Conquer Your Nemesis ~ Ego and Compassion

  1. Tobey, unless something’s changed since I last saw you, I’ve never seen EGO in you in the negative way. But, I know we all struggle with our inner demons. For me, it’s impatience for the success I want, or the thing I want to do RIGHT NOW…It may be corny but that saying about life is a journey, enjoy the trip is TRUE!

    • tobeydeys says:

      Hey Bruce, thanks as always for your thoughts! Ego can be insidious – getting in the way of ‘right now’ (but not necessarily in a strutting peacock-feathers kind of way :)). More damaging can be how ego stops us from really ‘seeing’ another, independent of us. And you are spot on; it is all about the journey ~ one moment at a time!

  2. Tobey – loved your post and completely understand how important it is to be grateful for missteps. I have to agree with @BruceSallan – have never seen an ounce of ego in your engagement 🙂

    • tobeydeys says:

      Hello Lea! Yes! Failing brilliantly is the greatest way to learn! Mistakes are frustrating in the moment but, after thoughtful consideration (and sometimes a fire extinguisher ;)), I delight in the knowledge I’ve gained. I suppose, by letting go of ego (or the ‘me’) in them, I’m able to accept and appreciate my responsibility and the freedom that comes along with that.

  3. Tobey, I love this post. Compassion for others – that external focus – is key to keeping our attention off of ourselves (the “I”, or more precisely, “I Want” that is so much a part of ego). Another great post, thanks for sharing

    • tobeydeys says:

      Thank you, Chris. Very true that it can be a challenge to disengage ~ detach ~ from a situation where we ‘want’ a certain outcome… I suspect the best guides are those who allow others to discover the path themselves.

  4. Judi Holler says:

    Awesome post … I have been thinking a lot about the ego lately myself … we all “don” the hooded trench coat and suglasses of ego from time to time. I work daily to make a consious effort to be better and to work towards seeking compassion first. Thank you for the post. Great stuff!

    • tobeydeys says:

      Thank you so much, Judi! It is challenging to invite our Ego to leave the ‘room’ 😉 I am working on taking a breath, really seeing the situation as it really IS, and reacting from that space.
      I appreciate your thoughts and thank you for sharing!


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