What is that voice inside our heads? Is it our consciousness? How about our thoughts? Maybe it is responsible to play the devils advocate game with us? The human psyche can be a very peculiar thing. As humans have gained the ability to think and act independently over time, we have developed a self-identifying mechanism known as the ego. The ego has benefits, but also can be very crippling. Breaking free of Ego – the voice inside your head, can be a tall order. However, once able to see it for what it is, our world of limitations turn into super highways of open potential and possibility.
What is the Ego?
Our egos help define our character. It generates our personality. Without some ego, we would all be rather robotic in nature.
Most people when they hear the word ego envision the pompous, outspoken, overly-confident, rich person that can’t help throwing around their opinion. While this is part of the definition, it goes well beyond that often misunderstood interpretation.
The ego also impacts the quiet, bashful, recluse kind of individuals as well. It comprises our fears, insecurities, limiting beliefs, and self-doubts.
Everyone is impacted differently through their ego. As we grow up, we begin to believe certain stories about ourselves. These stories can come from our parents, friends, social culture, and surrounding environments. The ego begins to develop a sense “of self” through our life experiences. Before too long and often at a young age, we begin to form our personalities alongside the development of our egos.
For many, we begin to unknowingly identify with our ego. A type of entrapment often happens and we wake up at some point in our lives believing whatever it is that the voice inside our head tells us.
How the Ego uses Guilt to Hold us Back
“A Course in Miracles” has become one of my greatest learning assets on what ego is and how breaking free of ego is so important in our lives. The Course teaches about our separation and splintering off from our higher power. Like our soul and spirt connects to this higher power, so does the ego connect with the physical world in which we live. ACIM, as it is known, teaches about our separation from our higher power and the guilt that the ego identifies with it.
To think and align with guilt is to fear punishment. The ego believes in and aligns with division since we splintered off from our Source. What we accept into our own minds begins to generate our realities. When thinking in a guilty manner, it automatically generates a feeling of fear. As many have come to understand – fear is one of the most crippling of all emotions we experience in life.
Choosing to live our lives through our empowered spirit and connection to our higher selves is how we overcome this feeling of guilt. When we choose to see in alignment with the ego, we are identifying with the physical realm and aligning with separation. In reality, we are always connected to our Source. Through using our spirit to allow our higher selves to live with us while in the physical world, we are choosing not to see ourselves as separate.
Many of us have become disillusioned in the belief that we are separate from our Source and that fuels the ego. Thus unconsciously, our guilt rises and begins to side more with the physical reality we see in front of us, rather than the empowering life-force we are still connected with.
We are not Our Thoughts, Mind, or Ego
I believe part of our journey in life is to discover who and what we really are.
While our ego is attached to this physical life we are living, we must discover that we are not our hierarchy, wealth, physical looks, among many other things.
Eckhart Tolle and his incredibly enlightening book “The Power of Now,” dictates the point of identification quite well. He explains the following:
Identification with your mind creates an opaque screen of concepts, labels, images, words, judgements, and definitions that blocks all true relationship.Eckhart Tolle
It is through this “screen of thought” he describes that creates the “illusion” of separateness. We begin to believe that there is a “You” and a totally separate “other being.” Through this illusion we then can no longer see that we are really “one with all that is.”
Freeing Yourself from the Ego & Mind
We all hear the voice inside our head – that doesn’t make us crazy. That voice or ego we have is always commenting on what comes up in our minds. It makes judgements, comparisons, complaints, likes, and dislikes. This is not something that will likely change. However, we can gain some level of “impartialness” to that thought. Here are some ways that we can begin breaking free of ego and mindless chatter:
- Pay attention to repetitive patterns of thought
- Do not judge or condemn the thoughts you have
- Listen to the thought impartially
- Begin to “watch” and “listen” to the voice – become the observer of it
- Do not think along with it – simply observe it without judgment
Playing the “watcher” of your ego and mind helps bring you more towards consciousness and becoming ever more present. This is how we begin to disengage from the mindless chatter. Therefore the involuntary mind chatter begins to lessen.
As Eckhart Tolle teaches, “Instead of watching the thinker, you can also create a gap in the mind stream by directing the focus of your attention into “The Now.” Each time we create a gap in the mindless wonderment of our thought stream, our consciousness grows ever more aware and powerful.
If the ego were to have its way, it would forever keep us living in the past and future. Stuck in our blunders and mistakes and forever fearful of how those errors will craft our misfortune of our futures.
Our liberation away from the mindless chatter and fear generation of the ego, is generated as we focus evermore intently into present moment awareness. “Thought cannot exist without consciousness, but consciousness does not need thought.”
We can begin to see that we are no longer “the emotions” of our lives, rather we are the watcher or observing presence.
It takes some practice, but with enough effort we can learn to see ourselves as never separate from our higher Source. We can “watch” our egoic mind and bring ourselves ever more into present moment awareness and happiness.