Our ego is simply the other side of who we are. It aims to protect us, and to keep us in a safe and familiar place. Yet as familiarity often breeds contempt, it is up to us to manage our thoughts and mental energy so that they are directed toward progress, courage, and being the best that we can be.
The Inner Tango of the Ego and the Heart
What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
Our ego is the part of our mind that emits either consciously or subconsciously to do its job, but because its purpose is to keep us protected it often keeps us locked into anxiety, worry and fear. The ego imprints its own picture into our minds that is either from a past memory stored in our psyche or a vision of something that has not yet occurred — because the uncertain, the unknown, is what our beloved ego serves to shield us from.
The value of our ego
We would cease to exist without our ego. It is essentially built into the mechanics of our existence: we need to feel a level of certainty and comfort. We draw upon our ego in times of ‘survival mode’ when we battle against the odds and need that extra grit to sustain us.
On the flip side, however, we must become more aware when it has a negative impact by holding us back from new experiences, courageous changes, and making progress towards our goals and dreams. There needs to be an internal balance achieved. A better understanding of our ego means we can work with it more intelligently to enable us to continue to grow and remain vulnerable enough to take chances on ourselves and other people. The ego does not like anything in the realm of chance and opportunity.
The heart, however, loves it, which is where we can often become conflicted.
The value of our heart
Our heart is unafraid and thrives on the excitement and rush of new things and experiences. It beats to its rhythm of divine will and pure passion. Our hearts are not fearful, anxious, or worried — our heart is the most authentic place within us that feeds our emotions and intuition.
Following our heart is much like being directed by a compass: It knows the way, and when we use it correctly it takes us on the journey to where we are meant to be. This is the beauty of following our hearts — we become inspired in action through creativity, passion, and purpose, while taking valiant strides into new territory. Where we are right now is where we are meant to be, and our heart knows this.
Pursuing your dreams
Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.
– Steve Jobs
Our hearts are love-focused and naked in their vulnerability. We are all fragile, and vulnerability is our greatest strength. It takes true courage to remain open-hearted and undeterred by pain or painful circumstances. It takes a beautiful immersion into our heart space in order for us to show compassion, empathy, forgive, and to go the distance towards our aspirations when all else seems against us.
How can we pursue our dreams if we can’t first be open enough to follow our hearts? We need familiarity and safety, yet we also thrive on change, adventure and excitement.
If we follow our heart we energetically align ourselves to the signature of our highest vibration because it is what is real within us. If we follow our ego into the depths of its negative processes, we become frozen, faithless and unable to transform, evolve, and sweep the beauty of change into our lives. Pursuing your dreams requires you to be present in the moment.
Mindfulness and acceptance of our ego
Mindfulness eases the ego into a calm space. Through understanding and self-awareness you come to a love and acceptance for the purpose of your ego. You acknowledge its presence, yet you don’t overly feed into the negative impressions that keep you locked in, blocking you from your creativity, inherent magic, and natural curiosity for new life experiences.
Mindfulness reminds us to be present in the moment, to channel thoughts and mental energy to what is now rather than what was before or yet to come. Appreciating ourselves in our entirety allows for a more authentic way of living. When we draw upon all aspects of who we are mentally, emotionally, and spiritually we naturally become more empowered to achieve our purpose and our dreams.
Trust and flow
Trust encourages a natural flow and innate connectivity to what lies within and what surrounds you. The presence of your ego just adds a little buffer of gentle protection when you realize its part in your existence. You can develop a mental strategy that moves you past what holds you back from the ego space by allowing it to flow through you rather than cage you in — through trust, you release doubt. When you trust yourself, your intuition, and your own inner voice, you are better able to sift through the thoughts that help you from the thoughts that hinder you. You choose where you direct your energy and what fuels you.
Who wins: our ego or our heart?
The answer is to follow your heart and ‘tune in’ to its unique sound, but to take your brain with you! We can shield our ego with a blanket of love that we diligently sow, and work with it instead of against it. Trusting and understanding the inner orchestra of both your heart and your mind (ego) allows you to be more heart-led than ego-led. Your heart knows the way, remember?