There is a lot of talk about the ego and overcoming the ego in order to live a more fulfilling life. But, have you ever wondered ‘what exactly is the ego?’
The ego is what Kabbalistic wisdom would call the desire to receive for the self alone.
Your ego is the part of you that wants and wants and wants. Your ego’s goal is to persuade others to do nice things for you. Your ego is the part of you that is selfish and much more concerned with how life will turn out for you than anyone else.
If you have spent any time reading personal development books in recent history, then you have likely come across many authors and spiritual teachers discussing the importance of overcoming the ego along with ways to quiet your inner gremlin. What if this approach actually does more to feed the ego?
When you focus on overcoming the ego, or the desire to receive for the self alone, then your intention is firmly placed on feeling better and having a better quality of life. While there is nothing wrong with that, it does sound a lot like desire to receive for the self alone. Furthermore, many people try to quiet the ego so that it is easier to use the law of attraction and other spiritual principles to get what they want. How can you overcome a desire that you are strengthening with daily practice?
What if we honor the ego and the important role it plays in our life? Rather than condemning the desires we feel, we have an opportunity to transform them. We would not be able to exist in this physical world without an ego. It is the thing that keeps us physically safe and alive. We would have no self-preservation without a healthy ego. We were born with this strong desire to receive for the self alone because it is an important part of us.
Kabbala teaches that we were designed with a desire to receive because the Creator has a desire to give. You cannot give without someone to receive. Our desire to receive is innate within us and an important part of our spiritual journey as well as our physical.
At some point in our spiritual development, we realize that to receive without giving is not a divine act. The natural result is to focus on giving and acting more like our source because that seems more spiritually aligned. We think that if we could just quiet the desire to receive for the self alone, then we would be happier because we would be more like our source. This is faulty logic because, as we have already pointed out, it is not our nature to give endlessly as the Creator does.
We were created to receive and we could not sustain life without those desires. So instead of condemning the ego and fighting against it, we have an opportunity to transform the ego into the desire to receive for the purpose of sharing.
We can work with our egoic nature to become more like our source by choosing to receive with gratitude from that source and fellow humans with the intention to share all that we receive. As soon as the intention changes, the ego begins to transform. You will become more aligned with your soul when you stop trying to squelch your desires and instead intend to lovingly share all that you receive with others.
You will find true fulfillment and happiness, not by overcoming the desire to receive, but by balancing it with the desire to give. This is how we overcome the duality of physical life and live more soulfully.
What have you received today that you can share with others? This does not have to be anything physical or financial. In fact, start with a smile or someone who held a door open for you or a compliment. How can you receive that kindness with gratitude and use the good feelings that it provided for you to share well-being with someone else? Make an intention to share with at least three people today.