I have a confession to make…recently I have been quite scared of my own ego getting in the way. Recently I realized something…I have been overthinking this and I have been scared to be my outspoken self and I have lost some of my luster and have been swallowing my ego a bit too much. So it got me thinking. How can I balance my own ego and gifts while also not putting my foot in my mouth? In most cases our ego can be our “lid” or a cap on our ability to achieve various types of success in life. But our ego is also our most amazing gift because it drives us to grow and do amazing things. So then how do we balance the bad with the good?
Let’s take an example…Last week I wrote about why you aren’t getting more support in your life (really I wrote about how to get that support). So now that you know how to get more support are you finding that it is really super hard to actually do what I laid out? WHY? EGO. Everything we yearn for is kept from us when we yearn for it so much that we only take and do not give to others. So it feels good to squash our ego and give to others right? Most definitely.
But we also need to be able to light a fire. Here are some steps to quieting your ego to become a giver but also not squashing it so much that you can’t inspire anyone around you.
Step 1: Recognize your ego but don’t swallow it
This is the hard part because you have to raise your awareness about your own ego and learn some humility. However, it is always ok to be excited or challenged and never ok to swallow that emotion. Humility is such an incredible quality to embrace and hone but it doesn’t mean becoming a doormat. It takes a major GULP to simply raise your awareness and think about your responses to others. Taking your ego out of situations is truly a balance and an art. Definitely take yourself out of it and truly give others the recognition they deserve but do not be afraid to shine yourself! Give others the pat on the back they need but also know how inspiring you can be to others by walking the walk yourself and pushing yourself to do things that are beyond your comprehension right now. You are incredibly AWESOME and are the LIGHT to many so keep doing what you do best and don’t be afraid of it!
Step 2: Know who you are
So now that you can see your ego in most situations and you are working overtime to have that humility, the next step is not just realizing who you are but not feeling like you have to be so vocal about it. Everyone really just wants to talk about themselves. How often do we really feel like anyone is listening to what we have to say? It is actually quite rare. When you truly know who you are and love yourself, guess what happens? It’s ok when to just listen to people. To just be curious about what they are up to vs. talking about yourself. You have nothing to PROVE. You know your own heart. You know you are AWESOME…you don’t have to yell it over the loud speaker to everyone around you. They will be more apt to see how great you are if you just listen. That will make you stand out. You can just love on other people. It is in this type of humility that we become truly inspiring…without even saying a word.
Use that ego to LEAP and GROW!
So then what of my confession…that I have lost my luster? It is because we always vacillate between the two…our ego and humility…our evil inclination and our G-d given light and gifts. We are always striving and hustling and then resting. So I guess I was just going through a resting and acute awareness period. But the stirring to grow can never be made to be quiet. And this is ok! As long as you don’t take it too far out of balance. The really great part is realizing that all your new found resting skills can be brought to bear in your new period of hustle! It is actually how we are designed. We all have a ladder we stand on. We can either go up on down. I don’t know about you but I would rather go up learning new skills along the way.
It is fascinating to me that the two oils mentioned in this week’s parashah, Metzora: Leviticus 14:1 – 15:33, are Hyssop and Cedarwood as a means to return from a state of impurity (a metaphor here for becoming way out of balance and our ego coming out like a lion) to a state of harmony and purity spiritually. Hyssop is for ‘swallowed emotions’ and Cedarwood is for ‘conceit’. What this clearly demonstrates is that when we are literally BURSTING to take on that next period of growth we must not swallow our excitement. We have got to see it for what it is and explode with this new awareness but do it in a way that is inspiring to others as well so that we can cheer them on and they cheer us on with no hard feelings. This creates harmony and all is well again until we seek to grow again and the cycle starts all over again.
If we never wanted to grow and strive then we would really be sliding backward down each rung of the ladder. But to grow, we must never be afraid to hustle because it is in the hustle that we find our gifts and break open the lid holding us back: whatever it is.
Wrap up: Oils to add to your prayers
- Hyssop for Swallowed Emotions. The other side is Movement. Say “I raise my awareness” while applying a drop of Hyssop to the throat.
- Cedarwood for feeling Conceit. The other side is Meekness. Say “I know who I am” while applying Cedarwood to the spot right between your eyebrows.