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Swallowing the Ego November 5, 2012

Posted by Living Abundance in Uncategorized.
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A few weeks ago I borrowed a car and set out from the farm to visit a nearby aunt and uncle. Before I left, I was asked if I knew where I was going, to which I replied, yep, I did. I had complete confidence in my ability to navigate to my relatives’ farm. I used to drive there on my own when I still lived on our farm, and I had just recently driven there a few months before with someone else showing me the way. Surely I would remember and the directions would be fresh in my mind.

I was also confident in my ability to navigate using landmarks and my surroundings. Lately I have noticed that I have a pretty good sense of knowing where to go without being able to verbalize that sense, and this has almost always gotten me to my destination.

Once I got to the road to which I needed to turn off, the road seemed to be completely different from how I imagined it would appear. I kept driving and driving, farther and farther down this unfamiliar territory, waiting for the feeling that this is the place to turn. That feeling never came. I took one turn, got lost, and turned around. I doubled back and took a second turn that wasn’t the right road either, but kept driving in a circle. All of the yards looked like they might be the place from a distance, but once I got closer I realized they weren’t. Eventually, I ended up back where I started.

I thought the best thing to do would just to stop, pull over, and relax in order to think of the best choice. I noticed that once the doubts over my own ability and my own memories set in, it threw everything off. I was lost in confusion and worry and couldn’t think straight. Instead I was too worried that I wouldn’t make the right decision.

Now would be a helpful time to just phone someone to get directions, right? Wrong, not for this lady. I couldn’t use my phone because I didn’t get one with good enough service out here, in part from a desire to not be bothered by such annoying technology. I was seeing how making decisions based on my own opinion can end up not being so helpful in situations involving other people.

The whole situation was starting to really make me question my sense of how I was, my ideas of how I saw myself. It seems that so much of how I perceived myself was turning out to be completely wrong in this situation. I wasn’t responsible, kind, successful, someone who puts others needs above their own, with superior navigation and problem-solving skills.

I was driving faster along the back roads, starting to feel quite impatient, angry, and tense, and could feel my face stuck in a frown. Finally I had to admit defeat, I had failed. It actually felt like I had to swallow my ego, I had to let go of the barriers I was putting up in myself and push down my self-serving image. I was pushing down an energy inside of myself that kept rising up and insisting, “No! There’s got to be some way…maybe if I just try ____ it will all work out.” No, sorry, but that’s not going to happen. I had to admit to myself that the current reality I was in that moment did not entirely fit with how I wanted to see myself, my ideal image of myself.

A part of me felt that I wouldn’t be okay if I admitted failure and defeat. It seemed such a scenario was a bad situation to avoid at all costs, no matter what effort it took. But once I was able to hold back the fears, I realized it would work out, everything be just fine. I certainly felt genuinely bad for a few days, until I saw my aunt and uncle in person a few days later and explained what happened in more detail. I was able to joke about it and laugh at myself for being so over-confident in my own abilities.

In the end, I am grateful for the whole experience in showing me just how difficult it can be to overcome the power of the ego, and how stubborn I can be at times in my unwillingness to face my fears. It is always nice to have another reminder of how circumstances usually work out just fine as long as I can accept the present moment.

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