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A Life Of Love And Balance Blog

Thankful for Ego

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This month I’m connecting the T and E of Steps and next month the P and S, so that I will deliver on my promise of how to become a soulfull woman in a year. This may seem like a weird title for this time of the year and maybe not?  This is the time of the year we pause to recognize what we are thankful for in our lives. Our ego is not usually one of those things, but I think it is time it has some positive recognition.

 

How often when you are given a complement or positive acknowledgement do you downplay it because you don’t want to look like you have too much ego?  You may say things like:

“Oh! This old thing. I’ve had it for ages.”

“I had a lot of help (even thBe ego strongough you did the entire project by yourself).”

“It was nothing.”

“Yes she takes after my husband. He is the talented one.”

I’m sure you can add plenty of your own.

Why do we do that?  Is it because we’ve been conditioned to believe, especially women, that if we acknowledge ourselves and take credit for what we have actually done then we are “too full of ourselves (ego)?”

I take issue with this. I think ego has gotten a bad rap. As a soulfull woman I am thankful for my ego. It is there to guide and protect me when it is truly operational. The problem is that is has been interfered with by the negative and demeaning beliefs we have inherited from the collective unconscious, family and cultural conditioning, the media, etc., making it a bad thing to do. (For women. Let’s face it and I don’t mean anything disrespectful, but if a man is full of ego he is assertive, powerful and commanding. If a woman does it she is overbearing, a , and unreasonably demanding.)

The consequences of a lack of ego strength are:

Lack of self-confidence.

Feelings of depression, anxiety, stress.

Not feeling good enough.

Shame and withdrawal from others emotionally and sometimes physically.

Suffering in silence.

Keep trying what isn’t working only more, better or different.

Frustrated, edgy, and angry.

Feeling out of control, and become more controlling.

Lack of feeling effective with life challenges.

Naïve and lack of boundaries.

I have spent my life in pursuit of understanding what makes human beings tick, including myself. It seems we have the belief that if we try to make our ego go away, beat it up or ignore it we will be better for it. I haven’t found this to be true for me or the people I have worked with.

A good example of what I am talking about is Judy. She grew up in a family where emotional needs were not on the “To Do” list. She was criticized (constructively, of course) for her normal childhood developmental behaviors. Most were ignored, invalidated or punished. Her ego became covered over by this conditioning. The consequence for her was that she went into her adult life not knowing that it was okay for her to have an opinion, express it, and not have to duck. She didn’t know how to set boundaries with people, and not put up with negative or abusive behavior towards her by others. In spite of her difficulties she lived as a person of her word. If she said she was going to do something, she did. If she said she would be somewhere she was. She was a person you could count on. She was also a person who kept trying to make things work with others. If relationships weren’t going well romantically or in the work place, she would try fifty more things, after the fifty she had already done, to try and make things work. By the time she came to see me she had years of life experiences that hadn’t worked out for her and she was stuck in not knowing why. She had very low self-esteem, had been depressed for years, and was stuck in two questions that kept looping around in her experiences: 1. What did I do wrong?  2. How can I fix it?  She stated “I just don’t get it. I’m a good person.”

I’m happy to say that though she has been challenged in therapy, Judy is not only getting it but is taking steps to do something about her life. Her ego has slowly come out of hiding. She is beginning to understand that she didn’t make her parents or other significant people in her life behave the way they did. She realizes their behavior is about them, and hers is about her. Her focus needs to stay on “What kind of person do I want to be in this situation?” rather than “What did I do wrong and how can I fix it?”

She has come to recognize and appreciate how she has lived consistent with her values of being a good person in spite of the pain it has cost her. The pain, she now realizes, came from her belief that how others treated her was her fault and she had to do something about it. Now she claims responsibility for only her behavior, which is what she is accountable for, and that brings a new freedom.

She is taking small steps to practice self-care which includes:

Valuing and honoring herself.

Acknowledging herself as well as holding herself accountable for her behavior and making changes when necessary.

Letting go of beliefs that no longer serve her.

Asking for what she wants even if she doesn’t get it.

Setting healthy boundaries.

Being assertive when necessary, stretching her comfort zone, and realizing that the world will not end.

Practicing remembering that it isn’t her job to change other people.

Viewing other people’s behavior as feedback to guide her as to how she needs to respond (rather than react).

So, that is where I get that we need to be thankful we have an ego. However we need to make sure we keep it tamed and in balance.

Too much ego and the soul can’t get through. The consequences of behavior from too much ego are thinking too much of yourself, too little of others, and abuse of our power.

Too little ego and the soul can’t get through. The consequences of behavior from too little ego are thinking too little of yourself, too much of others, and a lack of use of our power.

A soulfull woman knows she needs to keep her ego balanced so soul can manifest in her daily life where she and others care from a place of strength, love, gratitude and joy.

***

Soulfull Woman Deborah Chelette-Wilson is a Licensed Professional Counselor, speaker and life coach who has helped many women find that elusive “something missing” in their lives. Like so many women, you may be feeling helpless, powerless, and hopeless. Deborah’s experience, insight, and wisdom will guide you onto the path of a soulfull You: confident, empowered, and hopeful. Become the change you want to see in your life.

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Guest Friday, 20 July 2018

BOOK RESOURCES

Resources

Dr. Daniel Seigel :http://www.drdansiegel.com/

Heather Forbes:www.beyondconsequencesinstitute.com

Trauma and Loss Institutehttps://www.starr.org/training/tlc/com

Dr. Peter Levine Institutehttps://traumahealing.org/

ACE’s Study:http://www.acestudy.org/the-ace-score.html

Dr. Bruce Perry The Child Trauma Academy :http://childtrauma.org/

For more information contact Deborah Chelette-Wilson at deborahchelettewilson@gmail.com

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