There is a monster that lurks under my bed. He doesn’t live there during the day. When it’s light, I can easily search for shoes and chapstick that have rolled under the bed. But when the day has faded and the lights are turned off, he comes alive. It is then that I am afraid to stand by the bed—sure that he will grab me by my ankles and devour me, starting with my toes.
This monster has followed me from my childhood home. He is the same monster that used to live in my closest and stare at me until I screamed for my mom and dad.
Another favorite hiding place of his was the basement. And, when I least expected it, I would feel his presence coming up the stairs. He always seemed to know when everyone had left the room and I was alone. His ominous presence would fill me with fear, as I stood defenseless. Thankfully, my current home doesn’t have a basement.
I had thought I would grow out of my fear of the monster who lurked in dark, but even as an adult, I find it difficult to stand next to my bed for more than second…but only at night.
My old dog, Mickey, used to sleep under our bed. He was the bravest creature I have ever known. He calmly walked under our bed every night and slept peacefully. His lack of fear kept the monster at bay.
Who is this monster, who’s presence is only felt in the dark, and where does he hide when it’s light?
There is a saying that if a man thinks he is in control, let him take care of a two-year-old.
Every time I think that I have reached a higher spiritual plateau, I lose my temper. Usually it is with my kids, who are on their own time schedule and are still young enough to know it all. And when I lose my temper, I feel my self esteem drop to its lowest notch. How could I possibly think that my son moving too slowly is more important than staying in a loving mode? When I lose my temper, I have identified with my separateness. I think his agenda is working against mine. My ego won’t stand for being ignored… that says I am not important. And the ego must always feel important.
I have no illusions that my ego isn’t huge and that my struggles with it may be greater than most. As soon as I have lose my temper, I realign myself and refuse to continue to identify with it. Instead, I ask for forgiveness from the offended person and forgive myself. And re-remember that the ego is not my true self.
So, I will now sit and think about the actions that lead to my lose of self control this morning, and see at what point I could have stopped it from escalating from a request to a demand shouted by a mad woman. And hope that next time, it triggers the knowledge that nothing is more important than a healthy relationship between me and my children… and certainly more important than whether the trash is taken out by a 9-year-old.
Over and over for a week, I have heard comments from people stating that they don’t fit in this world – and never have. I knew they were echoing what I felt as well. Especially this last week, when I kept vacillating between peacefulness and flights of profound sadness and fearfulness. I realize now that it was a lesson to show me the rewards of being connected with the spirit versus being connected with the ego.
What is the ego?
The ego was created by our thoughts (we are creators, just like our Creator). We create an ego for ourselves and each person we meet. The ego will die without us, but believes that it can live without us. It’s mad and insane. It longs to be free of us, thinking it can live without its creator. It is emulating our original decision that we could live apart from our Creator. It fears that we will awaken and realize that the ego is not who we really are—that we will remember our true spiritual self. Once we know our true self, the ego will cease to exist—a state of mind called enlightenment.
The ego uses conniving methods, such as feelings of bravado to motivate us, and fear when we are headed toward enlightenment to cloud our vision. You could compare the creation of the ego with the ‘Garden of Eden’ scene in the Bible where Satan convinces Adam and Eve to eat of the forbidden fruit. The forbidden fruit was symbolic of the thought of living separately from our Creator—a decision that created the ego thought-system which deceived us into believing that we could be created by something other than God, and at the same dissociating ourselves from the fear and guilt that stemmed from the separation.
How do we live on this earth without the torment of the ego?
I believe that it is possible to listen to our spiritual self through the Spirit to know how to go about our day. Listening to the Spirit is not a conscious act to ignore the ego, but rather the natural outcome. When listening to the Spirit, we are connecting to our higher selves which automatically fills us with love and overpowers the thoughts of the ego. There are only two basic emotions – love and fear (lack of love). The ego is ruled by fear and the Spirit is love.