Ego Based Emotions – Disarming negative ego emotions
Thoughts come and go but emotions linger. Thoughts and feelings feed off each other and they can affect us positively or negatively.
A nasty thought creates a bad feeling, like dread in the pit of the stomach, or an energy drain.
A kind thought can produce a pleasant feeling, which can be felt in the heart or a sense of relaxed happiness. It’s usually energising.
If there were no ego, we would only hold on to those emotions that benefit us. We would not hang on to anger or fear, way past the point of usefulness, even to the point of creating stress or anxiety.
Staying upset or worked up over a bad feeling or reaction to something, only magnifies its effect. It makes no sense that we do this to ourselves but for the fact that we have ego, that part of us that is disconnected and full of fear, and won’t Let Go for fear of losing control.
When I studied ego consciousness with the Gnostics, I learned that the ego is the backward less developed part of our psyche, that detached from the Source of All Things (God) and decided to swim against the flow of life.
The by-product of these unchecked emotions are inner states like depression that do us no good and make life unbearable at times. The most poisonous emotions that should not remain in your mind to fester are …
– the list goes on.
None of these states are helpful to us in the Now moment, let alone solve the challenge or problem at hand.
What can you do about them? You can train your ego to take a back seat in your life and get familiar with the opposite of the negative ego emotions.
Let’s understand that working on Ego is not about becoming ‘a good person’.
This is beyond the old world judgments of good and bad, worthy or unworthy. It’s about effective living, what makes life enjoyable and rewarding, and how you can live to your fullest capacity and run on cleaner energy. It also means you become an example to others who may be really struggling with themselves.
The real icing on the cake (from my personal experience) is that you also experience positive physical effects like:
• Have more energy in the day
• Can get by with less sleep
• You look better for your age (yes, slows down the aging process)
• Your skin tone improves and eyes are brighter
• Your centre of gravity is better tuned – this means if you trip or slip, you don’t fall like a sack of potatoes and fracture a bone.
For every Ego vice there is an opposite Higher Virtue
If you decide to work on an ego vice, you will become more inhospitable to the ego and reduce it to a far more manageable size. The most straight-forward way is to ‘let go’ by forgiving yourself and others (intellectually at least), and open up to the higher virtue which is ready to replace it’s opposite. Over time, these higher virtues (like empathy, universal love, compassion, humility) will take up more of your daily consciousness.
I believe that as the higher emotions are allowed to surface, the egos will have less room to move. Instead of following the negative response to a situation, you switch to a higher emotion (almost like going digital, so it’s either 0 or 1 – I choose 1). So it is with all other psychological states: each vice has its flipside virtue. Overcoming laziness, for example, allows us to be more active.
Religion refers to vices and virtues, like the Catholic Seven Deadly Sins. These are: Anger, Greed, Lust, Envy, Sloth, Pride, Fear. Consider them the root egos – the big daddies from which all the smaller egos are derived. Take Pride, it has many tentacles – vanity, stubbornness, arrogance, disdain. Whichever child of Pride you experience, they have much the same feel, a hardness of heart and rigid thinking.
The Catholic Seven Deadly Sins With Conquering Virtues
The Catholic Seven Deadly Sins with the corresponding virtues implies that we can transmute each ego vice into a higher self virtue.
This is true because you can’t eliminate or condemn a part of you that you don’t like. You can only transform it.
The objective with ego work is to reduce the proportion of time you spend in a negative ego state. Because we’re individual, one or two ego types are the dominant ones in our personality. For me it’s Fear and Anger that dominate me. The other five appear in me but in much smaller ways. And there’s one that makes a guest appearance now and then.
Check out Ego Training, you may be surprised at how straight-forward it is. The only thing that you need in good quantity is willingness.
Interested in the most crippling ego emotion of Fear? Read these blogs on Fear Busting:
How to handle fear when facing the prospect of facing-off someone
How to turn paralysing worry into constructive concern.