I continually pray for humility, unconditional love, the release of judgment, and for the refinement of discernment.
I pray for love and forgiveness of self and others.
In this journey of blogging and forming a support group online, I am continually confronted with ego and ego-desires. I find myself watching the number of hits to my blog, dissecting my site’s stats (visits), and keeping track of member numbers—none of these facts are a reflection of me as a person, of my worthiness, of my talent, or of my completeness and wholeness in spirit.
I am enough without anyone validating my experience.
I know these truths, but remain trapped in a web of reconfirming my “enoughness” based on others’ perceptions.
I try to remain balanced and aware, reminding myself that what someone says or doesn’t say makes no difference in who I am.
Still, I am human, and as a human I fall victim to my own weaknesses and frailties of character.
Recognizing I am perfect just the way I am, with or without weakness, with or without frailties, I focus on releasing ego, and embracing my inner light and abundance of love for many. I celebrate in each and every life I connect with, knowing if I am able to help only one person, that the one is more than enough.
I go on my knees in humility and honesty, admitting my shortcomings, and in doing so expose ego and lessen ego. In my humaness I remain, but in my spirit I triumph through the obstacles of fear and doubt.
I am enough.
Below is Releasing Ego, a prose I wrote in response to what I heard in prayer in the spring of 2011. I share this today for myself and for deeper reflection. This is a reminder to me that I am not a number. Ego is attached to numbers and recognition and acknowledgment. Spirit is free.
Releasing Ego (by Samantha Craft, Spring 2011)
Sometimes in releasing ego there is a period of regret and denial of one’s true calling—a mourning of what was, what was familiar, and what was important. There is a twisting of reality, thoughts and ideas, and a reevaluating of what is real and heartfelt.
Without ego there is little to be thankful for, except the essence of being. When in the ego state we are in a constant state of thankfulness or disappointment. Everything and everyone is continually evaluated and ranked by effectiveness against self-measures. There is no other way for ego to evaluate, except through the lenses of his own eyes and ideas, and inevitably his own limitations.
When we step back and simply ask to release ego, we are inviting a new way of looking at the world, and everything inside this world. The world we once recognized as ours is no longer owned, just as our words and thoughts can no longer be ours. In truth nothing is ours anymore, once we partake on the journey of wholeness, choosing to leave behind this created sense of separateness.
At first this casting away of ego can feel very isolating and lonely, as if we’ve abandoned everything we once knew, only to find we knew nothing. At this point it is beneficial to remember the ego still exists only in reflection in memory, perhaps as a shadow exists on the sidewalk where you walk.
Like the shadow, as the clouds come, it may seem as if ego has vanished. But in the light of examination, we shall see that ego remains at our side molded and predetermined in shape and measure by our own being. In this way be aware of ego, as a constant companion who will swell up from beside you and attempt to arise within you, becoming less of a shadow and more of you.
His creeping and longing can be recognized in the longings of the mind. When you find yourself wondering what if, why and when, this is ego lingering and climbing, clinging in his merriment to your side, and attempting to slip his tentacles into you.
Ego is tricky and very much clever this way: for in our call to release him he is granted more eventual power, as he lay wake at our side waiting until we think he has gone eternally.
Our greatest weakness is in thinking we can dismiss ego, and in turn within our dismissive nature rests ego’s cunning device of apparent invisible power. In fact, it is exactly ego’s nature to take advantage of our nature, to build up self in order to build up ego. That is to say the more you make an issue and event over the exile of ego, the more you feed ego. That is to say the more you try to make your trials with ego important, the more you make ego important.
In realizing your struggles are no more greater or lesser than others’ struggles, we are then only able to decrease ego.
On releasing ego from thought of evaluation, in releasing our selves from thought of evaluation, we release ego. But the second we allow the evaluation of our efforts of release, we allow ego to grow.
Do not doubt ego waits at your side determined to control the steering of the mind and resulting attitudes; for once he is in control, he is capable of masterful cunningness. Once he is in control he is able to make you quickly forget you gave up control. He is like the first slice of pizza after a fast, the first beer after an AA meeting, the first taste of a rekindled love affair—he is a high, a familiarity.
Where we make a mistake (if such a word is to be used) is in where we place blame. The blame is not in the pizza, the beer, or the partner of the affair, but in the doer—and even more so in the motivation behind the doer.
When we reach for something we know is familiar, but not beneficial for our growth, it is not the element of what we are reaching for that is to blame for our reaching, but our intention to reach: Our very reason for reaching. In the case of ego, when we reach for him, he is no more the enemy than a slice of pizza; he is only the means to which we fall.
The reason we reach is primarily, and most certainly, our lack of trust in truth and love. We fall victim to the taste of what we once had, to that taste of power, of spotlight, of importance, of recognition, of praise. We reach because we want to be noticed. We reach because we want to be filled by that which once filled us. We reach because we have not been shown how not to reach.
Like the recovering addict, we need those around us that know what it is to have reached, to have attempted to partake in the old ways again and again, only to return to the truth.
We are not meant to journey alone. We are not meant to exist alone. So why is it in this journey to release ego we circumvent our own selves?
When you long for these familiars, the way things were, the way you’ve always known since birth, in this body, you feed ego. When you recognize you are longing, you feed ego. When you proclaim you are longing, you feed ego. And thus he grows.
And so we look at the alternate—this so called opposite, and we make our stand through a plan of lesser attack. We erase the longing by replacing longing with truth. In longings place we replace the recognition with longing, with the recognition of truth. In the place of proclamation we replace proclaiming our longing with proclaiming our truth.
And what is this truth, but love, acceptance and service. In these three we disrobe ego gently and heroically, without martyrdom and self-criticism, without bringing ego into spotlight. We do not display our love, we do not proclaim our acceptance, we do not brag about our deeds, but instead serve through example, a light to the world, a light that shines truth upon the shadowed egos all around us.
Look below, beside and above to where this ego stands and hides both at the same instant; disrobe ego, in the greatest of gentleness, through the removal of longing for what was, and replace with the acceptance of loving what is.
When you find yourself in circumstance of tears and upset, where you long for the love and attention you were once eloquently granted through ego submission, we ask that you go upon your knees and be thankful for the ability to see the lacking of ego, the lacking of praise and gratitude, the peeling away of truths that once you believed.
Open your hands to the true goodness of being, for the joy of being. Open your hearts to the possibility of existing, for no other reason than to exist.
Recognize that when you feel discouraged in your efforts, you are being brought further upon the circle of humility. You are being shown a mirror to your efforts. You are being reminded that true effort is effortless.
Look not for your brothers and sisters for validation that you exist, that you are good enough; look instead to the sincerity of heart.
May you find security and comfort in your journey, and know beyond knowing that when you search and search for this validation, and in return you hear silence from those on earth, that We are whisperings in your ear that you need search no longer, that truth is at your door, that the silence response is our knocking.
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