"You have to learn how to turn the tables on the ego. The only way to forgive what is within is to forgive what seems to be without." --Gary Renard, The Disappearance of the Universe
We are approaching the two-week mark in this forgiveness experiment and I don't know about you, but my Ego is starting to fight back.
Ever since the guilt bomb that was dropped on me last weekend I have noticed that I am more susceptible to being triggered. I have been getting hooked by emails and by comments and, of course, by my own thoughts, all week.
Yesterday, while in the pool swimming laps, I finally realized what was happening: I have been engaging my Ego with all of this forgiveness work and my Ego is starting to fight back.
The Ego relies on the Mind to provide the fuel for its fire. When we quiet the mind with yoga, meditation, writing, forgiveness work or other practices, our Ego quiets down as well. For awhile.
But eventually the Ego starts to fight back and it can feel as if one is moving backwards. "I am doing all of this spiritual work and I feel WORSE. Sad. Angry. Depressed. WORSE." It can be very disconcerting and disappointing, which is exactly the point.
The Ego is trying to derail you. To get you to stop practicing and to go back to your old ways of feeding the fires of your mind yourself so that it doesn't have to work so hard to wind you up. Don't give in!
Respond to the Ego with even more meditation, more yoga, more forgiveness. Eventually you will reach that place of quiet once again. And then the place of fighting back again. And so on and so on and so on.
It can be likened to peeling away the layers of an onion. With each layer that comes off, you get closer to the center (your center), even though it doesn't always feel like it (and it can cause you to shed a lot of tears).
When times are tough and the Ego is taking you for a ride, you have to trust that you are making progress and wait for the next period of renewed quiet. It is during these times that you will notice the gifts that greater consciousness has brought.
I am looking forward to reaping the benefits of this 30 days next week or next month, even as I wrestle with my Ego today.
[I took this photograph of a section of The Berlin Wall, in New York City last year. The drawing is what I think someone's Ego might look like.]