Many books about mindfulness seem to suggest that the ego is an impediment to attaining inner peace.
Sometimes though, I wonder if we can actually use it to our advantage?
When I read inspiring quotes and affirmations, I witness my own ego working to my advantage…
For example, this week I read these words by Jack Kornfield:
“Every facet, every department of your mind, is to be programmed by you. Unless you assume your rightful responsibility & begin to program your own mind, the world will program it for you”
With a nudge from my ego, I interpreted this as:
“I will not let the world program it for me!”
Later, I was reading some affirmations, including this one:
“Today I will find gratitude”
I interpreted this as:
“Of course! Without a doubt, I can list many different things to be grateful for!”
When I was being challenged to start a blog, I felt there were two different sides of me; one said “it’s impossible” and the other said “I will make this happen!”.
The ego prides itself in being right and we can use this to activate our willpower and affect change.
When being challenged, I feel it is our ego that eagerly wants to prove to ourselves and others that we can do it.
It can become a great source of motivation if we pair it with positive beliefs about ourselves and the world.
There are many other ways the ego can support us to navigate through life…
We can create healthy competition, establish clearer morals and values, create healthy boundaries, and stand for what we deeply believe in.
Perhaps the ego is actually neutral and it is how we use it that determines whether or not we are moving toward greater inner peace?
We have the free will to choose when to turn it up and when to turn it down.