Taming The Ego: It's A life Long Curriculum

by Heather White 

Walking a Spiritual path does not equate to accepting bullshit, shitty behaviour or other blatantly obvious transgressions. From where I stand, the Spiritual Path is about love, not about like. And when you stand for love, it often confronts you with the truth of a dislike, which I see as a shadow to love and even more so, an invitation to bring love to the moment.  

Where I think this gets tricky is a few fold. Firstly, when we make things or take things  personally. The ego loves to get into a righteous competition about me versus you, stacking us up against one another, preferably where “I” come out on top. Making things personal is a quick way to slip off the cliff into a rabbit hole of egoic obsession. But, when we look from a spiritual perspective we see it’s all about energy and not about people.

The second way I see it getting tricky is when we apply that sleezy layer of ‘fake spirituality’. You know the one: we are accepting of everything, and judgement free and have no reactions or feelings towards anything that might be an annoyance because we are “Spiritual”. 

Then comes the last one -this one I see so often. It is when we are having a genuine reaction to something that is triggering the dislike button in our brain, and then we slather on the self-judgement because we should be able to be more “Spiritual”, and our honest reaction is some shame inducing spiral into self-loathing for our lack of consciousness.

Let’s work with an example, so I can show you what I mean…

Have you ever been driving, trying to merge into traffic, only to come up to one of those drivers insisting on driving so close to the car in front of them that merging is made completely impossible?

Ok, I strongly dislike this behaviour. It falls into the “are you fucking kidding me?” category in my world. 

But that’s because I stand for love. And from where I’m sitting…

Love is inclusive. Love is connective. Love is expansive. Love is abundant. Love abodes love. Love is empathetic. Love notices where love is called for. Love is awake. Love is present. Love answers the moment with love.

And Love would not purposefully stop you from merging. It just wouldn’t. 

But here’s where it get’s tricky. If I make it personal, it’s easy to think thoughts like…

  • Why are you being such an asshole?
  • Don’t you know how to drive?
  • Are you even from Canada - cuz, uh, we do it differently here?
  • Who taught you to drive?
  • Did you buy your driver’s license? 
  • Oh, you think you’re so high and mighty you have to block me.

Then, two seconds after that, I slide into self-judgment of my non “Spiritual” ways and it sounds like..

  • God, why am I such a bitch?
  • Who knows what’s going on in their day?
  • Maybe they just found out some terrible news? 
  • Why can’t I be more understanding? 
  • What’s wrong with me? Ugh!

Or if I were to bypass my honest reaction and go all fake “Spiritual”, then I cut-off from my body, I go into my head, and I push away from my Truth. I kick-into ego overdrive reminding myself of how understanding and compassionate I am, while ignoring the fact that my stomach is in knots, my adrenals are pumping out adrenaline and then I wonder why I can’t sleep tonight, or any night for that matter.

When it’s energetic, it sounds more like…

Huh, I’m noticing I’m a bit pissed at this situation. What’s going on here? 

And the answer is always the same: Love is missing from this moment. 

I wonder how it would be possible to infuse love into this moment? 

Then listen. 

If you knew the answer, you wouldn’t have gotten pissed in the first place. You would have responded automatically in offering love, in the same way you automatically breathe. But the fact that you didn’t, is not because you missed some training program on how to be “Spiritual”. It’s because you’re in a training program for how to become “Spiritual” and as Ram Dass would say “just take the curriculum.”