In the past couple of months, I’ve been evaluating my friendships, my relationships and my work life, all in the name of bettering myself. Being the face of Supparetreat also meant that each opportunity I ask women to be vulnerable is also the time for me to be vulnerable. The only way to be honest with others is to be honest with yourself so here down the rabbit hole I go.
As I’ve been reading more books and articles, searching for posts that resonate with past trauma, wounding or pain, I stumbled on a posting from (@the.holistic.psychologist) that said:
Ego says: “I don’t know where to start.”
+ actually means: “I don’t want to let go of this version of myself.”
I think it totally hit the nail on the head. We immerse ourselves in so many books and so many things that we need to let go of but yet the last part of releasing is the hardest (and when I say we, I mean I). Understanding the ego has been a huge learning experience for me. I used to think that ego was about having bravado, the accomplishments and trying to be the biggest and the best. But I’ve learnt so much about how my ego has been a safety net. We conjure up stories that play up with our own perceptions and project images of how we want to be seen.
Through the process of projection, feelings and traits you find unacceptable are wrongly placed onto others. We blame, scapegoat and gossip about traits we are not willing to accept in ourselves.
Denial is another way to dispel anxiety-causing thoughts and feelings. In these situations, you are refusing to acknowledge parts of yourself that are readily apparent to others. The surprised ego states, “I’m not like that!”
Until we recognise these patterns only then we can try to work with it. I’ve been recognising what I do in such a huge way. This month has been a lot slower than others in terms of work and I’ve had more time to consciously work on myself, speaking to others, writing thoughts down and assessing boundaries. It’s eye-opening because your self-work may only be one part of you but it does affect all of your other parts, even shows in my blood test results. (Shocking I know!)
When we did the “Letting Go Ritual” on our first public retreat at Tanjong Jara Resort, one of the things that I shared in my small circle of women was that I wanted to let go of my ego. Honestly, I don’t know if I really knew what that meant – I highlighted a difficult block with my family where I knew I had to get past but I didn’t realise that letting go of my ego meant to seek my higher self.
So I’m balancing between the work of understanding but at the same time not falling into the crutches of holding on to a label that defines my current situation. I think that happens when we get into the stages of awareness, it almost indemnifies us from assuming responsibility because we find resolution in names of our coping mechanisms or projections. There’s a moment where our body responds and says, “Yes, that’s exactly how it feels!” But that’s also where we get stuck.
I guess it’s also like attending a tarot card reading where you pick a random card and all of your stories are revealed through the intention of the card. Although, I do believe that the universe has its own answers but at the same time I also feel that giving power to one action can also handicap you. In that moment it feels like I end up holding on to a story that feels comfortable, that I can resonate with and there we go again, the ego feels safe because we don’t accept total accountability of ourselves.
The only way I see out of this cycle is to continue to evolve from the label, that’s how you escape the Ego Trap of feeling stuck. So in my case, my first step was to build my awareness of what was happening. Like in my last post, I was in the process of connecting the dots. So my second step has been to really dive deep and recognize the patterns, and be slower to react but be cognisant of how I want to respond.
I wrote down some goals and putting them on paper gave me a lot of clarity. It gave me a direction (even if directions are meant to be fluid) and it also allowed me to see how the relationships in my life would be able to work on them with me. Change is really uncomfortable, I know that. It’s even more uncomfortable when others around you don’t quite understand your process. It really feels like Step 3 has barely scratched and its the hardest one yet. I know there’s a ba-jillion steps after to follow but I’m so so grateful I’m here. I’m also grateful for my Supparetreat tribe who have been on this journey with me. It doesn’t feel that scary when you know you’re not alone.
Your story doesn’t end here, it’s just the beginning…and you didn’t come this far to only get this far.
Where are you in the process of self-work? Have you given yourself the time and space you need to work on YOU?