When the ego takes over, so many things can go wrong! This thought has been on my mind for quite a few days. As always, things got sort of weird. As I was trying to make sense of a certain situation, I stumbled upon a book I had started reading and had left there without ever finishing it! GEEEEE! Did I ever need to read the ending!

Isn’t it funny how things always happen with synchronicity? Maybe I’m a weirdo, but it’s as if I always end up finding quotes and books or meeting people and having conversations that I truly needed in determined situations. But all jokes aside about my weirdness, I also believe that if people were more attentive to the present moment, they would definitely see what I mean. 

It’s all a question of being open and welcoming to what life has to offer us… seeing and grabbing what needs our attention and letting go of what no longer serves us. In other words, it’s a question of accepting to see what God is telling us both in the moments of joy as much as in those of pain. 

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The Ego Is a Tricky Partner

So yeah, I grabbed the book that I had abandoned for more than two years on my coffee table and decided to get it over with! The book is only available in French and is Called Kilomètre Zéro by Maud Ankaoua (you can find it here https://amzn.to/3RdvK2w). 

Well, I certainly did not expect that! It’s exactly what I needed to read at that specific moment in my life. Why did I stop reading if the book was that interesting? Why did I just abandon the book for so long? Well, I guess it was part of my learning process. I had given up on so many things I loved doing and among those things was reading. 

As I looked at the book, I could clearly remember the whole story, because it is quite unique and interesting. I did not feel the need to go back and read some of the previous chapters. I basically picked up from where I had left. 

I will not tell you about the story because I don’t want to spoil the ending. You might want to read this book! I mean, you should definitely read it! All I will say is that it is about learning to find the true priorities in life, about human relations, getting your heart broken and learning about the mechanisms you are building with your ego.

The Sneaky Ego 

We all faced adversity at some point in our lives. It can have been in our workplace, in our friendships, in our families or in a break-up. The forms of adversities can be so different and take various forms. 

As an example, while a priest, I truly suffered from the jealousy of my colleagues and the wickedness that came with it! I was far from being perfect and still am just as far from perfection as I write this. However, it was clear that what I suffered back then had its origin in pure and bold jealousy. 

How can I assert that? Well, it is typical of the various churches and of various workplaces where too much power is given to men. Give the same type/form of power to various men or women that are supposed to form a community and unless holy, they will slowly want more and more power. 

It then becomes very sneaky, our ego tricks us into believing we have the right vision, the right comprehension of the Gospels, the right way to put it into practice, the right ritual in celebrating mass, etc. I was there as well. 

We slowly start criticizing colleagues and creating boundaries where there is no more possible and true communion. We set ourselves apart, we build walls of self-righteousness and slowly fall into the victimized, persecuted righteous priest syndrome. 

The Same thing can happen in so many ways … let me try to explain better!

The Ego Can Become Your Worst Enemy

Questions need to be asked. What do we really want? What are we truly working for? Are we working for the Gospels? Are we working to build a community? Or are we secretly working to feed our egos? To get a tap on the shoulder for having the fullest church, the biggest collection, the greatest numbers of sacraments, etc.? What if true success and holiness were not based on numbers?

The same thing happens in daily conflicts, in family discussions, in fights with friends or in break-ups. Why do we feel the need to justify ourselves? Why will we rethink day and night about what has been said? Why do we focus on the hurt? The pain? The treason? Why do we feel the need to have the final word?

We might answer, “because truth needs to be said!” Well, is it really the truth you want to proclaim? Or is it more a question of feeding your egoistic need to be right? What if both parties were right? What if there were elements of truth in what all parties have to say?

My perception of a determined situation in which I am emotionally involved is never objective. Cut the crap with the objectivity of truth … free yourself from subjective convictions and then we can talk about that one! 

We are incapable of objectivity when we are emotionally involved! FACT! So, our emotions are fogged up, our intelligence is tricked into believing our own version of the story, our desire to be right closes us to the other’s opinion and we no longer are available for building bridges … we choose to build walls.

The Ego Needs to Be Quiet!

So we need to quickly go back into a space of peace! We need to choose to let go of these useless thoughts that will only harm ourselves. We need to focus on what brings positivity, and choose to forgive. 

The truth is, you need to shut your ego up! I mean, let’s be honest, even if you did succeed in giving your “right version” of the story to friends and relatives or to the other party involved, they will all choose to believe it or not! They will choose the side of the story they can relate to.

So choose the silence of love! Choose the righteousness of wisdom! Let go! Let the truth speak for itself. Let other versions of the story roam around and ground yourself in who you truly are… 

Do you know why? Because when you step away from anger and resentment or other forms of negative energy, the beauty of your soul shines through! And that beauty will only help others understand that something is not right about what they’ve heard. 

I purposely wrote about my priesthood and the injustice I think I’ve lived so I could finish this post by admitting that I probably built walls of incomprehension and of victimization that kept me from seeing the beauty and wonders in my colleagues’ works! 

My ego was doing a great job at convincing me to do so! I was actually judging, criticizing and being just as greedy as they! I measured my success with numbers and bragged about it! I was not a bridge builder… I truly believed I wanted to do well and help others, but I was also subtly feeding my ego. 

And what about you? Can you relate? Can you help me feed my ego and send this to friends who might need to read this? LOL. I hope I’m doing a better job at discerning between my ego and objectivity, but let’s help each other get there!