“Life isn’t worth living without love. Have faith in love! Take a chance, and you might be surprised at how well things will turn out. If you do, you’ll be filled with joy. I promise!”
Ego allies help us justify wrongdoing, keep us stuck in destructive cycles, and prevent us from living love and being free.
How The Ego Works
When we think, say, or do things we know we shouldn’t have; fail to follow through with what we promised; or when we are triggered into the reliving of a painful situation from the past that we end up blaming someone else for our current reactions to; our ego may come rushing into the sorry situation to twist the truth of what happened to make us feel justified in doing what we did, and then make us defensive about it to insure that we avoid facing and dealing with what really happened. These bogus ego justifications often take the form of lies, misrepresentations, or lame excuses that are fairly obvious to anyone who understands what really happened; and the defensiveness usually takes the form of flipping the responsibility for what happened from us to the person or situation it was directed at, through a forcefully delivered flurry of false accusations (many of which have nothing to do with the current situation at all. They often consist of prior ego misrepresentations pulled out and used over and over again — even though they may never once have been true.
The ego twist the truth, or fabricates illusion, to make it seem like what we said or did was justified; and blocks evidence to the contrary; and then uses defensiveness to keep us from being exposed to the truth by essentially controlling the situation through either defensive attacking and blaming, defensive avoidance and denial, and/or the defensive enlistment of ego allies — others we tell the ego version of the story to so they will take our side and agree with what we did, further justifying it. When people choose to live this way — to avoid facing their mistakes, taking responsibility for their choices, and experiencing discomfort — they are giving the ego control over their minds and lives, and living in darkness rather than light, evil rather than good, and illusion rather than truth. And if they have unresolved core personality issues,; such as fears of not being good enough, fears of losing control, fears of being unfairly treated, fears of not being able to trust, or fears of rejection; then these ego issues will determine the direction the ego will twist the truth/fabricate illusion in, and the nature of the ego defenses supporting them. And if survival mode is triggered by strong negative emotions, then the ego will also seize this opportunity to synergistically amplify the magnitude of the defensiveness, and create the added illusion that there is a threat that we must fight against or run away from (adding this level of intensity to the existing ego triggers).
What Are Ego Allies?
Ego allies are those people we tell our ego version of the story to; in order to get them to take our side, make us feel more justified in doing what we did (or are considering), and avoid facing the truth and taking responsibility for our choices. We usually tell them only those things that support our position, make us seem self righteously justified in doing what we did; and like somebody else did something bad to us (making ourselves seem like a victim, and defensively flipping what happened and who’s responsible for it). Once we tell them our ego version of the story (which may be completely inaccurate); they believe it to be true, back us up based on our misrepresentations, and remember these lies as truth when moving forward. And if this involved a relationship partner, as described in “Keep It To Yourself, The Importance Of Privacy In Relationships,” then it could have a lasting and deleterious effect upon our union.
Understanding the Ego
From a spiritual perspective, the ego is darkness, evil, illusion; and feeds off our fear and negativity. Without it, the ego would not exist. It watches for opportunities to trick us into reacting negatively to people or situations, by causing us to think based on patterned sensitivities to things like not being good enough, being controlled, being unfairly treated, not being able to trust, and being rejected. Once we react with fear, worry, self doubt, or anger to such patterned sensitivities, or issues; the ego has us under its control. If we have experienced serious pain or trauma in the past, and have lingering sensitivities as a result; then the ego will know exactly how to trigger us and keep us under its control. And once triggered, if we involve others in the egoic version of what happened, then these ego allies will be unwittingly adding to our pain, supporting lies, and strengthening the ego; supporting our avoidance of responsibility; and keeping us from living love and being free. To learn more about the ego, please read “Stress No More,” “Ego Sabotage,” or Eckhart Tolle’s “A New Earth.”
And no matter how many ego allies you get to agree with you, the truth is the truth. Like Gandhi said, “Many people, especially ignorant people, want to punish you for speaking the truth, for being correct, for being you. Never apologize for being correct, or for being years ahead of your time. If you’re right and you know it, speak your mind. … Even if you are a minority of one, the truth is still the truth.”
Healing and Growth: How To Transform These Destructive Habits Into Personal Freedom
- Establish and maintain clear boundaries (see Keep It To Yourself post for explanation and examples).
- Set priorities and live by them.
- If you lied or misrepresented something to others while under the influence of your ego, then take your power back by correcting the misrepresentation (as often as it happens); while openly expressing your guilt or regret to those you may have hurt in the process.
- Keep a daily journal, tracking the occurrence of such things, to continuously heighten your awareness until its gone. Consider phone apps like Mood Kit for this purpose.
- Fight the urge to do what’s easiest, avoid discomfort, or seek the familiar. These are the problems, not the solutions.
- Get regular exercise; weight training, cardio, and yoga.
- Focus continuously on higher vibrational things; including love, compassion, acceptance, peacefulness, and truth. Incorporate this into your daily meditation, and if you find yourself resisting it, then trace this resistance back to your ego; and push through it and do it anyway.
- Monitor your mind by developing your observing self (see Breaking Free From Trauma Ties post). Let the higher vibrations of spirit become your conscious awareness, and fill your mind with love and light. From this perspective you’ll gain more control over your emotions, and you’ll recognize your ego for what it is before it can take control over your mind again.
- If it’s a pretty established habit for you, and you need someone else’s perspective at first to be sure; then consider enlisting the aid of an accountability partner, or talking with a spiritual teacher or personal growth coach; to obtain a perspective that is beyond the reaches of your ego.
“Our compassion cannot be limited only to those who look like us or who share our citizenship or religion; it must be extended to encompass everyone on the basis of our common humanity.”
-The Dalai Lama