A realization came to me recently while listening to some music a family member had sent. It was a Susan Boyle CD I received months ago. I finally decided I should take some time to listen to it since my father’s wife felt the need to send it to me along with some other things. All these gifts were a bit of a surprise and felt very random.
I listened to the first song and I was immediately hit with this, “Oh my God this is horrible and ridiculous!” I saw it as sappy and cheesy. It was something I would make fun of and in fact I did in my head. So I turned it off and laughed it off.
Later that night I was meditating. My meditations lately have been much more directed at connecting to my heart. I want to be friendlier and more open with people. Also, I know that the true connection with all parts of self and God Source is found in the heart.
While in meditation, I was reminded of the song I heard earlier and felt I was sending unharmonious energy out as the result of my negative and very judgmental reaction to it. I sent Love to my father’s wife in that moment and communicated to a part of her that I would try and listen to it again.
A couple of days later I gave it another shot. I set the intention to just listen and allow myself to experience the fullness of what I was listening to. I was rather uncomfortable and felt embarrassed if anyone was to know what I was listening to, which struck me as a little odd. I kept thinking, or more like had thoughts running through my head, of all the movies I had seen where this kind of music was made fun of or to portray a character as being soft or weak, especially if they were men.
I also noticed that a part of me wanted to make fun of it. I came up with some really funny sayings and visualizations associated with what I was hearing. I longed to express this to people in order to gain laughter and camaraderie with others like I found in the past. Instead, I surrendered that part and just continued to listen.
I was busy doing other things, like checking emails but kept listening and found myself really tuning in during certain songs to both her voice and the lyrics. I felt another part of me was enjoying it. I felt relaxed.
I realized that a part of me liked it, but the part of me that was very uncomfortable was kicking and screaming. Basically, saying “This isn’t who we want to be in the world. We don’t listen to this stuff, we laugh at it. We like energetic music that moves us and puts us in motion. Not this slow boring stuff that would embarrass us.”
This voice was my ego, that part of me that wants to be a certain way and control things to achieve that mentally represented ideal. The truth is that this control is impossible and leads to inauthentic expression, being fake or a creating a type of mask that most people can see right through. A mask that many years past became such a part of me that I had forgotten who I truly was.
The ego is also susceptible to external negative energetic influences most often experienced internally as thoughts, images, and in extreme cases voices. It is the part that is easiest to hijack in order to perpetuate suffering of self and others in the world. It separates and divides potentially becoming a massive block to the heart and connection with others, especially those who do not believe or like the same things it does.
I often feel like the ego itself is a parasite, an aspect of the mind somewhere between one’s personality and the higher mind. I am still trying to work this out. I feel the Freudian description is lacking in its scope to encompass the multidimensional levels at work. So when I say ego I am not referring specifically to a psychoanalytical definition, although I see value in that information.
I am still not big on this type of music, but it is relaxing and it calms me. I find it to be something I enjoy as long as I don’t place judgment on it out of some insecurity. So, I guess I do like it in a way, but I am not ready to play it loudly for all to hear. Maybe by writing about it here I can lessen that ego identity that feels so threatened by it. To accept the music for what it is and not feel the need to make fun of it even though doing this was an easy way to bond with others in the past (many other people would be insulted by this and in truth would actually further isolate me).
Negative ego based judgment lessens what is actually a beautiful expression of the heart, vulnerable and yet powerful. Something that is always there waiting to be felt despite the thin film of ego trying so hard to hide it.
May you live Courageously with Heart,
A couple of movies that I really like in how they depict the ego are Revolver, an awesome Guy Ritchie film, and Peaceful Warrior, which was a great book turned into a movie.