A night in the kitchen
You’re cooking your evening meal and preparing the vegetables as you always do. You wash them, peel them, then cut them up. You then nick the inside of your left thumb slightly. Enough to trickle blood for several minutes, but not enough to cause any severe pain.
You were due to do it again sometime soon and you use this moment as a bit of a wake up call to say ‘I’m no Jamie Oliver and I probably need to dial back my cutting speed.’ So you band aid up that fresh wound and continue on with your preparation. The rest of your cooking goes on accordingly and the evening a success like others before it.
How many times have we found ourselves in a situation similar to this. A scenario where we have accidently nicked, bumped, fallen or knocked into an object that was probably quite avoidable if we’d paid ourselves in the currency of momentary awareness?
Ouch! That hurt!
So, we now find ourselves with a hindering little reminder of our momentarily lapse of concentration, just lingering there on our thumb. It’ll quite happily let you know of it’s presence for several days now. The first reminder being in the morning at the moment you go to grab your shoes. You’ve forgotten, all too briefly, that you’d cut your thumb the evening before. You’ve now reached, as you always do, for your shoes and get a signal instantly that your left thumb is in pain. “Ahh F*#K!” You profoundly speak at the time of day you’d usually only murmur your words at best.
Why the aggressive exclamation? Why such a surprise when you’d only received this new injury only a mere 12 hours earlier in your life?
We react to a situation like this from a point of ignorance. In the way that we knew of our newly inherited weak point yet heeded no care for it. We regularly have the opportunity to either find another way around inflicting the pain on ourselves, or at the very least, using the affected area in a much more delicate way.
This newly inflicted injury serves us a purpose today. It is our ego.
My name is Ego! King of all the land!
Like our injuries feel when we mistreat them over our lives, our ego is the king of that similar feeling, sensitivity.
We have so many borders set up inside ourselves, guarding our every emotion.
Ego, protector of self esteem is always on the defence and ready to aggressively defend it’s kingdom. Defending against anything that may expose it’s kingdom for what it truly is and in turn denying the chance for everyone inside of this community to truly grow.
It is both a conscious and unconscious being, ego. I’m sure at times you have been aware that you snapped at a person for remarking that you may have executed a filing system slightly under par. This remark instantly hit the border of pride in you. For you to then defend yourself quite aggressively because you don’t want that person, in fact anyone, to know that you are in fact a little weak with your filing game.
It’s much easier for the ego in you to defend this situation than it is to take it on the chin and perhaps take the time to upskill in this department. It’s become apparent to your ego that you can keep lying to yourself and others by simply defending your abilities with blaming or shifting stories, than to accept that you need to improve.
We all do this in different circumstances. It’s there to protect our weaknesses, we all have ego entrenched in our soul. It’s our self esteem that we protect like we do our own flesh and blood. To let it be exposed for even a moment would show a flaw in our identity.
At least, that’s what we all tell ourselves with OR without knowing.
Elements of ego
Ego comes in many forms. But the two distinctive ones are either confidence, or arrogance, if we break it down into it’s purest elements.
Arrogance is when it believes it’s own abilities of being far greater than what they really are. It can be when it believes it’s accomplishments have been well earned when they we’re actually gifted somewhat. Or in the way it will pretend to be all knowing rather than accepting it’s lack of knowledge and getting to work on it.
Confidence opposes to arrogance in the way it holds humility to it’s earned abilities or reputations. Confidence has endured the processes that got it standing where it is today. It’s journey shows traits of grit, patience and humbleness stained throughout the canvas laid before us. Only to fall time and time again but rise thereafter with another lesson learned.
Let your ego learn
Now ego will always be with us until the day we no longer grace this world. But we have the power to firstly, be aware of it’s role, and secondly nurture it into a place of acceptance. acceptance in being an important component for us to learn from arising situations. acceptance at being a good listener and then having the opportunity to slow down for a few moments before reacting. And most importantly, acceptance that it will always drive us to be a better person than we are today. As long as it is willing to embrace our human emotions and evolve them, rather than stoke the fire, provoke and pretend to be something we are not.
Jealousy is everywhere and we experience it everyday in some way. The fact that someone can read a book twice as fast, can do 10 more push ups or earns more money per annum than you…These are all comparisons that can be pushed aside. You can either use these envies to drive you forward by learning more through putting your head down. Or you can quite simply look at a jealousy and ask yourself, “why am I jealous of this feat? And if I was able to perform what they can, would it make me happier?”
It’s worth taking a few moments to ask yourself these kinds of questions the next time you find yourself in an envious state of mind.
In all of this it is important to start understanding what moments throughout your days you identify more with confidence or with arrogance. It’s not a moment of shame that should wash over you when you find arrogance leading your conversation. It’s a moment to instead embrace your ignorance and grow! Tell that person that you DON’T know the answer and will definitely take a look into it when you next get the chance. Tell them you DO understand that you didn’t quite hit the mark on the latest quarter report deadline and that you will in fact ASK for help in the future.
The next time your ego is exposed like the cut on your thumb, try to nurture it by accepting that you aren’t all knowing and omnipotent. You’re knowledge, skills and emotional intelligence knows no bounds.
Help yourself grow from these sore thumb moments. And try not to swear, too loudly at least.
Who locally inspires you? why?
Do you think you could ask that person a question about their desirable quality next time you see them? If you don’t ask, you won’t know.
Self awareness is progression