I’m a regular guest on The Lillian McDermott Radio Show which airs every 2ndand 4th Tuesday, 9am EDT at www.whenyouneedafriend.com. During last September’s show, we were discussing depression and anxiety and I mentioned quite often, the root cause of depression and anxiety is a lack of self–love. Lillian was very interested in how we can work to love ourselves more fully. Together we embarked on developing the 90-Day Self Love Challenge. This blog covers the 61-75 days of that challenge.
“I am my own worst enemy.” Are you at all surprised by how profoundly true that statement is? Author Eckhardt Tolle wrote in The Power of Now all problems exist in the mind. It makes sense if you think that if its true happiness comes from “out there,” then it must be true all problems come from “out there” as well.
When we live our lives believing our happiness and sorrows exist outside of ourselves, beyond our control, it leaves us in the unfortunate position of feeling victimized, without power and control. Being put in such a very scary position leaves us no other alternative than to defend ourselves from the inevitable and constant attacks from the world. This is where the ego comes in.
The ego is a construct of our personality designed to protect us from the hostile world we live in. The ego needs to defend, appear strong and in control to others, and most importantly, be right; because if you can’t be right in this world, then what have you got?
The ego is not a bad thing, really. It just does what it does. Some would say the tiger is evil for killing the beautiful gazelle. Others say the tiger is good for it plays an important role in the circle of life. But the tiger is neither good nor evil. It just is. So it is also true for the ego.
We can’t be ego free. We have to accept we will always yearn with the desire to be right, appear strong and in control to others, and feel a need to defend ourselves from what we tend to expect is a hostile world. We can learn how to manage our ego. I remember clearly my prior addiction to being right. There was a time in my life I would die on any principle if I convinced everyone else I was right. What a waste of time! Rather than make me appear weak and out of control, giving up my need to be right actually helped me become a stronger person.
We did a lot of work in this area on the radio show. We did 15 days of exercises to help you recognize and manage negative ego responses. I will address days 75-90 in upcoming posts. In the meantime, I invite you to work on this 90-Day self–love challenge. Go to http://whenyouneedafriend.com/category/90-day-challenge-to-self-love/ to learn more.