It’s all about me right now.
I will admit that I have an ego. Without being a narcissist. I have lived thirteen years with one of those and can tell you that is much different than being selfish and self-centred. It was that pride that refused to allow me to give up on the narcissist. I was going to fix that relationship. It took me a long time to figure out that he didn’t want fixing. How utterly arrogant, Lisa.
My sister sees me as privileged only child. She is twenty years older than me. My brother is a year older than her. They had left home by the time I popped onto the scene. Also at a different stage of my parent’s life so I got ballet and horse-back riding lessons. Cottage life. I am grateful for those experiences and gifts.
Give me a Cancer Card and I will exploit that baby for all it’s worth. Front of the line. Handicapped parking. It’s my all-time best excuse for bad behaviour.
Sorry. Not sorry.
I say with a half-joking smile. I’m not the type of person to seriously take advantage of someone or the system. Been there too many times myself. I hate that. I’d give you the shirt off my back. As Sue says, I’d take a bullet for her. But slight my ego, and the hellion emerges.
I have long thought of the good and evil in everything. Our universe does not exist without it as I explained in my version of My Spirituality is Whole. Within ourselves, we have Ego and Soul … each striving for more. They are the angel and devil who sit on our shoulder. The Ego does battle. The Soul only wins quietly and peacefully without force.
I am not sure I agree with the mystics who believe we are here only to seek a higher plane of existance. We are in the here and the now with physical bodies. We must learn to tame both the Ego and the Soul. There is no shame in physicality. To rejoice in the beauty of a single tulip is a physical and spiritual experience. To steal a bunch of tulips out of a garden is an Ego trip of physical need and greed. To give away that flower to a suffering heart is a soulful experience.
Huffington Post posted a beautiful article about the two heads of our beast: Altruistic Soul Vs. Selfish Ego
I was achieving the success of a soulful experience, bringing myself closer and closer to that higher evolution through reflection, knowledge, study and service. A conscious desire to grow. Allow my soul to sail on the winds above earth.
But that snapped like a rubber band when cancer entered by body. I became out of tune and Ego and Soul seesaw back and forth while I struggle to balance them. I snatch Ego back like 3-year-old Lisa would. Mine. It is hard to let go of greed, want, control of my destiny while my life teetered precariously.
As I allowed myself to come first, Ego cried for more. I have given so much of myself over the last 20 years, that I had started hoarding bits of myself for me. I have finally – FINALLY – recognized I have to put myself first. Love myself. Honour me, myself and I. I have to love myself enough to let go of poor choices … why do I think I can fix them?
My intention isn’t to harm someone else. It’s to protect my heart from being hurt. I am selfish with my heart, and Ego incases it in ice while Soul tries to shatter the cage and let it soar free. It’s difficult to achieve the right blend.
A little too much Ego and you are self-centred … but forget Ego altogether and lose sight of yourself.
Each man I’ve known has given me a gift. A lesson. Bart* the firefighter gave me the gift of The Four Agreements book. Literally. He inscribed a note in my copy before giving it to me. I still have it and thumb through it.
I humbly try to remember the lessons. Number Two is especially important for Ego. As mentioned, I feel farther out of touch with this lesson while having cancer than without. Cancer – unfortunately – flipped my bitch switch. Perhaps due to a sharper sense of loss? Lonliness? Rejection?
Don’t Take Anything Personally. It’s not all about me. Where did that fear come from? Dr. D? (I know you are reading my blog!) I struggle with finding equilibrium between allowing unhealthy relationships to fall away and giving them a boot to help them into the stratosphere. One is soul-searching. The other is ego-centred.
Sue’s list … Is it kind? Is in necessary? Is it true? “Well … two out of three ain’t bad!” say Ego. While I am never untrue, I can be unkind.
Nothing others do is because of you. It’s them. I struggled with this last year as Sherri watched me mourn the loss of a failed relationship. She would beat her head against gym equipment and say “He wasn’t thinking about you at all. Why can’t you just walk away from it?” I put myself at the centre of that pain, when really … it wasn’t about me. My Ego was bruised. Yes, I was hurting and had every right to. My (female) analytical mind had to analyze it seven ways to Sunday. Obsessively. But he did what he did because of him. Not me. I was generating my own pain. I love Sherri for saying “Seriously. You are much better than that. He wasn’t worth it. You are.” His gift/lesson to me was acknowledge my inner voice. I knew something was wrong, and didn’t love myself enough to stop and observe, and act in my Soul’s best interest. I let Ego decide.
I smiled wickedly when he stumbled. My Ego wanted him to hurt. Sherri said “For fuck’s sake, Lisa, he is an immobilized spider on his back. He only has two legs left.”
“I want to rip both of them off” I said viciously. It became an inside joke. I posted photos of a Halloween decoration spider with only two legs.
Why do I think I am perfect for all these men? That’s gotta be Ego. I don’t think they are perfect for me. Bull-headed stubborn doesn’t even begin to describe me. A+ for tenacity in the head-banging frustration category.
Learning the lessons are like having 6 blindfolded Lisa’s describe the elephant. I totally missed the lesson that I pick unsuitable men, then wonder why they don’t fit in my life. Most of them that I have dated in the last 7 years (ugh) should not have made it through my Soul’s selection process. I don’t acknowledge the lacking qualities, then that is usually what comes around to bite me on the ass.
Sherri kicks my ass. But she is also the kindest soul to guards my heart. When I told her I was going to start taking her on my first dates to run quality control, she said “Because you think there’s a man on this planet that’s good enough for my Lisa?” We giggled and laughed out loud. Snow White and her entourage.
She says I am warm + beautiful + spicy + smart + contemplative + artistic + adventurous. “You need a man who’s going to satisfy those needs.” she said. Where do I find him? Soul says they are few and far between. Wait, she says. Ego says “Good enough for now”. That’s why I am taking Sherri on my dates. She’s good for my soul and brutal on my rejected ego!
Fascinating, fascinating … this love & rejection stuff. Watch Helen Fisher’s TED Talk about the Brain in Love. Her delivery sounds dry but she is a riot! She is the creator of chemistry.com. I find her absolutely brilliant.
Rejection piggybacks on the same neural network that pain travels. So – in theory – Painkillers should cure the pain of rejection. Take two Tylenol and call me in the morning … (there is actual evidence that this does work!) I can’t wait to get rejected again so I can test the theory. We rip our self-esteem apart … something I did continuously after breaking up last year with slippery Mitt*.
And the kicker? Rejection lowers your IQ. I have NOT boiled a bunny (not even close!) but I guess that explains why people do stupids stuff on Ex’s cars. Rejection cannot be reasoned with. That’s straight from Dr. Heartbreak. Bitches be crazy (oh … shit … I did tell you I wasn’t crazy, right?).
Dr. Heartbreak also did a TED Talk on The Case for Emotional Hygiene. You have to be a psych geek to follow me through today’s stream of consciousness.
Inconsideration from your girlfriend circle kind of feels like finding out Santa isn’t real. Your girlfriend does and says something which makes it back to you. And it smacks your Ego. That defeated, deflated feeling? Dread. Shock. Rejection. Yet I have said something about them as well in dissecting their behaviour with my confidantes.
When you are towing the party line, you aren’t a threat. Speak out and watch out. Girl Code is high on my priority list. Our biological directive knows we have less of a chance of survival without our tribe. The remembered pain of rejection can prevent us from doing something stupid and getting thrown out of our tribe. It tames in our singularity. That’s why we abhor rejection so much. Feeling alone has a huge impact on how we recover. The death rate from lonliness and isolation is as high as cigarettes.
When the Ego gets stuck in its cycle, I ruminate. And I learned a trick that Dr. Heartbreak mentioned in that TED Talk linked up above. I talked to my psychologist Dr. D about rumination. He told me to pick something else to think about. Well … that didn’t work for Ms. My-Mind-Goes-At-the-Speed-Of-Light. So I “prepicked” my focus thought. In the case of Mitt, I would segue my thought pattern from him and think about “Blockchain” … and exciting new technology. As soon as I fell into the same cyclical patterns of negative thoughts, I would go research and learn something new about Blockchain. When I started my medical leave, I was the resident Canadian Blockchain expert.
So there you have it. Ego fears Rejection. Fear of failure. Which goes back to my perfectionism. My Soul struggles to honour itself and simply says thank you for the lesson and moves on to a higher plane. The Ego feels more human with quick emotions. The Soul is our lesser known spirit.
If you think this self-introspection is easy – especially publicly – give it a try sometime. It’s always much easier to diagnose someone else and know exactly what to do to fix them. Nothing squares you up like navel gazing + honesty + asking for some constructive criticism + accountability = enlightenment. And some thumb sucking.
Well if I said I was perfect, ya’ll would laugh! I am decontstructing and rebuilding from the ground up … And I have fits while I restart. One of my favourite quotes is from Harry Potter’s author J. K. Rowling …
“Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.”
In case you can’t see the full featured photo, here it is 🙂
“Not everyone can be the Queen … Some of you have to sit on the curb and wave as I go by …”
Her Majesty, Ice Queen and Master of her Domain,
*Name(s) changed to protect the guilty and the innocent!
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© Lisa Jobson 2017