From Ego to Liberation

Ego is a bossy, sultry trickster,
constantly corraling us into small mind,
hawking the cosmetics of status, recognition, and reward.
Self-doubt makes us easy marks,
no matter how often we have proven worthy.
How many times must we check the mirror,
jockey for a compliment,
command the last word?
And do it all as if we weren’t,
or at least as if it doesn’t matter?
“Oh – but it does,” says ego.
“How else will we get the gig,
win friends,
and love?”
When we feel we’ve sacrificed
too much,
or waited too long for our turn,
we begin to bark and growl
like an abused dog on a chain.
We lunge at passers-by,
who, until we bared our teeth,
reached to stroke
the soft hair on our heads –
or we shrink back to sulk
and lick our wounds.
“We’re just being real,” we tell ourselves.
But it’s small mind talking,
still selling protection
over patience and connection.
Neither of those arise
from our demands,
or what we think we are entitled to.
We each have an agenda
to drive us to completion.
We have studied and practiced plenty
to justify our performance,
to earn applause.
When it doesn’t come, we double down on ambition.
We wonder, how could our audience not get it?
There’s the rub –
all eyes are not on “me.”
Wholeness – liberation
is a shared endeavor.
Everyone – all needs – matter.
And they are never in balance,
due to both individual and social ego.
Fear, power, and privilege
blind us to that.
Until we choose
to remain in relation,
we are captive to ego.
We will keep tripping over
our personal and culturally dominant agendas.
It’s at those moments when it is most crucial
to listen to others,
especially those who have long been silenced,
no matter how confusing and painful,
no matter how small mind reacts.
Freedom is knowing
we have more to gain,
from opening our hearts to them,
than we could ever lose.


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