Peacocks are Pretty, But...

Hello all,

I just wanted to talk a little today about ego.  For the past few days, I've been paying attention to the way my friends and family relate to each other.  I find it really fascinating the frequency in which ego appears in our daily conversations.

The next time you have a chat with someone, take notice of the regularity that you see "one-upping" or showing off take place.  Conversely, you may also see self-pity, or feeling sorry for oneself - which is basically the same as showing off.  Both are designed to get attention and bolster one's ego in order for the world to agree we are "good enough".

How much aggravation and stress would be eliminated if we understood that we are already "good enough" as it is, and that the only real improvement is to learn to love more?

I find it arriving frequently in my own life.  My local grocery store has a "self-checkout" option, where you can ring up and bag your own groceries.  I love the self-checkout line, and use it whenever I can.  However, I always feel rushed, because invariably I will encounter an impatient shopper behind me who starts ringing his/her order before I'm even done bagging.  Whenever this happens, I get irate.  Why do I get so upset?  What is the logic behind this?

There really is no logic, but there is an understandable feeling of irritation that gets blown out of proportion.  I feel as though the person behind me is disrespectful, and beyond the immediate rudeness, deep down I feel that this somehow substantiates a deep-rooted unconscious belief that others don't respect me.

So, in response to this feeling, I have the tremendous desire to have a rather brusque talk with this person.  I have the need to re-establish my ego, by matching their alleged disrespect with a display of power.  What would this accomplish?  Would my insecurity about disrespect lessen?  Of course not.

All this over a bag of groceries.  Today, take note of your own power grabs in conversations with friends and foes.  Do you notice yourself showing off, looking for attention, or irate with a fellow shopper?  Try letting go of your ego and let others take the spotlight, smile at your offenders, and above all - enjoy your day.

What are some recent occasions in which you encountered ego's sharp claws?  Did you cut yourself or someone else with them?


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