Letting go of ego problems is easier said than done. However, with some practice it is possible to let go of your ego and be more present in your daily life – without having your ego dictating your life in a destructive pattern. The author Eckhart Tolle has written a book called “A New Earth – Awakening to your Life’s Purpose”, which talks about understanding the ego, but also illustrating how to get rid of ego issues that you are struggling with. The book was even covered on Oprah’s web classes, so it’s really one of those must-have books. Below is a summary on this fantastic book (covering chapters 1 to 4) that will help you understand how the ego works and how to let go of the ego. You will also learn to be more present – a state of mind that will bring about inner peace and unleash the joy within you. If you are ready to make a change in your life, but don’t know how to get rid of your ego that is causing disharmony in your life, just keep on reading. Let’s take a closer look into the way the ego operates and the things you can do about it.
The role of the Ego
To be able to let go of ego problems, you might want to know what the ego is and does. Eckhart Tolle explains early in the book about how the ego works, which can be summarized as follows:
What is the Ego?
The Ego is a voice in your head
You are not the Ego. You are not what you perceive, experience, think or feel.
The Ego is a form of unconsciousness
All addictions are unconscious. For example: You can’t get drunk or overweight as long as you act consciously (as long as you are being present)
Don’t fight the Ego – only recognize the Ego for what it is; unconsciousness
You are the space, consciousness, awareness for all the things you perceive, experience, think, feel
This means that no thought that you have about yourself is a realization – it’s a belief (Ego)
And a belief is only something you keep thinking (Ego) – and you can change your thoughts
Spiritual Realization / God is a feeling experience – not a believing experience
How the Ego works:
Ego cannot make friends with the present moment
Ego dislikes and resists the present
Ego doesn’t like what you do, or where you are
Ego is always stressed and looking for something else to do, or somewhere else to be
Ego – at its best – uses the present moment as the stepping stone in to the future because it wants to get to the next moment
Ego cannot survive the present moment
How to separate yourself from the Ego
In order to get rid of the ego, it’s important to separate your true identity from your ego’s attachments, and understanding the role of the human ego.
We now know that the ego loves complaining and seeking drama, and these strategies are separate from who we really are. We also learned that the ego cannot survive the present moment. So, in order to find our true selves, we need to become aware of the ego. When we are aware of the ego (by being present) – we cannot be totally possessed by the thought form or the emotional form of the ego. Below are a few pointers that will help in letting go of the ego.
How to move beyond the Ego:
Practice every day living in the present moment and you will get rid of your ego piece by piece
Instead of “waiting” for things to come – practice “being in this moment”
Give more attention to the present moment than to the future or the past
Make the present moment the primary factor in your life and you will overcome your ego
As you accept the present moment – the ego will diminish and eventually disappear
Make friends with the present moment – don’t fight the present moment – accept the present moment first and then take action
When action arises from a peaceful place – the action is empowered by life itself and much more effective (than when action comes from an resisting place)
The Ego interferes with your happiness
The roles you assume, and the stories your ego wish to tell about yourself and others, can keep you from your true happiness. As you learn about role-playing and the many faces of the ego, you will recognize what true happiness is all about.
To find true happiness, you need to balance your ”inner being” and the ”human roles” that you play. So what ”human roles” do we play? Examples of human roles include: mother, father, husband, wife, young, old, occupation, nationality etc. The role has its place and is needed in order for us to function in this world, but in itself it’s not enough for a fulfilled life. Mastering of life is not about “control”, but about finding a balance between “human roles” and “being”. No matter how hard you try or what you achieve, you won’t get happy if you don’t listen to your inner “being”. Your inner being is found when you are present. Whey you connect to your inner being, you feel empowered and balanced. You lose your true power when you are not present, and by not being present your not letting go of the ego.
Letting go of the Ego by being present – is the key to happiness!
What does it mean to be present? You are not present when you lose yourself in the Ego (in your thoughts), get lost in the continuous thoughts that you are thinking, and identify yourself completely with the roles you play. Without your true power, you try to control and manipulate people and situations because you falsely believe that the power lies without yourself. You believe that other people and certain situations (new job, house etc.) will make you happy. But true happiness can only be found in the presence; in your “being”. Peace comes with living in the present moment with what is.
No matter what happens outside your world, you will always have peace when you are present with your inner being. You may still have plans and want to achieve things, but the main focus must be in the presence while doing the necessary activities. If you can stay focused in whatever you are doing, you will have more energy. Also, you will find your passion in the presence. If you focus on the result, you will lose your passion and get stressed, making it much harder letting go of ego problems you are having. Zen Master once said: “His need to win drains him of power”.
Is your Ego controlling your life?
Do you consider yourself as being spiritual? What does it mean to be spiritual? Being spiritual is a state of consciousness – a state of being present in every moment. The opposite of being spiritual (or present), is to be in your thoughts and allow your ego to run the show.
In order to make true changes in life, we must start letting go of the ego. But, why do you have to let go of your ego? Because the ego is blocking the spirit – and the spirit has direct access to the universal forces – the same energy that creates worlds!
When you stop resisting and become absolutely still and present, you allow your spirit to enter your consciousness – and when this happens, you will get true guidance that will help you make positive changes. In other words, when you accept and make peace with what is, your actions will be empowered by life itself!
How spiritual you are has nothing to do with what you believe, but everything to do with your state of consciousness
How spiritual you are means how present you are
Ask yourself – are you in your thoughts or are you there as the awareness of your thoughts?
What you resist – persists
Make peace with the moment – in order to get yourself out of the resistance
You must first accept what is – in order to make a change
The energy is totally different when action comes out of acceptance – instead of resistance
The action that comes from acceptance is empowered by life itself
Your true power lies in the presence
Peace comes with living in alignment with the present moment
Now you have a better understanding of how to get rid of ego problems, which you can overcome and deal with much easier than before. Letting go of your ego is a matter of practice, just like you have practiced feeding your ego for so many years. While you might not completely remove it, you should be able to master your situation and release most of your ego.
We have covered the next chapters of Eckhart Tolle’s book, in another article if you wish to dig deeper in his work, which can help in letting go of your ego.
Here is a clip from the Oprah Show with Eckhart Tolle talking about how to let go of your ego.
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