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Understanding Ego and the Self

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Understanding Ego and being mindful
Understanding Ego and being mindful Image by Kerstin Zettmar

Understanding Ego and the Self

By The Mind Key Editorial Team

This month, we look into understanding ego and the self. As February comes to end, so do harsh winter days. With March comes the first instances of Spring, along with waves of hope and encouragement for self-reflection. March feels like the perfect time to reflect on the Ego. The Ego, much like a plant, is nurtured and feeds off its natural surroundings. Many things are affected by your Ego such as everyday decisions, some personality traits, and especially your desires! The Ego should never be ignored. And that is what we hope to convey during the month of March. We hope to show you, through a series of articles and meditations, that you can become more aware, and perhaps learn something new about yourself, this March.


Defining ego

The ego is a paradigm, or structure, that we create for ourselves at a very young age in order to survive. Examples of negative structures we create often come from having to survive in our own households. Ie: “I am wrong and my parents/teachers/other authority figures are right.” This is because as a child if we contradict our caretakers, we chance losing the care (and/or love) we clearly need in order to survive. We grow into adulthood often thinking that these structures are reality, when really, they’re simply our reality. However, the ego is not inherently bad, nor should it be seen in that way. With awareness, we can better the importance of Ego.

The triad of Id, Ego, and Superego is a balancing act. And if one area is out of balance, the others are as well. Id is our basic needs and instincts, such as food and shelter and sex. Superego is our sense of right and wrong, our morality as defined by culture. And finally, Ego is our center of being essential to that balance. If one piece is out of whack, the whole pyramid falls. One must be in tune with their morality, their needs, and their sense of self to not have any of these areas damaged.

The ego is the part of the mind that mediates between the conscious and the unconscious and is responsible for reality testing and a sense of personal identity. In fact, it is considered a conscious thinking subject in metaphysics.


Understanding, balancing and growing with the ego

The ego drives one’s ability to pursue their passions, understand their emotions, and ultimately, continues their drive for life. The Ego is what handles your confidence and allows a person to take control of their day-to-day, and their destiny. Without our Ego, we’d have no control over our desires, or confidence against our fears. Ego can also be seen as the fight between the angel and devil on your shoulder. Your ego may be the one who drives us to take selfish action, compare, and be prideful about our abilities. The angel, the good in us, is what fights the ego and pushes us to be selfless, caring, and attentive to others before ourselves—sometimes even to a fault.

The greatest, most balanced thing we can do, is to be mindful of who we are, how we are, what we want and need, and how to follow a path of balance, unencumbered by too much Ego, but also too much Id or Superego as well. Instead of lifting us to where we need to be, an unbalanced Ego hinders our dreams, goals, relationships, and spiritual wealth and health.


What’s in this issue

Our monthly Astrological report will show how Ego will influence you, and how to control it. Check out the collaborative article by Mind Key’s Editors all about the 16 Personality Traits! With this article and the use of the 16 Personalities website, you can quiz your Ego and how much you really know about yourself.

Marla Funez talks about developing the ego to strengthen your confidence. Theresa Birmingham offers great advice about learning how to let go and build new relationships with like-minded people.

March is filled with marvelous advice, columns, and tips, so don’t miss out!


Ego is essential

Believing that Ego needs to be dismantled or ignored can be incredibly dangerous to the development of self. Instead, we must recognize that the Ego is part of us created as children. Therefore, it is completely adaptable to who we have become as adults, and who want to continue becoming. It is the part of us we fall back on when we have no other recourse… So, some of the strongest and most empowering steps we can take involve restructuring this very basic “safety net”. In doing so, Ego serves us in the way we want it to. When we are not in a place to be the most enlightened version of our self, Ego is the center of our self that balances the devil and the angel on our shoulders.

In EXPLORING THE EGO we will encourage our readers to think deeply about their core beliefs, and determine which of those beliefs are truly true, and which of those beliefs were simply created as a form of survival that is no longer needed to thrive.

Muhammad Iqbal’s words, “The ultimate aim of ego is not to see something, but to be something,” remind us that truly seeing, reveals the moment we are in. And in seeking out the moment, we become more aware of self and have a greater balance between the Id, the Ego, and the Superego.

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