Social media… I can’t even describe my relationship with it. However, as I sit to write about ego, it’s the first thing that arrives in my mind.
As an athlete and yoga teacher, ego and I are very good friends. I’ve spent years working on how fast I can run, obsessing over my place on a race podium (read: how can I defeat others in my quest for the finish line), and examining my body in the mirror to see what I need to change to increase my likelihood of making the podium more of a sure thing.
I’ve also taken so many pictures that have never seen the light of day on social media because I don’t think they’re worthy.
This, my friends, is ego.
In the yogic teachings, there’s a lot to study about ego. If I was to take everything I’ve learned about ego and boil it down to one word, it would be this: separation.
Ego is how we make ourselves separate from others.
“I am not the same as you. I can do things you can’t do. You can do things I can’t do. I’ve had experiences you’ve never had. I have collected things that are different than yours. We are not the same.”
And this ego thing, we aren’t born with it. We learn it.
Thoughts like “mine” and “yours” and “I’m better” and “superior” and “inferior” are all types of self-preservation we develop as we get exposure to what our parents and the adults around us teach us.
Even labels like “yoga teacher” and “doctor” and “homeless” are things we created. They may be true but they don’t define who we ARE.
Define is another way to say separate.
Sometimes, when we think of ourselves, we define who we are as an accumulation of things and experiences we have or have had.
That’s as crazy as saying you are your house, or your car, or your favorite makeup. You HAVE a house and a car and other things, but you are not them.
Our only true “definition” is that we are soul. We don’t have a soul. I’m not Blaine and I have a soul. I AM soul. The same as you.
So why even have an ego? It’s our carrot, our drive, our mission, our reason to push through the hard times while we’re here in a body on Earth.
When we remember what we are doing here is a merging of soul with our Ego self, then we have the content, peaceful soul-aligned life we are looking for.
And we can happily put pictures on social media.