Volatile emotions, dissatisfaction with life, problems with our relationships; these are just some of the problems which can cause pain in our lives. So what’s the root cause? We are quite literally looking for love in all the wrong places. We look to the ego for the answers and whatever we hear from the ego we believe to be true. In fact, we believe that we are the ego, or vice versa.
The Ego
According to Webster’s Dictionary the ego is: “The “I” or self of any person; a person as thinking, feeling, and willing, and distinguishing itself from the selves of others. According to Freud and psychoanalysis the ego is the part of the psyche that experiences and reacts to the outside world. There are other definitions according to various philosophical schools of though. In everyday usage, most of us think of the ego as being boastful, conceited or arrogant; as we may say, “She is so egotistical”.

In many spiritual practices such as “A Course in Miracles” there is another definition for the ego and that’s the one I’m talking about here.

The ego is literally a fearful thought. The ego is always based in fear. Just knowing that the ego is fearful thought will probably not do much to help us recognize the ego at first but with knowing some of the characteristics of the ego we begin to not only recognize it, but start to see the damaging effect of living based in ego.

The ego is the idea that we are either better than or worse than. It tells us that we are not good enough or “they” are not good enough; sometimes all at the same time. The ego never tells us we are a part of anything or we belong. The ego is the thought of separation. Separate from others, separate from God. It has no sense of unity. It has no sense of equality, brother or sisterhood, or a sense of being at one with each other. The ego doesn’t know that we are all related, all loved and never alone.

Since the ego lives in thoughts of fear, it believes and tells us that there is never enough of anything. There is not enough time, there is not enough money and there is certainly not enough love. The ego does not know that we live in an abundant Universe.

Since, according to the ego, there isn’t enough of anything, we must outwork, outdo, outmaneuver, and out-manipulate. We must fight, scrape and claw ourselves to the top in order to not be left at the bottom. Ironically, whatever we may acquire, a life based in ego is never a success because the ego is never satisfied. No matter where we live, who we are married to, or what rewards and accolades we attain, the ego, like Mick Jagger said, “can’t get no satisfaction”.

The ego tells us that life would be wonderful if only people would do as we wish. If only we had the right job, the right spouse, the right house and everybody acted right, everything would be great. When that doesn’t work we change jobs, spouses and houses. When plan A doesn’t work we try plan A harder. To quote Albert Einstein; "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." And all the while we keep wondering why we are still unhappy, dissatisfied, downright miserable.

Living a life based in the fearful thoughts of ego can have very negative results. Sometimes we are mean, selfish, dishonest or even violent. Fear causes us to steal, violence to protect what we are afraid of losing or a way of getting what we think we need.

On the other hand, we can act kind, generous, self-sacrificing and still have an underlying motive of getting what we want out of the situation. Sometimes we aren’t even aware of what we are doing, but if looked at closely we’ll see underlying thoughts something like “if I am just nice enough, or kind enough or sacrifice enough then I can get them to like me, take care of me, admire me.” With the ego, it’s always based on self—getting what we can however we can.

Of course we can be kind and loving and tolerant and all based in love. It’s only when we are listening to ego that all our kindness is conditional, based on what we get in return. To give with no expectation of results is of the Spirit—which is Love.

The ego can take on many forms of fear, selfishness, resentment, anger, blame, guilt and self-pity. It drives us to make decisions which place us in a position of being hurt.

So what’s the solution? Not much—just a miracle. But don't panic. Miracles are our right. They are natural, normal and occur every day. According to “A Course in Miracles” a miracle is a change in perspective. A new way of seeing things, a “new pair of glasses”, a physic change, a spiritual experience; these are just some of the names that have been used for returning to a system based in love—our natural state.

A major step is taken when we begin to recognize the voice of the ego and realize it is neither truth nor is it who we are. We are spiritual beings and to associate the essence of our being with the ego is the cause of our pain. The solution is to seek a consciousness of and connection to Spirit.

It sometimes takes a great deal of pain to lead us to make a commitment to seek that consciousness. We may need to do some soul searching to uncover where and when our ego has caused us to think and act wrongly. We will have to keep watch on our thoughts and our actions and make a conscious effort to seek positive power and connection with Infinite Wisdom. Some spiritual tools are using affirmations, and practicing meditation and prayer. (Affirmations are really just a reminder of truth.)

We can learn to constantly remind ourselves that we are loved; that the world and everything in it is under the care of a powerful loving Spirit; that we live in the presence of infinite abundance. That this Source provides more than enough of everything for everyone always and can more than take care of us and our loved ones. Remind yourself you were created in the image of God, prefect in every way in His sight.

We have tried to live our lives based on the notion that the ego, our daily thoughts, our emotions, our bodies, our outward appearances are who we are. We are, as said a million times in a thousand ways, spiritual beings, precious Children of God, always loved and never alone.
Deep at the center of my being there is an infinite well of love.
I now allow this love to flow to the surface.
It fills my heart, my body, my mind, my consciousness, my very being, and radiates out from me in all directions and returns to me multiplied.
The more love I use and give, the more I have to give, the supply is endless.
And so it is.

Marianne Williamson has written extensively on the principles of "A Course in Miracles". Her book "A Return to Love" is considered a must-read of The New Spirituality. A paragraph from that book, beginning "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure" - often misattributed to Nelson Mandela's Inaugural address - is considered an anthem for a contemporary generation of seekers.

Author's Bio: 

Be sure to sign up for your free Affirmation Course. I have been using and teaching the principles of "A Course in Miracles" for over 15 years. Visit my site at http://www.newperspectivetoday.com for more information and resources.