If you follow the emotion, it will get you to your truth.
It’s difficult to grasp the concept of ego + identity because in reality, they cross over. It’s finding the balance between the two that gives us the freedom to act in alignment with who we are, to create the space we need to let go of the noise in our heads, and to know what’s worth fighting for and how hard to fight.
The journey in finding the harmony between knowing who we are and fighting for our values is difficult, challenging and uncomfortable. It makes us question if it’s something we want to focus on let alone be conscious that it even exists. It’s way easier to just set the autopilot button and cruise on through with blinders.
Yet, if we are brave enough to discover our root cause and start to get ourselves unstuck, understanding our balance between ego + identity is a crucial and fundamental step. And the only way we can navigate through this incredibly difficult journey is to lead with honesty, which is something our egos put emphasis on avoiding.
We put our egos to the test when we curate a life filled with smoke and mirrors. We feel better about our lives and our choices when like-minded people validate our decisions. We create our own echo chambers so that we can maintain the world we have spent so much time, money and energy creating. This allows us to avoid the hard work of going inside to define our own definition of happiness. On the surface, it’s much easier to perform and do what we think others want without putting much thought into our own actions.
This is what we have been taught to do and it’s what society has confirmed is the right path to take. We have been fed the line: “fake it until you make it” and we have killed it at this game. It’s not until we come face to face with the reality that we are not enjoying the lives we have worked so hard to create that reveals the cracks inside our castle walls.
The honesty starts when we can admit to ourselves that something’s not right. There is a constant nagging that doesn’t go away. It’s filled with unflattering emotions and a dialog that says: “someone else has it worse, so you don’t deserve to complain.” This leaves us feeling lost and stuck in a false belief that there must be something wrong with us. We question why we are unable to enjoy the beautiful lives that we have.
We tend to ignore these uncomfortable emotions but instead, we should examine them. Our emotions are a form of communication so understanding what they’re trying to tell us is a fundamental aspect to getting ourselves unstuck.
But in our culture, we have conditioned ourselves to ignore our feelings, put our heads down, and keep charging ahead because addressing these emotions would be complicated and unpleasant and we’d just rather avoid that altogether.
However, if we can find the strength to follow the emotion instead of ignoring it, it allows us to accept our insecurities with compassion and understanding. And once we have an understanding, we can help ourselves work towards a solution. It allows us to find our focus and stop the spiraling. We can finally address the root cause and experience sustainable change.
When we experience the change from our habitual responses of our past, it opens up the opportunity to feel things differently, shift our perspectives and redefine our limiting beliefs. But to get there, we must ask ourselves the hard questions: WHY do I feel jealous? WHY does that trigger me? WHY do I care so much? It’s in the answers to these questions that will allow us to reaffirm our values and get back in touch with who we really are beneath the smoke and mirrors. Finding the honest answers to these uncomfortable questions is HOW we find our balance between the ego + identity.
Quite the doozy for just step two of our 11 step process, right?!?
Ming-Wai + Ming-Cee