“The ego is the false self – born out of fear and defensiveness.”
– John O’Donohue, Anam Cara
There is no right and wrong, only different ways of looking at things. I am very interested in perception, I am sure it is a topic I will visit often here. I love to try to open my heart by seeing things from various perspectives. Anytime someone seems wrong, you can usually just try to see things from their perspective and then their actions make sense immediately. You can save yourself from a bunch of mind torture over judgmental thoughts and you can love the other instead of seeing them as wrong. Then you are reminded…there is no right or wrong, just different ways of looking at things. After doing this for a while, you really don’t have to shift your perception anymore, you find a way to just BE and quit judging whether things are right or wrong or good or bad all the time. A new freedom takes hold and it is magnificent! Its living with an open heart rather than a fixed way of looking at the world!
We are so very connected to each other. I know this is true and I believe that we all know it at the deepest part of our hearts. There are some universal laws in play with this truth that are just happening whether we are aware of it or not. How we treat others is exactly how we treat ourselves. Hopefully we can all sort of agree on that; when we’re ready, we can take the idea a bit farther. I am going to go ahead and mention one of the hardest things to truly learn that I have been working with over the past few years (and many more to come I am sure). Here goes – you can only see in others what you have in yourself. At first I thought this was a bit crazy and hard to accept…its hard to admit what we may have in us. I have been working with it for some time now and I can see the profound truth in it and just how much it can help us grow in unexpected and delightful ways. We truly can change the way we see the world as we change what we have in our minds and our hearts. It’s a nice bonus that as we make meaningful changes inside and align our personality with our soul a bit more, simultaneously we will see the world in a new way as well.
As we go about changing what we focus on inside and how we see the world outside us, one thing that can help a lot is practicing freedom from being right. This practice alone can help to change how you relate to your ego. True growth and change requires ego work on many levels. Finding little ways to live from love rather than our ego can lead from being imprisoned by a life lived from the ego’s perspective to a life lived with an open heart. The joy of life doesn’t come from the ego, it comes from being One with Life. There are many ways to learn about your ego and to turn away from it to make choices from stillness instead. One thing you don’t want to do is attempt eradicating the ego, focusing on it will only allow it to grow. We want to find little ways to turn towards stillness thus chipping away at the ego bit by bit. Lets begin with simply giving up being right and see what we may gain from this practice.
What we may gain by giving up being right:
- Better listening skills – if you are always concerned with being right, you cannot hear what others are saying. If you think you’re right and they’re wrong, as soon as they speak, you will be thinking of what you will say next…not listening. It is impossible to really be with someone if you cannot listen to them. We would gain a lot more connectedness and enjoy people more with better listening.
- Openness to other points of view – we may be surprised to see how good it feels to be open to ideas and unfamiliar things…it is really where the pulse of life is happening…the exciting stuff…Oneness with Life.
- Freedom from defensiveness – if we don’t have to be right then we will be okay with others thinking we’re wrong. What a relief that can be. If we don’t have to worry so much what others think…then we begin to tap into true freedom.
- Energy – it is exhausting to be right. There is so much convincing to do and proof to gather. You have to waste so many words and so much energy trying to change someone else’s point of view. Imagine if you spent that energy just being open and listening…you would have boundless energy to spend on something more productive and creative.
- Freedom from gossip and other toxic activities – gossip is all about what others are doing wrong and how we know what is better or right. The whole “can you believe he/she did that?” – if we weren’t busy figuring out who was right and wrong and judging everything we wouldn’t ever find ourselves in those types of conversations. If we didn’t need to convince others that we had been wronged, we wouldn’t have to talk about other people to hear how right we are. We would come from a place of knowing better than talking about others choices. We would have more room in our hearts to send love to people without judging them.
- A clearer mind – if you can free your mind from all the thoughts it has about being right and making others wrong, you would open the doors to a lot of stillness and beauty in life. You would see things more clearly and experience life in a new way – from stillness.
- Meet more open and loving people – how we treat others is how we treat ourselves. If we are someone who likes to be right, then we will find ourself making others wrong. Because we are all so connected, it is just like making yourself wrong. It will come back around to us…for sure. People don’t enjoy being around people making others wrong, it hurts us all. If we can clean this up and see the best in people, people will see the best in is us and we will encounter miraculous relationships with open and loving people.
- Courage – anything would be possible without the fear of being wrong, we could re-direct all that energy to doing what we are meant to be doing.
- Peace – seeing the good in others and treating others and ourselves with kindness can bring nothing but more peace into our life…what is better than that?!
What we may lose by giving up being right:
- A bigger stronger ego – the ego loves loves loves to be right and make others wrong. Every time it does so, it grows a bit and gets a stronger hold on its own identity. It gets more of the mind activity attention and gets us to turn from love and towards a stronger ego.
Wishing us all a loving and open heart as we go about our days without being right. Wishing you no “should-ing” on anyone and in return no one “should-ing” on you. May you be comfortable with the not-knowing in life. Be kind to yourself as you practice – as thoughts pop into your head ready to make right or wrong, remember, it’s just a thought and you don’t have to identify with it, just let it pass and turn towards love instead. Lets make the world a little kinder! Sending you love!