I’m not sure if it’s a bloke thing, a Craig thing or maybe a little of each but one of my toughest adversaries has always been my ego. Still is. He is a needy, annoying, attention-seeker. Every day, he and I have our moments. This revelation coming from a gym-owning, motorbike-riding, only child with body issues, who would have guessed?
And yes, for this discussion, my ego is a he. Every day we go head to head on something. It could be about my body, my career, my reputation, a certain outcome or performance, or even (cringe), my writing. It could be in response to some feedback or maybe even to a comment on this site. Or, it might be about something even more superficial like my stuff. That is, the crap I own. And as we all know; there’s a fine line between owning crap and being owned by crap.
It might happen in the middle of a conversation, taking a stroll down the street, buying some jeans (“well Veronica, I’m normally a 30 inch waist”) or maybe when I’m speaking to a corporate audience. It could be in front of one person or a hundred (just then, my ego wanted me to write a thousand people because it sounds better – see how that works?) It could be the temptation to share some information which might possibly impress. Or it might be a compulsion to correct someone who doesn’t want to be corrected. Maybe it’s the act of pushing my shoulders back and standing a little straighter. We men do that. Well, I do. Or it could be the desire to be the funniest or smartest person in a room. To steer a conversation back to me. To wear a certain shirt. Or to add a little mayo to a story (to lie). I know you’ve never done it, but I’ve actually lied to impress people.
Only a million times though.
For a long time, my ego had me fooled into believing that he and I were one and the same. Thankfully, we’re not. It took me a while to distinguish my own voice and thoughts away from his. And I suspect that I’m not alone in this battle. While he needs constant approval and accolades, I don’t. At all. While he needs an audience, I crave solitude and space. While he’s driven by all things material, I’m more interested in emotional, spiritual and social wealth. And while he strives obsessively for perfection, I celebrate my dysfunction, my wrinkles, my slow metabolism and my humanity.
Sadly, my ego has no respect for my desire to live a conscious, authentic and humble existence. And not surprisingly, he didn’t want me to write this post.
The battle continues. 🙂