Hidden Pride

Pride is one the least noticed emotions that the Ego uses over us. Many people are aware of the expression of pride that comes from boastful behavior, or self-righteousness. But, one part of pride that alludes most people is the hidden pride of understating oneself.

By the age of 13, I was very shy, and what many would call a wallflower. I had very little self-confidence. That low confidence stayed with me until I became aware of it through my personal development process. One of the ways in which pride ruled me was through reinforcing my low-self confidence. It is a subtle influence, but one that is very common. It usually comes in the form of how we react to a complement from another person.

Imagine that someone has given you the compliment that they like what you are wearing. How do you react? Do you say nothing? Do you downplay your appearance? Do you emphasize something else that you like about yourself instead? All of these reactions are the hidden side of pride, a pride in one’s own low self image. I know it might sound strange that someone could be prideful of a low self image, but this is precisely the paradoxical thinking that the Ego plays into.

Because a common teaching in spirituality is to practice humility, (to not to be boastful or bragging), many assume that downplaying oneself equates humility. This is not true. Humility is not downplaying your own role in something, instead humility is about accepting your part in with an inner knowing. (Not doing it for external reasons)

Next time someone pays you a compliment or says job well done. Simply try to say, “Thank you.” See how you feel when you say those words. Do you feel bad about yourself? Do you feel like you need to pay a complement back? Do you feel uncomfortable? Do you feel like you need to defer this complement to someone else? All of these are are subtle ways in which hidden pride reveals itself. Each one showing you that you are not truly accepting your role in what took place. Humility comes in simplicity, the simplicity of accepting yourself, your role in what has happened, but without feeling that swell of confidence. Humility knows that you did not do the action for the compliment, but it also knows that to pretend you did nothing is just as prideful as bragging about it.

Pride is not only trying to elicit a compliment, but also not being able to accept one. Humility comes from the acceptance that you were a part of the equation to make it happen. When you do not accept your role in completing or participating in something, it is the result of this hidden pride attached to low self-confidence.

Gaining Independence from the Ego

As we near Independence Day (The 4th of July) here in the US, I like to think of it as a time of reflection. Sure there are celebrations of fireworks and summer picnics, but also the holiday is about celebrating the freedom to be oneself. Yet, in our society today this is still not something that is a welcomed experience by everyone. In fact many people are afraid to be themselves, for fear of judgment, abandonment, ridicule and so forth.

So, during this week, take some time to reflect on if you are holding onto any of these fears? Is there a part of you where your Ego is holding you back from the full expression of who you are? Recently, I experienced really terrible sciatica pain. There were a couple of days where it became difficult to walk or even sit up for long periods of time. When I experienced the pain, I looked up sciatica in Louise Hay’s book, You Can Heal Your Life. One of the things that the book mentioned was that sciatica is caused by being hypocritical.

This really got me thinking, and honestly my Ego really did not like that word! Was there a part of my life where I was being hypocritical? So, I did some further reading and reflection on this. At first, much of what was coming up had to do with trusting in Spirit. This made sense to me, because while I talk quite a bit about trusting in Spirit and the Universe, deep down there was a part of my Ego that believed that the Universe truly didn’t support me. It was an interesting revelation for sure. So, as I often recommend to others, I did what I call a “controlled dive” into this energy, asking questions that will take me to a deeper and deeper answer.

So, I went deeper into this energy and discovered that my Ego had me convinced that I was not worthy of being nurtured, and that was the source of my belief about receiving support from the Universe. This was certainly not an expected discovery. Upon realizing this core energy (with the help of my wonderful boyfriend), I released a floodgate of tears. They flowed and flowed, seeming like they were coming from no-where. This is my evidence that I truly tapped into something that was trying to remain hidden within me. After the cry, I felt much better, knowing I had tapped into the core energy of this issue.

The next morning, I woke up and had broken out with acne. I had acne all over my neck, chest and back. This was like the acne of a teenager, huge and, might I say, pretty gross looking, pimples. Knowing that acne represents the body clearing out anger, this did not come as too much of a surprise. Much of the energy I had cleared the night before on the unwillingness to accept nurturing, had left a residue of resentment and anger toward others and toward the Universe. My body was now flushing these past life emotions to the surface. Again, I was trying to hold onto the belief that the Universe did not support me. Of course, there was evidence of this in my life to the contrary, but when the Ego holds on to a hidden emotion, it can convince you to ignore the evidence around you.

That all took place around June 22, and as I write this a week later, the acne is still present, although clearing up. And, while pockets of anger still come up from time to time, I find that I am once again feeling more energized. That uptake in energy is a good sign that I am almost through this particular layer of energy release. Will there be another layer of this same energy? One can never be too sure of the answer to that question. So, best to learn from each energy release you experience, so that you can move forward on your life path,  and gain more independence from each and every emotion that the Ego would try to use against you.

Unmasking Urgency

There is such a strong conditioning in our society today to push to make things happen, to perform many tasks at once and to rush through them. This creates a strong sense of urgency, anxiety and high stress levels in much of humanity today. Urgency is a creation of the Ego, worrying about not getting things done correctly, perfectly, or fast enough. The Higher Self already knows when the best timing is (regardless of what others around us may say).

When we are completing tasks out of urgency (which feels much different then an intuitive prompting to complete something), we are much more prone to make mistakes, miss important steps and other pieces of needed information. Whenever you are completing a task, sending an email, making a call, or having a discussion, ask yourself is there a part of me that is doing this out of urgency?

Perhaps that urgency comes from fear of not letting others down, or maybe it comes from a past life experience where you have a fear of authority, fear of betrayal, etc. Whatever energy is at the heart of urgency for you, it will be rooted in some sort of fear.

Many years ago, I used to be so afraid to be even 1 minute late for work. We had a time clock where we had to scan our time card when we arrived. It would be 8:01am, and I would be rushing to scan my card out of fear of getting a negative review. Later on, while still at the same company, I became the person in charge of monitoring attendance. Guess what I was told? The company does not even mark someone as late until they are 11 minutes late or more!

I was wasting so much energy worrying about what might happen, and yet I was never in danger of getting in trouble. However, my Ego had me convinced that I had to be in a rush and thinking in urgency each and every morning. This was just my first experience with understanding my Ego’s need to push urgency on me. The drive for urgency still pops up every now and again, sometimes triggered by other people, sometimes triggered by past life energy, and others times it is a tool the Ego uses to make me feel overwhelmed and stressed-out.

Whenever I feel the urgency coming on, often accompanied by frustration, a sense of panic, and even a faster heartbeat, I know I need to take a break. When this happens I go within and intuitively ask: What do I most need to do in this moment? Sometimes the answer is “Nothing,” other times the answer is a task from my list, and still other times it is a task I had forgotten about, or not even thought about. When the urgency becomes really strong, I have to remind myself; “What is the worst thing that could happen if I do not finish this today?” It is a question I ask to shake up the Ego part of me. Usually, my Ego’s reply is a worst case scenario situation; a totally unrealistic response. However, the answer itself is quite revealing about the past life energy involved.

I have learned that for me, my urgency is rooted in a fear of disappointing others; a fear of not appearing to be capable and perfect. I am sure there are many past life layers here to go through, but at least by having awareness of the topic, I am more able to neutralize the effect of the Ego than I would be without this knowledge.

Look to your own life. Do you feel urgency with certain situations, people, or circumstances? Why is this urgency affecting you? What fear is your urgency a mask for? Instead of rushing through your life, take the time to listen. By slowing down and listening to your inner voice, not only will you still be able to complete your tasks on time, but also you will not need to go back and correct that mistakes that were made out of urgency in the first place!