Don’t Take Things Personally

An ex-lover of mine (God bless her heart), once rated me an absolute 11 for egotistical tendencies, on a scale of 1 to 10. Hard to admit at first, but she was right. Sadly, it took me so long to realize it. Mainly because I took it very personally, and I took it hard. But I was just a stupid kid back then. I didn’t know anything about life. I was blind, but now I see.

Ego. We all have it in us. It’s the one giving us delusions of grandeur. It’s behind every innocent display of inflated sense of self-importance. It gives a false sense of pride. Bruised ego makes people refuse the idea that they might not be right. They can hardly stand being corrected. They become defensive or embittered over criticisms and suggestions hurled at them. Which is quite unfortunate, because those are, by and large, exactly what a person would need to hear to evolve as a better person.

Ego Bruises Easily.

Try to comprehend the extent of damage bruised ego could cause. Juxtapose it with having a toothache. Excruciating as it might, it’s only an external wound. On the other hand, bruised ego is closely linked to be behind every aching of the heart, which is more trickier to attend to, and happens a lot more frequent, and not to mention that it takes that much longer to heal. Anyone who claim to prefer heartache to toothache, clearly, has no single idea of what he/she is talking about. They fail to recognize it as the one standing in their way to self-actualization.

Even so, fear not. I’m pleased to inform you that both aches are definitely curable. We can always enlist a professional’s help to take care of the dental inconvenience. But for mending the heart which has become worn by ego, we are the only ones who can take care of it. External help can only push us so far, so it’s decidedly going to be a solo journey. Time also plays an important role here. But the key to its success lies solely in our hands, and the strength of our will to achieve it. That should explain why we should put more concern into matters of the heart.

Ego Eats Heart for Breakfast.

These matters regarding the heart, suffer the consequences from being in ego’s presence. People with feeble will are prone to succumb to their ego that attempts tirelessly to mislead them. She knows us so well, yet is on the opposing team against us. Let’s finally meet Ego; Devil’s little sister. Picture her with curled blonde hair, wearing creepy victorian dress with blank, eerie expression on her face, sitting on one side of the shoulder, haunting people with her misguiding whispers.

Notoriously known responsible for disrupting the tranquility of peace of mind, ego inflicts emotional exhaustion in its host. An emotional vampire on its own right, it robs all of its host’s attention, which in turn leads to additional sets of personal problems. Left unchecked, it may further stunt its host’s personal growth, resulting from blind rejection of every valuable input that is presented to the host. This could spell difficulty, for this also affects one’s ability to conduct effective decision-making process. But that’s not all, there’s still more; the exhaustive list of ego’s remaining adverse effects. It’s about time that we immediately shift our focus to bid ego a good, ol’-fashioned riddance.

Good Riddance, Ego.

Now let me let you in on a secret: it is going to be an uphill battle. Getting rid of ego is. In severe cases, ego almost fuses itself completely with its host, tricking him/her to misperceive it as safety blanket. When faced with confrontation, it traps its host by making him/her inadvertently turn to it as defense mechanism.

Do you know that ego shares a close bond with its second cousin, arrogance? She is accountable for filling our minds with fears of losing pride and control. We all know that God has absolutely no favor for arrogance. He does favor humility though, on the other hand. Big time. Thus, letting ego keep us under its spell, would mean letting the devil rob our attention and devotion to God, the Governor of Life, who manifests as the voice of reason, sitting on the other side of the shoulder, debunking and countering every single one of ego’s attempt to lure us to her wicked ways.

Busting Egos Since the Day Men Walked the Earth; Meet Self-control.

They say that we are our own worst enemies. It’s true, thanks to ego. We gotta fight to take control of ourselves back. Take the wheel and steer. And that’s where self-control comes in handy. It is a good friend indeed when it comes to battling our own ego, because it grants us the desperately-needed clarity and peace of mind. Such are truly rare privilege in navigating the dizzying course of life, which is often rendered senseless by cacophonous noises taken from our immediate surroundings.

Clarity grants us objectivity, which allows us to filter through all the noise and take in only what is most important, regardless of the way they are conveyed, thus gaining a clearer picture of what is going on. And none can be argued against peace of mind; not only it saves us from losing our sanity, it also suppresses many negative emotions such as anger, which would only exacerbates situations even further.

Maturity Matters.

Ego level, as it turns out, is inversely proportional to maturity. And since self-control is one of the hallmarks of maturity, therefore, one can safely conclude that egotistical people are immatures. Immature people characteristically struggle to appreciate criticisms and suggestions thrown at them. This is due to them becoming blinded by the pain that they take personally. They misperceive it as a personal attack, one laced with malicious intent. Their thoughts reek paranoia. They are so dense, they can’t fathom the meaning or true intentions of the speaker.

As opposed to mature people, they keep walking in strides despite the magnanimity of the problems they’re facing. They can see past the superficial. They’re able to read between the lines. They handle processes with such grace, harboring absolutely no rancor to no one, leaving no single slight of casualty whatsoever. But I have another good news. The thing about immature people and their sharply contrasting counterpart, the mature ones, is that they’re essentially two phases happening in succession over the course of one’s life.

Everybody started off as blank canvas, or blank journal. They undergo different kinds of processes. Each has a unique array of equally majestic colors and life stories. Some complete the journey and gain experiences, thus attaining maturity, comparably lightning-faster than others who do it much slower, owing to their different natural paces. But that’s okay. That’s normal. That’s… typically human.

Everybody Matures.

Mature people are aware that they can’t control things that are happening around them, but they know that they are always able to control their feelings towards it. That’s how they stay serene even in the face of unimaginable adversity. They got clarity. They got their angst and blues resolved more quickly. Their emotions are more stable.

That’s a few more reasons why we should stretch our arms wide open for criticism and suggestion. Because by doing so, we facilitate ourselves to mature. But don’t expect it to happen overnight. Remember that maturity is not an event. It’s a process. The difference lays in that an event happens at a time. Process, on the other hand, happens over a time. So give people, and ourselves, the time and chance to mature. Submit to the process. Don’t rush it. Enjoy its ride.

Ego on Its Leash.

Ego and arrogance are both Devil’s delight; watch out for them. When overcome, they won’t stay down and defeated all the time. There are times when they struggle back to resurface. They will continuously seek ways to get stroked. Don’t listen to it. Don’t get swayed by its allure. They lead people to their downfall.

The next time your ego takes a hit, remember that everything is rarely about us. There are going to be moments when we feel like we’re weak. But we’re not. We do sometimes have to become weak in order to become stronger. But don’t mistake kindness as some kind of weakness. That’s where so many people are just plain wrong. And always keep your feet on the ground. The world just doesn’t revolve around us or the privileged. That’s a naked fact. Avoid swelling pride at all costs.

A Time of Peace.

Self-control is truly a stellar attribute. It maintains our composure amidst a storm. Storm that takes form of harsh judgments, burning insults and straightforward provocations, fired from every direction. When this happens, keep yourself together. Take complete control of yourself. Swiftly, yet still wisely, think it through. Allow yourself to be the mature one, by always keeping your ego in check. Cast it away. Top it off with mercy.

Regarding the people that may have seared our heart and feelings with certain words or actions; forgive them. For God always forgives us. And bless them, for they do not know what they’re doing. Pray, so God watches over them as well as He watches over us, and in time work His miracles upon them and forever changes their lives and their perspectives towards life itself.

Mercy, which solidifies not only our peace of mind, but of those who might have wronged us as well, is unmistakably the labor of love. To love one another is the new commandment that God has given us. It’s why love beats everything, since love would never hurt no one. And for it is love that we sow, it would be love that we will reap as well, in its God-appointed time. Love, however, possesses no room for ego, and knows nothing of arrogance, and for those reasons, it is wise that we don’t take things personally.


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