It’s safe to say we’ve all had writers block. Well this topic was whole different level. A writers block that started well before this blog was even a thought in my mind.
If you recall from the previous posts, I’ve been working through the book, The Tao of Abundance, one lesson in particular was on The Ego. As I took my mind down the rabbit hole of what The Ego really was, what my own Ego consisted of and how to release that Ego, I felt lost. It was almost 8th grade math class lost. I was doing the work and trying to dig down on what drove my Ego, but honestly I couldn’t grasp the true meaning and I knew it in my soul. I reread the chapter, did the activities and still, I found myself offtrack and adrift when it was time to explain what my Ego consisted of. I asked myself, “Why can’t you write about this, when you know exactly what your ego is composed of?”. Every single time I sat down to write, I couldn’t. Let me say, the original post that I started is still sitting in my drafts folder to this day, untouched. I had writers block of great proportions. Deep down I knew I hadn’t overcome what my Ego truly consisted of.
“Pain and happiness are simply conditions of the ego. Forget the ego”Laozi
One activity at the end of the lesson, challenged me to list out all the toxic personality traits that no longer served a purpose. These included: anger towards other people for my mistakes, not taking responsibility for my own actions, living a story for everyone else, overly critical of myself, shying away from dealing with my feelings. The feeling that I had to make everyone else happy before myself and overindulging in various bad habits to fill those holes. I also listed out all of the current positive attributes that I’ve manifested over the past year, these included: Speaking positive affirmations about and to myself, eliminating toxic relationships, started reading about things that enriched my soul, helping others without expecting acknowledgment or reimbursement, started putting myself and spirit first. I was extremely proud of myself, almost every single toxic trait that was listed previously, was now on the current positive traits list. Little did I know the true Ego trait that drove my intentions, was never written down.
I did the mass majority of my inner work, which included stripping away at my Ego, at the beginning of 2018 especially with the news of my brain tumor, but even during that time I still felt as though I still haven’t grasp what drove MY Ego, I knew I was reaching for the wrong cause. One thing I did know, I was scared, scared because I had was going to revisit those toxic traits, yet still I found myself struggling to find the root cause. Yes, you could say that my lack of self confidence came from a young man in junior high school who’s joke went too far but there was a deeper rooted cause, something all my Ego traits stemmed from.
I knew this was what truly drove my Ego, but I didn’t, if that makes sense. During the past Full Moon and Mercury Retrograde, I was feeling uneasy in the aspect of my inner growth. I found myself speaking ill thoughts, indulging in self pity and I was starting to put my work before my health, which was one toxic habit from before. I didn’t understand how I’d reverted right back so quickly. A few days into this self pity party I had been throwing for myself, my Fiancee thankfully stepped in to refocus my thoughts. With his help I finally understood what pride really meant for me.
As I started doing what I do best, investigating for the root cause, I was surprised where it led to, even though I had known it my entire life. It was now the time to face and accept it.
Growing up on a 80 acre working farm full of adventures and wonder, it also came with immense responsibilities and a magnitude of pressure. My grandpa was head of the farm and still had his own insecurities and Ego to face, which caused him to projected those onto his family. His biggest thought that he pushed on us was, you were worthless unless you worked and did the task the exact way he wanted. Patience was a rare commodity around the farm, if something wasn’t done quick enough, there would be a slew of choice words coming your way. He had us learn in the moment and were expected to be masters with little to no guidance. Don’t get me wrong, everyone needs to held to a certain standard even at a young age, everyone needs to go and experience hard work and being accountable for themselves and their actions. Sometimes people need a harder hand to give them that push they need, but our hand had no give.
Most people have of heard the saying, “beating a dead horse with a stick”, well we were all the horses and had been dead for quite a while. Everyone, including my parents, were a target for the anger and verbal abuse. I won’t forget that moment when I was 6 years old and had been told to help guide the horse trailer into the loading chute. He had backed up too quick and I couldn’t tell him to stop quick enough so the trailer touched the chute so the door couldn’t open. There was an easy solution, that was to pull the trailer up a few inches. Instead he expressed to me his feelings in a jarring way, that I was completly useless and unintelligent. His choice words dug deep and nestled their way inside me. I thought to myself, “if I can’t even do this correctly, he has to be right, I must be brainless”.
“To bear and not to own; to act and not lay claim; to do the work and let it go: for just letting it go is what makes it stay.”Lao Tzu
My grandpa had complete control of the farm and operated it with instilling fear and uneasiness in the family. All mistakes were magnified yet all good deeds went unnoticed. You felt eyes on you every time you were working, watching and waiting for you to do wrong. We would try our hardest to do everything perfect, we would work ourselves to the bone, but nothing seemed to gain his approval. We didn’t have a fighting chance to truly demonstrate our worth because it seemed that in his mind, we were all inferior and lacked any sort of intellect. We were chasing something that we could never obtain a, “thank you for your help, you did a good job”.
Now that I am older, I see that he conveyed his insecurities upon us and pushed us to think like him in every aspect. I learned through time that I wasn’t actually worthless, unintelligent or his favorite choice phrase, ” a worthless son of a…”. I lived my life in fear of making mistakes so I never went beyond my comfort zone. I would shoot down any of my own ideas about living a life that took risks due the fear of failing. I was chasing the approval of everyone around me, and I accomplished that by changing my true self.
I know now that I don’t need to be defined by how I was treated growing up. Those toxic traits he projected on us, are now answer to the test and the test is my EGO. Now that I am aware, I am finding ways to release those prideful thoughts including those of having to put my work before my health due to the fear of being looked at as useless. I was also chasing praise from others by changing my true character and living a life that deprived my soul of true happiness.
I am grateful for these lessons he taught me and will end this post with something he could never say.