Letting Go of Ego, Surrendering to Love
Lent ended several weeks ago, but I’m finally in a place to digest what happened over my 40 Days of Decrease, thanks to Oprah.
After attending Oprah’s second installment of her Super Soul Sessions speaker series (check out my recap here), I got the insight I needed into why Decrease was so hard for me to accept and why it’s absolutely what I need to do.
Initially, I was so excited about this period of Decrease because I love assigning purpose and meaning to things. I was in the midst of both voluntary and involuntary decrease–some things/people I gave up and some things/people gave up on me–and Lent seemed like the perfect opportunity for me to regain control. I was choosing decrease. I welcomed it. I owned it. It was mine!
Until I didn’t want it anymore.
I stopped blogging about my 40 Days of Decrease fast on Day 24 (though I did manage to make it through to the end). That post was so full of anger and frustration. Yes, I’m here decreasing myself, but what about the world that already decreases and erases me? “Aren’t I validating these people’s erasure of me if I decrease myself?” I asked, with no answer.
I was tired of decreasing. I wanted to stand up for myself. I wanted to scream and be heard and silence those attacking me, rewriting my history, erasing me altogether. I’d had enough. So, I went off on a few people and I immediately felt better.
And then, I felt worse.
About a year ago, I’d made a decision to be the kind of person who would choose love over fear–love for myself being paramount. I would let go of self-judgment and accept myself as I was, unconditionally. I would work hard on the areas where I needed improvement as evidence of my love for myself. I would be gentle with myself so I could be gentle with others. And, in many ways, that was working for me.
Then, I hit my decrease season. I had succumbed to the fear of what other people’s lack of ability to show love to me meant about me. Can he not love me because I’m unlovable? Can he not reciprocate my love because I’m not worthy of love?
Fear and lies.
I am not responsible for whether people receive or reject me. But I’m solely responsible for my choice to love or to fear.
If who I am and who I want to be is love, then that’s the only logical choice I can make in any and every situation: to love.
That means I will be in situations where people who choose fear will not reciprocate the love I extend. That will hurt my feelings and my ego. But I’ve decided: I am love, so I will survive that hurt and I can choose to act and respond out of love, anyway–for myself first, and for others.
That doesn’t mean hang around with harmful people–choosing to love yourself means not subjecting yourself to the abuse of others, after all–but it does mean I can forgive people for not choosing love with me, and I can forgive myself for the times I returned to a fearful existence.
And I can start to appreciate the unraveling of my ego. I don’t need it to know I’m an inherently worthy child of God. Negative opinions exist about me, but they don’t belong to me. I don’t have to try and silence them. But they don’t get to sit with me because they’re not mine.
How can a post with so many “me” and “I” statements be about letting go of ego?? Simple. As Eckhart Tolle told me in an interview this weekend during Oprah’s Super Soul Sessions, “the ego is an abstraction of the Deeper Intelligence that wants to manifest through you.”
That means I am but a manifestation of God and God is love. Two facts that do not change. All other labels, descriptors, identifiers about who I am are fickle. So I don’t have to root my identity on shaky ground. I can be aware of the self, be aware of the thoughts and feelings that make you “you” to the outside world, but lose attachment to it. Thoughts and feelings aren’t actually you or me or anyone else. The ego exists and it has its value and its place, but it is not everything. We are simply emanations of love, first and foremost.
So, I’m just going to surrender to that. Detach from ego. Embrace the decrease of all other things that aren’t rooted in love. I am love. I am love. I am love. When I remember that, I can’t help but to act, be, speak and do from a space of love. It’s just who I am.
(I’m also a person who met Oprah last weekend…lol)