Last week, I read about the real meaning of ego. It’s not just a simple ‘oh, they think so highly of themselves. They sure have a healthy ego’ kind of thing. Sure, part of ego is the superior feeling people sometimes get when looking at others. But it’s also the inferior feelings we feel about ourselves. Eckhart Tolle (who may just be a genius where deep thoughts are concerned) states, “Ego is any image you have of yourself that gives you a sense of identity–and that identity derives from the things you tell yourself and the things other people have been saying about you that you’ve decided to accept as truth” (source: www.oprah.com). That means good and bad. For example, I am convinced that every woman out there who has been a mom longer than I have probably thinks that since I’m sort of new to this game, I don’t know what I’m doing. That’s an identity I’ve given myself because (hopefully) people don’t really think that. But that mindset makes me nervous when I’m around other mothers because my subconscious is convinced they are just waiting for me to screw up. Or maybe someone reading this blog doesn’t agree with the way we raise Zoey. Say that person sent me an e-mail that they don’t think I was right on certain points. My ego would say that because this person thinks we’re wrong, then we MUST be wrong. But in reality, does having a differing viewpoint make Greg and I bad parents? No, we might just be parenting differently from that person.
See what I’m saying? Ego goes so much further than saying, “Oh, I’m prettier than her; I’m smarter than her.” It also encompasses, “I bet they think I’m bad at this” and “they say I’m wrong, so I must be wrong.”