The soul which is within each person is blissful by nature. However, it is covered by layers of “dirt” or ego. It is the ego that is the root of all unhappiness. The higher up one is on the ego scale, the more unhappy one is. This unhappiness arising from ego can be so intense that it can feel more painful than physical pain.
Saints have a very low ego as they believe that everything they have belongs to God and that they own nothing at all. That is why they enjoy a state of continuous bliss. The problem arises when, due to desires and attachment, an individual has thoughts of ownership such as “my money,” “my body,” etc.
In general, ego is defined as having pride about oneself or anything related to oneself. Ego also means having a strong sense of self-importance. But at a deeper level, ego means considering oneself to be separate from God, the divine force that has created you and resides within you. Feeling disconnected from God leads to feelings of selfishness, arrogance, and body awareness, which in turn results in pain. It is none other than the ego that gets wounded and it is ego that wounds others.
How To Get Rid Of Ego
Understanding how harmful the ego is in wrecking a happy state of mind is crucial. This is what can motivate you to work seriously at reducing ego. The ego is a hub for negative energy, which gets drawn toward it like a magnet. When ego reduces, then god protects you from negative energy. A simple way to get to work is to draw up a list of actions that will help develop humility. Selecting one action point per week helps you to focus on one effort at a time. Thus, you can master each aspect of ego removal so that ego is removed layer by layer. Check out these actions that can make you humble:
1. Speaking Softly Can Reduce Ego
Ego is very apparent in loud and aggressive speech. Just focusing on reducing the volume of your speech and choosing kind words can soften the impact your ego has on others. If you have the habit of interrupting others, then learning how to listen attentively will help to reduce the ego manifesting through your speech.
2. Accepting Your Mistakes Can Reduce Ego
Every one of us makes mistakes to various degrees at some time or the other. However when the ego is high, facing the ugly side of your basic nature is too painful. So, you might resort to blaming others, changing the subject, justifying your actions, etc., as an easy escape route for the ego. The mere act of admitting that you have committed a mistake is a major attempt at reducing your ego.
3. Asking For Forgiveness Can Reduce Ego
We need to ask for forgiveness, by praying to god for forgiveness. But it also helps to reduce ego by asking for forgiveness from the one that we have hurt.
4. Self-Study Can Reduce Ego
Move from extroversion to introversion. Our thoughts get trapped in various life situations. However, there is a universe outside and a universe within as well. Introversion helps us to reduce our thoughts about various situations in the external world and instead, focus on pinpointing the cause of any disturbed feelings or reactions. Thus, we gain awareness of our defects (like revenge, jealousy, hatred, anger, etc.) that cause us immense pain.
Should you notice a defect in others instead of developing a grudge or prejudice about them, it is very helpful if you look within and try to find out if you too have the same defect and degree of severity. Realizing that you have the same defect, however minimal, helps to invoke compassion and understanding toward the other person.
5. Focusing On Qualities Reduces Ego
If you develop the knack of being able to see the positive in others, then it is like a gift to yourself. A positive perception ensures that your own defects are not activated when interacting with others. Besides, a feeling of superiority is curbed as you realize other’s qualities are so much better than your own!
6. A Learning Attitude Can Reduce Ego
Some people stop learning in life and instead adopt a stance of constantly teaching others. When there is a feeling of being knowledgeable or an expert at everything, then an “I know” attitude develops, and this is a sign of an inflated ego. However, a learning attitude makes you ask questions and you become aware of your ignorance. Where there is a learning attitude, there is no ego.
7. Giving Importance To Others Can Reduce Ego
Ask about other’s well-being instead of talking about yourself. Choose as per someone else’s choice. Giving an object that you like to someone else ends up curbing your own desire for it. By doing so, thoughts about the self gradually reduce and consequently, the ego diminishes.
8. Chanting God’s Name Can Reduce Ego
When you chant God’s name, you forget your own ego. You should get so engrossed in the name that you forget yourself and become one with the name. The name of God creates a strong center of devotion in the subconscious mind. The divine consciousness emitted from the Holy Name gradually destroys all the impressions in the subconscious mind.
9. Surrendering Doership Can Reduce Ego
In addition to chanting, when you surrender the feeling that “I am doing something” to God, then you begin to realize that God is getting that act done through you. This diminishes ego as you begin to feel that God is the doer.
Signs That Indicate A Reduced Ego
As the ego reduces, you begin to make spiritual progress. The pace of breathing decreases. There is a feeling of expansion and love for others. You no longer feel that you are the body but identify with the soul that is enriched with divine consciousness within.1 2