First and foremost, it’s very important to recognize that the ego is not an entity. It’s not a person. The ego is nothing more than a collection of beliefs, mental processes and coping strategies. The ego can best be characterized as a collection of filters that we, as our authentic self, move through and are thus influenced by, in some manner, in the process of living our lives.
How do you feel when someone says to you, “When you do that you remind me of your mother”? It’s likely that if what you just did was judged as positive, you may feel a sense of pride and a greater connectedness to your mother. Alternatively, you may judge yourself harshly and admit that you’ve picked up one of your mother’s bad habits. Either way, you have just engaged one or more of your egoic filters that you adopted from your mother and possibly other sources.
Whenever you see and judge (negatively or positively) yourself you are witnessing yourself through the lens of your ego. Being ego-identified is simply living your life through all of the filters you have adopted from your parents, other family members, friends, co-workers and society at large. Being ego-identified signifies that you identify with your beliefs. As such, you have defined yourself and how you should feel and act by what you believe.
Is that what you truly are? You have probably encountered many situations in which you have learned that your beliefs are not truths. What do you do then? Do you reject a part of yourself or do you redefine yourself or both? You are probably saying to yourself, yes, this is how I change. I redefine myself by my new beliefs. I am flexible and adaptable and always changing and growing.
Who is the real “I”? The real “I” is both, the one that is living and being, as well as the one observing or witnessing. There is only one you in this life. It is the real you that lives this life and that real you can also observe and witness life. During the observation, if you decide to make a judgement or create thoughts using your beliefs, then it is the real you that is now operating through the egoic filters that you have adopted. The more the real you relies on the processes of your brain, the greater the likelihood that you will engage and use your egoic filters. In this manner you will define yourself as your beliefs.
Spending more time engaging your feeling nature, throughout your body, allows you to become less engaged with your egoic filters and more engaged with all that you are. Remember the last time you experienced a strong heart-felt emotion that led you to tears. During the time that you were feeling and expressing those emotions, you were being the authentic you. If at some time during that experience you observed yourself and judged yourself to be “too emotional”, you just switched back to operating through the filters of your ego.
The key to becoming more self-identified with your authentic self is to operate from your heart-centered feeling nature. As soon as you move away from that, you are migrating back to your egoic ways. How do you wish to live your life?