How much ego is left with you??  The question came to me recently from a young man in Germany.

“You don’t have to answer this question if it feels personal to you or it you don’t want,” he said.

“When you read spiritual books, most of them are written from somebody who gives you the impression that the author has already left the ego behind completely….”

And then he went on to ask more questions……

“I am interested in your story…… maybe other readers of your blog would also be interested?”

Thank you Johannes for your interest and just because you may be right, (I know I am always interested in the spiritual journeys of others) – here is  my response….blogged. 

How much ego is left with you? Jeepers, it’s more than difficult to be objective when it comes to oneself and the ego, but I’ll try.  I think my ego is probably stronger, or perhaps that should be healthier, now (at 52) than it ever was. !  Not very ‘spiritual’ right?  We’re told to ‘release the ego’ in much of the spiritual literature.  Then let me explain myself.  I am a Pisces Sun and generally, we Pisces Suns do not have particularly powerful egos (and then I immediately think of Rupert Murdoch and question that……BUT, I suspect much of his motivation comes as a compensatory mechanism – in other words, a fragile ego masquerading as a powerful one).   But of course I am much more than a Pisces Sun. I am the product of my parentage, my upbringing and my conditioning.  I am also a product of the trauma and wounding I sustained in former existences. I’m not alone there. Look at the bloody history of humankind on this planet. We have all suffered in the past. And we are all trying to heal (become whole) those wounds.

 As a child I felt too sensitive. I worried about things, didn’t sleep well, I cried too easily.  Coming home from my nana’s where I’d stayed over the school holidays, I would cry in bed, thinking of her all  by herself now, feeling, or imagining her pain – the pain of her aloneness. I’d cry about animals being hurt, or anyone being hurt.  I had six weeks in hospital (Pisces place) at the age of three, when a fishbone (Pisces thing) became lodged in my windpipe, necessitating two surgeries.  Apart from remembrances of the hole in my throat from the tracheotomy, cruel nurses telling me to ‘cough!’  as they shoved tubes down into the hole, my parents passing a doll into the oxygen tent, being wheeled to theatre and panicking as a mask came down over my nose and mouth – the overwhelmingly painful memory sees my mother walking away down the corridor, leaving me,  ‘visiting hour’ being over and screaming for her. Then they came with an injection.

 Naturally enough, I was a ‘mummy’s girl’ and ran away from kindergarten a year later, chasing her car down the road. I felt homesick to the point of tears whenever I was away from her and home.

Fragile – yes, you could say that.  As my evolutionary astrologer teacher Steven Forrest said, when summing up my approach to  life (gleaned from his reading of my natal chart) –  “Maximum trauma (the past) meets maximum sensitivity (the present).  You have lived this life like a deer in the headlights.”   Immobilised by fear, in other words;  living a memory of past trauma . With a Pisces South Node, exactly  opposed to Pluto and conjunct Chiron  (for those astrologers out there) and  a Pisces Sun, the picture of maximum sensitivity is not hard to see.

 So, that background to help connect the dots.  Ego, or our individuality, in astrology, is generally seen in the Sun sign and its position, though in evolutionary astrology, we look deeper. It feels to me, that Steven was right. So where is my ego now, in all of this?   As I said earlier, it feels stronger  at this age, than it once did. And by this I mean my sense of self feels stronger. I think this is largely a product of getting older. We become, especially after the Chiron Return at age 50, more sure of ourselves and what we want in life. We are less apologetic about what we are not, and less afraid to be who we are.  At the same time, weirdly, I feel that my sensitivity is as intact as it ever was. I still cry just as easily when I witness others’ pain, or feel it myself, and I still feel too much fear. I still experience  huge grief when I lose people I love – even temporarily – as in my kids leaving home. Death! Don’t even talk about it.  At times this grief is overwhelming – just as it was when my mother had to leave me, in the hands of those cruel nurses, all by myself,  little more than a baby.  But now I know this sensitivity IS who I am.  I have this Piscean sensitivity for a reason.   I believe all of us are embodying a very particular and unique energetic pattern (which we attempt to read in the natal chart), and the reason we are here has a lot to do with our choices in working (creating) with this energy pattern.  We are so unique it’s bizarre. But rather than celebrate our uniqueness and love ourselves for being who we are, we spend great chunks of our lives comparing ourselves to others. We feel less than. Less attractive, less talented, less in all sorts of ways. We can’t be happy and joy-full, when we are feeling less. Thus, we miss out on the love-filled experience life should be. We need to love ourselves first.   I’m still working on that one – I love my cats more than myself (!) 

 So Johannes, your question is an interesting one. I have explored the ‘spiritual’ side of life since my teenage years and here I am at this advanced age (joke) – and still I feel exactly the same inside, in terms of my feelings – which implies my ego is still fragile. I’ve never suffered from an over-inflated ego – rather the opposite has been my cross to bear – an under-functioning sense of self-worth.  (I’m not sure which is worse). The ebbs and flows of my sensitivities continue to dominate my life and I am reluctant to ‘put myself out there.’  At the same time, and this is paradoxical I realize, I do feel my ego is more resilient these days.  I think this is so because I am able to feel what I feel, to experience the intensity of my compassion and the pain of my sensitivity and at the same time to see it all in a larger way. I am able to stand a little aside – even in the middle of feeling excruciating emotional pain. If we can detach just a fraction, from whatever emotion we are experiencing, we know that our emotions are not who we are. They are moving through us, they are telling us something, opening our hearts and minds to an awareness – of our shared journey here, our interconnectedness, our common humanity. We experience our emotions in order to grow our awareness, our consciousness. I think it may be that simple.  Our egos are that part of us that cause us to feel separate. And it is in our separateness that we find our uniqueness.  Expressing our individuality and allowing ourselves to be who we are is how we develop healthy egos.   I don’t believe we are here to relinquish or squash our egos out of existence.   Living our uniqueness is one of the reasons we are here – to embody that utterly individual energy that is our essence.  As we step more fully into allowing ourselves to be who we are, to create as our one-off personality  would have us create, and to live unapologetically as who we are – we naturally discard all those fear-driven insecurities that make us feel less.  We don’t need to be anything other than who we are.  We don’t need to feel less. THIS, to me, is a healthy ego.   I certainly don’t feel I am ready to let go or surrender my ego. I don’t think I could even if I wanted to –because I’m still in the process of finding out who my ego wants me to be (yes, it’s taken a while).  I still feel fear, insecurity, low self-worth, I still measure and compare myself, I still feel I haven’t achieved what I might have. So I know my ego is not there with me yet. But more and more I don’t care about all of that.  I realize it doesn’t matter. I’m allowed to be, and I’m happy here, now, to be, just who I am – a work in progress. 

 I think I will leave Johannes’ other questions for another day…

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the ego – so please do share, if you’d like to.