When I think about taming, the image that comes up is with my daughters trying to tame their hair in the morning. Always trying to get it just right, and the hair was just not cooperating. With a bit of understanding of what was going on, they were able to change things in their approach and tame the morning beast of a mess much better.
I find it the same with the ego. Understanding more about it helps me tame the conversations, thoughts, and anything else it happens to conjure up for me as I take on daily life.
I plan to provide bits and bites of information that has helped me of the 40 off years of playing with my ego.
Part one: How it all started
Although, at times, I have thought that some people seem not to have a brain. Well, Dorothy, everyone has one. Everyone also has a mind held within this brain, but as you can observe, used in a variety of different ways!
So let’s play caveman.
Back in the day, your brain had very primitive functions. Its primary goal is survival, and it was very good at it, sometimes. After all, here we are today, so something must be working.
The function at that level was to keep you safe, and you had three primary responses to a perceived threat; fight, flight or freeze.
Here is how it works. Your brain is constantly looking for threats (even today *hint*), and when you see something that might be, you ask yourself whether it could kill you, or could I eat it, or could I have sex with it. Yes, sex. You got here somehow, right?
Based on the answer, you would respond accordingly to your level of understanding at the time. In other words, given the best information and the past knowledge you obtained up to this moment, you respond accordingly. Do you get it right all the time? No, and thank goodness that we are not facing new threats every day, as we did back then because, in the beginning, it was a kind of hit and miss. Many just hit the wrong mark and observing that, we started to evolve.
The function of scanning for threats still is a big part of your ego, and its purpose is to make sure it survives. Your ego only gets to survive if it gets to be correct. Remember, back in cave-people days (see, I can be politically correct), being wrong meant much pain (not good) or, worse, death (really not good).
You have all the detail you need to know at this point. Your brain, over time, had parts added to it as you evolved as a human. These parts took on other functions to help you get along with the world you see. The primitive parts are still there and function very well. Almost too well and can tend to get in the way at times.
How do you know?
Fear is a significant indicator of that function.
Fear is a significant indicator of that function. What other reason would fear to be part of our toolbox but to keep us safe? When you feel fear, know that the primitive parts are still functioning, that is all. What you do with that feeling is up to you and the subject of future posts.
In the meantime, get to know your primitive brain a little better by noticing how it reacts to certain situations. Notice all your feelings; the perceived good and bad ones. Notice when you are curious, puzzled, anxious, angry, and hungry, as they are all functions of that primitive brain.
When you do notice them, try doing nothing with them. Of course, if you are actually in immediate danger, do something, but any other time just observe and do nothing. Just see what happens to that feeling.
Until next time, stay safe!
Lots of love,