I look through my closet, and I see the clothes I own. There are about five shirts, and a few skirts, and some shorts that I love. Blue, black, grey–always comfortable. I appreciate the rest; I hesitate to choose them. They are there for the days I try on something else.
I am in the garden, pruning. Pruning is love, applied to a plant, or a tree, or the space where it’s living. We prune to renew, revitalize, or to make space. A branch makes me duck each time I pass; the children climb the arbor my husband made for our wedding, where a few unlucky apple limbs dare to reach. The limbs lose.
And sometimes we prune because it has to be done, or to transmute something inside of ourselves into a pile of limbs. We might say we’re “working something out.”
I’ve left working with the mind, and gone back to the body. Two worlds navigated from a place of quiet observation. I talk a lot, sure. I love to make a good joke, teach a concept–ramble a bit. But I am constantly watching, from a place deep inside that is so still I sometimes think I’m part wooden.
Two worlds obsessed with the ego–dismantling, softening, taming, quieting, conquering, “leaving it behind on the mat.”
Rhetoric. The language of a trade…two trades. We are well-trained to deconstruct the ego, and in fact, shame on you for having one. But can you tell me what the ego does for you, and why it should not be treated like dog poop on your shoe?
Your ego is, in a lot of ways, your drunk or gushing best friend. Your BFF. The one who always cheers you up.
He/she is a dog. They are total dogs. They just don’t understand you. You are the best. The very, very best. They don’t deserve you. Here, let me hold you.
Ego says, I am pruning to love the tree. I am so good. I will blog about this. It makes me look wise. Ego says, Wear the brightly colored thing, you will get more attention! You are beautiful.
Your ego knows the species is misguided, and thinks having an ego is bad, instead of normal. Ego says, but I loooooove you. You are safe with me. Let’s be free of ego. The free-est. You see the conundrum? When we try to cut off a part of ourself, it will…survive. It will go deeper, if it has to. Survivors adapt. Ego adapts.
When we put ego into a war against ego, we are being pretentious. When we show up, to show how free of ego we are, we are in the wardrobe of our ego. No. We can see you.
Ego is your drunk best friend. Love her, or him. Giggle at her superlatives. Thank her for her protective grumbles and growls. And then hug her. Drive her home. Put her on the couch, or bed, or air mattress. Give her a glass of water, and some ibuprofen, and maybe, if you’re an earthy type, some milk thistle to gently love her liver. Give her a barf bucket, just in case. The ego barfs, you know?
And sometimes, you just take her keys, and tell her firmly, No. I’ve got this. Thank you.