“Not everything is about you.” I tell myself, cursing the person in front of me, who is keeping their car a firm ten miles below the speed limit, at least. They seem to be overly cautious, I want to get home quickly, and our conflict of interest has left me feeling like they’re doing it on purpose.
Ego is, I believe, the number one enemy for many of us. Ego is the reason I was insulted when I felt my ex was cheating on me with someone who wasn’t as “pretty” as me; the cause of my annoyance in my previous jobs dealing with John Q. Public.
Ego is the voice whispering, “I suppose it’s sort of nice that you helped someone, but look, they’re getting the credit. It should be YOURS! You’re the one who showed them the way/gave them advise/introduced them to a hobby they happen to be talented in. Where’syourcredit? Why shouldyoube the waitress, and not the head chef, who gets all the accolades? The stagehand, but not the actor?”
Everyone wants to be first, even if it’s only one spot further in traffic. Anything to be in front of someone else, anything to prove you’re better.
However, ego is like depression. It lies to you. It wants you to sacrifice the community for the sake of self, something that is not natural. It’s an ugly mindset. Humans are meant to live and work together.
My ego was inflated and wanted attention. It made me scoff at the idea of any type of service job, when in reality, serving others is one of the things I excel in. It was only by recognizing my ego for what it is that I was able to begin to tell it “no.” When I began to see the value of “we” over “me”, my life changed drastically.
Yet, I still struggle with my ego some days. If I am honest, I struggle with it most days. Years of selfishness are not done away with so easily. I am gentle, and remind myself that the simple fact I know what I need to improve on, and try to be mindful, is, in itself, progress.
While I’m running these thoughts through my head, the car in front of me flips its blinker on. Looks like the driver was watching for the correct turn. I mutter: “Ego, you took the wheel for a moment there.”