Tag Archives: fear

Lessons of the Ego

Reflection

“What has the face of the ego taught you? Which of its aspects are you still struggling with: fear, attachment, control, entitlement, or the need to be special?” The Second Half of Life, Angeles Arrien

Hello ego, you are obviously still my best friend.

Well, this reflection isn’t about having eradicated these aspects of myself. It is about what I have learned, isn’t it? I could probably write an entire post about each of these. But, instead I am capsulizing my thoughts.

Fear: Here I am again, a seven on the enneagram, a part of the thinking triad which experiences a great deal of fear and anxiety. Knowledge is the first step, however, and I am aware. I question my motivations when I am scurrying about – distracting myself. What am I dreading? What is it that I am avoiding and why?

Attachment: One of my highest levels of work at this time in my life is to detach in a healthy way…without distancing. Attachment to things? Well, I am losing that gradually. “Stuff” becomes so much less important to my life. It is my attachment to outcome that is my greater struggle. How to be open to the mystery (per Richard Rohr) is a lesson I am trying to learn.

Control: Well, there’s that attachment to outcome again, isn’t it? I have lived a long life as a control freak and can only say that I am stepping back from that role in baby steps.

Entitlement: This is not an easy reflection. I believe that as a white woman my entitlement is so deep as to be invisible to me. I don’t see myself with the outward manifestations of entitlement. I certainly am not demanding to the detriment of others, I don’t consider myself better than; but I am constantly scouring my thoughts regarding ingrained racism, biases against groups, belief systems, etc. Entitlement at any level can’t help but be gained at the expense of another.

Need to be special: Another trap of my enneagram type. It’s hard to see myself as ordinary. This trap grips me the tightest and holds me back in my progress. I don’t need to stand out, necessarily. It isn’t always attention that I seek. I clearly want to stand apart, however. I want to be smart, capable, stylish, well-versed…the list goes on. Okay, I know my assignment here!

The Student

*The Thinking Triad: “Types 5, 6 and 7 ….Underneath their ego defenses these types carry a great deal of fear.” The Wisdom of the Enneagram, Riso and Hudson

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Filed under Angeles Arríen, Point Seven - The Epicure, Reflections, The Enneagram, The Second Half of Life, The White Picket Gate

Opinions

Your opinion is your opinion, your perception is your perception–do not confuse them with “facts” or “truth”. Wars have been fought and millions have been killed because of the inability of men to understand the idea that EVERYBODY has a different viewpoint. John Moore 

 

I’m wondering when my opinions become the strongest. Or more to the point – when am I the most vociferous about them?

Many of my opinions are strong. Although I no longer see most things in black and white, I still veer toward the more intense colors of any subject. What, however, looses my tongue and makes me argumentative about them?

Alcohol, of course.

Anger, when aroused can create some heated arguments.

Fear, which is the basis of anger anyway.

Last night I could hear my ideas flying about like razors even as my friends gently leaned away from me. And so I spent my go-to-sleep drowse and my wake-up-thoughts coming to understand my behavior. I must be compassionate with myself and not spiral into self-denigration.

I have been a little bit ill too long without answers. My energy is beaten down. My confidence is shaken. Fear trembles beneath the surface of the unanswered questions. Anger bubbles up in defense.

I owe some apologies this morning.

The Student

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Filed under Quotations, Self-Acceptance Project, Self-examination, When you stray from your center, you get lost

Trust as Acceptance

Trust because you are willing to accept the risk, not because it is safe or certain. Ritu Ghatourey

My good friend is in the hospital, having come through two critical operations. As I held her hand last night she would drift in and out. “It’s about trust, isn’t it?”, she said.

She had a difficult time agreeing to this surgery even though her condition was so life-threatening as to have the rest of us on edge with concern. When she suddenly threw herself into the process with enthusiasm we were all relieved.

One could say that her fear of dying overcame her fear of being killed in the process of being healed. She would say that she let go of fear and decided to trust.

And I believe her.

I stroked her hand and we talked about how hard it is to trust. How difficult it is to recognize that we have no control. How easy it is to acknowledge that we have no control of outcome and how difficult it is to actually believe this life truth.

Life may not be easy when we accept. And it may be easier. At the very least the suffering of anxiety is left behind.

Life Student

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Filed under Buddhism, Living our best life, Quotations, You Become What You Believe