I am now interacting more consistently with people, and this is illuminating my current habits of thought. It is becoming more clear just how prevalent selfishness is within me and how it taints all of my interactions and my influence on others.
This selfishness is a fear-driven response that protects the fragility of my false self-identity. My ego constructs a false sense of self-esteem to protect its notion of inherent worth. It uses selfishness to manipulate reality into a form that will support this constructed self-esteem and strengthen it, rather than expose its falsehood.
Therefor I notice that whenever I am in a situation which might threaten my puffed up self-image, a selfish impulse arises in defense. When I am in a situation which could build up this self-image, a selfish impulse arises to capitalize on the opportunity to strengthen the ego.
I notice that the ego can do nothing else. It has no selflessness in it whatsoever. It is the selfishness itself. The only possibility of acting selflessly or acting to diminish the ego comes from a different source entirely.
This source is my connection to Reality and the related intuition that something higher is possible for me, which inspires me to intend to get better.
The primary way I am currently working to overcome the ego is through the practice of living by my highest thought, which comes from the book “Conversations with God: Book 1 by Neale Donald Walsch”.
The practice is to imagine my highest vision of myself – the person I would be if I were living as the greatest version of myself – and choose to be that way, right now, to the best of my ability. This means thinking the thoughts, saying the words and taking the actions of that greatest version of myself.
This simple practice encourages me in each moment to drop any thought, word or action that is less than the highest I can imagine in that moment, and to choose a higher one. This means dropping fear-based thoughts and the selfishness which arises as a result of them.
My ability to notice and then step away from destructive selfish and fearful impulses is improved immediately, and in proportion to the effort and determination I give to the practice.
It also encourages me to actualize healthy potential I have been leaving on the table due to negative thinking, self-doubt, laziness and ignorance. Being heavily focused on the present, it helps me take the attitude that now is the greatest moment. Now is the perfect time to be everything I ever wanted to be in relation to the unique circumstances in which I find myself. I always have the opportunity to be my best, now.
I see tremendous room for improvement, which is exciting and at the same time daunting because of the pervasiveness of fear-based ego drives within me.
One of these is my habit of continuously forming expectations around what I can get for myself, which negatively influences my behavior and experience as I seek to live from my highest thought. It causes me to return to my typical expectations of failure and negative judgements of my experience, which produce the same dissatisfying results I’ve been getting.
Releasing expectations of reward and judgements of my current experience will be key to achieving consistency and effectiveness while living from my highest vision of myself, especially in relationships. This will require extra vigilance to notice these forces, and the courage to let them go without guarantee of my preferred outcome.