For the past few days I’ve been having a lot of fun because I just bought a new Jeep Wrangler. No, material things don’t make one happy, but sometimes they can add to the experience. I’ve had a blast with the top off of the Jeep, enjoying music, seeing my son’s face light up as we drive fast and the wind blows through our hair, and the feeling of the warm sun shining down on us through a topless car. Then, ego starts talking. That voice of guilt, fear, anger, etc. My ego can be pretty nasty to me (then again, so can everyone’s). It started telling me how impractical this car is, how I’m irresponsible, and that it isn’t a good “mom” car. This got me thinking about why my ego and the egos of pretty much everyone on the planet dissuade us from fun and really living life to the fullest.
It has to do with trauma. Remember, trauma is anytime a person didn’t feel safe and secure. Our egos do have a purpose; they are the ideas we have of ourselves–beliefs, judgments, and culture. Parts of our egos (our beliefs) stem from traumatic events, be it an abusive childhood or enduring a childhood bully, and therefor the ego can dictate out of fear. This is a fear of that traumatic event happening again, but that fear is irrational. It’s trying to keep you safe, but it’s not from a place of love. The ego is not of love, ego can cause suffering because it wants to control. A new experience that is fun can be quashed by ego because of beliefs we gained from influential people in our lives. For example, when I was a teenager I actually begged my mom for a Wrangler (a friend of mine got one when she turned 16 and I wanted one too because I had a blast in hers). But, my mother said they are dangerous and unreliable. I ended up with a practical Toyota Tercel (yes, a 1987 Tercel with no air conditioning or radio!). Throughout my adult life I got cars that made sense because of what I was doing–a Ford Focus because it was inexpensive and ran well (she was a good car) and a Subaru because I got pregnant and needed a safe car for my family (she was not a good car). She was a 2013 when the clutch needed replaced and the transmission was starting to die, I’d had enough. I went on a yoga trip to the Sand Dunes, and my bunk mate had a Wrangler. I rode in it all weekend with her and learned a lot about them. I decided that was the car I wanted and three weeks later here I am. The point of this story is that my ego’s voice is that of my mother’s, an influential person who helped shape my ego. My mother has been wrong about many things, but that’s another story for another blog on another day.
So how do we have fun without listening to our ego? First, you need to become aware that your ego is doing the talking and try to decipher from where it comes. What trauma is causing the ego to fight you on your decision? Once you figure that out you can start to heal that trauma and then let go. Upon letting go you can start to enjoy life and truly have fun without allowing the ego to stifle your enjoyment on life.