Your Basic Ego
The Ego Has Gotten a Bad Rap
The Ego has gotten a bad reputation as being something that must be controlled, eliminated, or hidden. Some religions deem it to be our “sinful” nature. Simple dualistic human mythology is packed with good vs. evil, hero vs. villain, heaven vs. hell, God vs. Satan. But, this black and white thinking has done a great disservice to the Ego. It keeps us stuck in a conflict that does not result in anything other than an overload of stress and fear.
The Ego (including our Basic Ego and Actualizing Ego) is neither a good nor evil force. It is instead a tool that helps us know how to navigate in the world. It is there to serve our physical, emotional, mental, and social needs. Without an Ego our very survival would be threatened. When functioning optimally the Ego act as a servant leader to our whole self. Therefore, it is really a matter of understanding how it works and how to effectively use it, that allows us to put our Ego to its best use.
The human Ego functions as the protector for our Core Being. Our Ego helps us navigate in the world and is designed to help us increase our physical, emotional and spiritual well-being, find a sense of belonging and effectively stand up for ourselves, so we can accomplish what we are here to do.
Learn How to Manage Your Ego
Managing our Ego is like playing a musical instrument. If we play it too loudly it is offensive and overbearing. If we play it too softly we can’t hear it. We either learn how to play our Ego instrument well or it plays us.
To play our Ego instrument well we need to really understand how it works. The first part of playing our instrument well is to know and understand it. The second part is to experience its many nuances and textures, including the high and low notes.
To fully understand it we must see through our own and other people’s Ego manipulations. We must learn how to better manage our emotions and use them as clues to a deeper understanding of ourselves. When we allow our Ego to do what it does best, we build our self-trust, self-confidence and self-love. When we feel better about ourselves, it is much easier to have healthier and more loving relationships with others.
What is the Basic Ego?
Our Basic Ego is the part of our overall Ego that is our primary mechanism for surviving and thriving in the world. Its function is to make sure we emotionally and physically minimize stress and maximize comfort.
There are several developmental components of our Basic Ego that allow us to effectively relate to our environment and personally evolve as human beings.
Primal Ego - Primary part of our Ego that helps us survive and thrive in our physical body. (It forms in utero and continues into infancy.)
Autonomous Ego - Part of our Ego that helps us create a separate and unique identity and develop clear personal boundaries. (It generally relates to the toddler stage of human development.)
Social Ego - Part of our Ego that establishes our place in the social order. (It develops in infancy and explodes in full force when we begin interacting with other people outside our family by pre-school, kindergarten and grade school.)
Moral Ego - Part of our Ego that helps us effectively relate to the human need for codes of conduct, including right vs. wrong, ethical vs. unethical, just vs. unjust and fair vs. unfair. (Development corresponds to about eight years old.)
Each of these components of our Basic Ego act as the building blocks of our life. If any of these developmental parts are not fully developed in childhood, it is more challenging as an adult to work around our deficits. The fact is there are no perfect people, so there are no perfect parents. Even if we had caring, loving parents, who did everything they knew how to do for us, there will be something that happened that affected us deeply as a vulnerable child.
As adults it is up to us to re-parenting ourselves and become the “parent of our dreams.” The more we practice good Self parenting, the better able we are to fill in the gaps our parents missed. And if we experienced trauma as children, it is up to us as adults to learn how to give ourselves the deep compassion we needed as children, but feel we didn’t get.
Learn to Mature Your Ego
The growing we all have to go through to mature and learn how to operate in the world is a process of discovering how our bodies work, how our families and the world operate, and what is expected of us to survive and thrive. In this process of Ego Development, we learn the tools that support our comfort and survival, our social position, morality, and finally the possibility of enlightenment.
We never lose any part of our Ego as we mature. Like moving from kindergarten through to high school, as we gain wisdom, we always retain the knowledge and previous experiences of the immature part of us.
Even though certain aspects of our Ego may be more evolved, there will be other parts of our Ego that remain less developed. If we listen to, accept, and honor this natural process within us, it will let us know when something is just not right. It is a warning beacon there to inform us that there is something we need to pay attention to, or we need to make a course correction. The Basic parts of our Ego are like submerged icebergs. If we do not heed their warning, we could end up shipwrecked.
Our Actualizing Ego, which most of us have not been taught about, is designed to help us with this maturing process. This is the part of us that can help us re-parent ourselves and rebuild the building blocks we missed from our childhood. Together with our Basic Ego, our Actualizing Ego helps us become good partners to our Core Being and Naked Soul, which gives us the sense of wholeness and well-being we all long to experience.
See more information about the Basic Ego on our Blog posts:
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