How much do you need Ego? How much do you need Empathy? The enlightened zygote would have you believe that you need less of the former and more of the latter. But like everything else in life, striking a balance between the two might be the most realistic form of existence. You actually need Ego, even with its limitations. You actually need Empathy, with mindful limits in place.
Ego, for all of its self centered properties, actually offers a layer of protection. There are times when we actually need to put self first, particularly in the face of energetic danger. If the saying goes to put the oxygen mask on first in event of an airplane crash, then employing your ego to know when to step away from someone or something is the energetic equivalent. Ego empowers you to immediately see yourself as a thing of value, worthy of protection from an immediate danger. Ego reacts quickly, gives you the burst of physical and esoteric energy to step back, close off, and take stock. You’ll sometimes hear an intention to destroy the ego. Why? This thing that you came to develop in the very early stages of life, exists for a reason. Unbalanced, Ego can absolutely harm. But balanced in harmony with Empahty (as much for self as others), Ego serves a sometimes necessary and occasional glorious purpose.
Empathy, prized for its noble properties, finds ways to heal even in the most adverse conditions. Empathy for others allows you to hold space for them without expectation or judgement. Empathy for self allows you to invest in the necessary self care to cultivate your inner light. Unlike Ego, Empathy moves slowly to soothe and see the way to gentle conclusion. Unbalaned, Empathy can leave you open to those who would take without regard for your own time and energy. But balanced in harmony with Ego, Empathy can operate efficiently and without potential harm to your being.
“You can be Dope and Humble at the same time.”
Striking the balance means first understanding what it is you are balancing. It’s more than okay to stand tall in your skin and your truth, and have pride in what you’ve learned and accomplished during the course of your life. It’s good to employ that knowledge to do amazing things for yourself, and even others. Balanced, Ego lets us fill in that life resume with gusto, without doubting or criticizing our contributions to our existence. Unbalanced, Ego could have the opposite effect, and allow that resume to overshadow and diminish others and keep us in the unsatisfying quest for (unattainable) perfection. Ego is limited, and ultimately a house of cards. Unchecked, its limitations will limit us, and hinder rather than help our ability to reach our highest potential.
It’s also perfectly fine to remind yourself that you’re okay, right here… right now. Holding space for yourself in the immediate, with compassion and love is absolutely a practice worth developing. Understanding where you stand right now opens the potential and the choice to grow from that place. Balanced, Empathy allows us to hold space in such a way that we give rise to the best of ourselves. Unbalanced, Empathy puts us in a victimized position to allow life (and all of its inhabitants) to run roughshod all over us, without concern for our own selves. Putting everything and everyone else first all the time is just as detrimental as putting self first all the time.
The more you find the balance between giving and recieving, between Ego and Empathy, the easier to determine which best serves you at any given time. That balance can go a long way to helping you reach your highest, best self… and encouraging others to do the same.