“I’m tormented by ego voices in my head!” (1/3)

Learning how to not listen to the ego voices in your head.

“I feel like I have this board of directors in my head.

I realize it’s one thing. It’s my ego.

Anyway, it seems to be made up of all these different people.

They all have their own ideas, feelings, thoughts, emotions etc.

None of them agree with each other on anything. I start to move in a direction and they all start giving their opinion and in the end I end up doing nothing.

I feel like I am so tormented by my ego. I don’t know how to let it go. I don’t know how to surrender it.

I am so confused many times as to which direction to go in.

Many times I just say we are not going anywhere I cannot listen to this any longer.

I have a spiritual teacher who tells me to fire the board of directors and begin to listen to the divine.

The problem is that the ego can create such a disturbance through depression, fear, anxiety etc that it becomes impossible to listen to the divine.

Many times I put out there in a prayer for guidance from the divine/high power whatever you want to call it and I hear nothing.

The only times I have been able to surrender is when I am under such distress that something clicks and a sort of surrender happens but then 2 or 3 weeks later the ego slowly starts to move back in and eventually it is back and even worse.

It is very difficult to live like this going from flat nothing to extreme distress and being tormented by these “people” in my head.

My Father took his own life when he was 52 years old.

He suffered from depression and anxiety for 7 years. He just decided he didn’t want to do this any longer.

I am starting to get that feeling inside myself. I will admit I have MUCH more awareness and insight into these types of things than he did.

I also am much more open with this stuff and am very willing to ask for help and guidance.

He did not but with that said I see so many people suffering from anxiety and depression.

I see rock stars and celebrities who have been tormented for a long time such as Robin Williams, Chris Cornell and the list goes who have all taken their own lives and I wonder what will keep me from doing that.

I just start to wonder if I am getting anywhere. Is this just depression and anxiety and I am just mentally ill and this is all I have coming to me. 

Much of the time all I see is a dark chasm ahead and this is all I have to look forward to.

Just to clarify I am NOT at the point at this moment where I want to take my life but the thoughts are there.

I have been in these sorts of places a few times before. Usually they arrive in a 10 year cycle.

I am at the decade point again but this time I am not trying to run away from it and in turn it is kind of worse than the other times because those times my ego would step in and I will distract myself with jobs, relationships etc but I don’t want to do that again.

Anyway, I have been more thinking out loud in this posting but I wanted to throw it out there because most of the people I have said this stuff too have no idea what to say or do with it.

Sometimes I just feel like an anomaly.

I know many people who are in much worse places than I both physically and emotionally but that doesn’t seem to help much and in ways makes it worse because then my ego says Hey bud it can be much much worse.

Anyway, thanks for listening. 🙂 

My reply:

Thank you for sharing so openly about your experiences and struggles. 

You have no idea how many people are going through similar things, so anyone who reads what you just shared will be blessed by it because it will make them feel less alone.

Before I begin, I need to clarify that I’m not a doctor and I don’t give medical advice.

Each individual is responsible for their own health care decisions.

I feel I have to mention this because I sometimes get contacted by people who actually want to kill themselves, or have attempted suicide already. 

Here’s my disclaimer in full:

MariaErving.com/disclaimer 

I know you said it’s just a thought and that you’re not actually planning on doing it.

Many people have the same thoughts as you do and they don’t actually want to do it, so I totally get where you’re coming from.

Most people think that the spiritual awakening process is about love and light but people like yourself know that that’s not the case.

And it can happen to anyone; to celebrities, rock stars, and other famous people as well as to the man living on the streets, or a hardcore business man who has never had an inkling of spiritual interest whatsoever before. 

So yeah, who knows if Robin Williams and Chris Cornell and the others were actually depressed or if they were in the midst of a spiritual awakening process.

The thought do cross my mind every time something like that happens because I know so many people are confused, but also completely unaware. 

It’s the unawareness that is the most difficult thing, because it’s so easy to get diagnosed with depression and anxiety and get then medicated for it.

We have become a pill popping society.

Looking at society today we have a massive prescription drug use, and I can’t but think of all the people who has been misdiagnosed by unaware/unknowing people. 

And we all know that the pill popping many times leads to abuse, addiction, overdoses, and for some, also death, because the unawareness that is there prevents the (spiritual) transformation from happening.

So many people get stuck in a limbo in life, not really getting anywhere, or not really living because they don’t have the awareness of their condition being anything else than what the doctors say it is. 

And I’m not saying meds are not good and should not be used. It’s not about that. 

It’s about the awareness, or lack of it. 

So let’s begin.

You wrote:

I feel like I have this board of directors in my head. I realize its one thing. Its my ego.

Anyway, it seems to be made up of all these different people. They all have their own ideas, feelings, thoughts, emotions etc.

None of them agree with each other on anything. I start to move in a direction and they all start giving their opinion and in the end I end up doing nothing.”

Usually people have two voices in their head, or maybe three.

A simple way of describing the voices would be something like this:

First we have the ego voice that is the voice of the false self, the person most people take themselves to be.

It usually comes from a place of fear, from the need to survive and ‘get’ or attain something (many times without giving, it just ‘wants’) and so on. 

It’s full of fear and worry but also expectations and with a sense of entitlement. It often feels like the victim and is always in opposition with Life somehow. 

This ego many times becomes spiritualized if the person is on the spiritual path.

A very common question I often get from a spiritualized ego is:

How Do I Get My Enlightenment Back?

It’s the false self thinking It will become enlightened, so the spiritual seeker is actually the ego, but the person is not aware of this until later in their spiritual growth.

Then we have the authoritative voice that tells us that we have to be good, behave in an appropriate way, not do such and such things, that we have to be in this or that way, etc etc.

It’s a strict and authoritative voice that is demanding you to be and behave in a certain ways.

This might be the voice that told you to not be such a cry-baby (I’m exaggerating now of course) because ‘there are many others who has it worse than you’ as you wrote.

So it’s basically criticizing you for the way you feel, and this ego voice is also usually very negative and bossy overall. 

And then we have the true voice that only wants us to be happy.

That’s all it wants, and all its guidance is towards the true enjoyment of life.

It only wants us to enjoy life and make the most of ourselves and the life that we have.

Its guidance always directs us to be and become the truest and highest expression of ourselves, and towards the things that makes life enjoyable and that promotes health and well-being. 

It never demands, scolds or pushes you around, and it never makes you suffer or feel sorry for yourself. 

That’s the “divine” voice if you will, but I simply call it the “true voice”.

Calling it “divine” unconsciously implies that it’s not your voice.

Most people don’t see themselves as “divine” (unless their egos’ are spiritualized, then they feel very holy) so there’s an immediate separation right there. 

But when it’s YOUR voice and you call it that, then it becomes easier to relate to it and connect with it.

Because it’s yours, not something “divine” that is somehow ‘not you’. 

It is already yours and it’s based on intuition, instinct, gut feeling, inner knowingness and so on.

So in essence: There’s the ego voice that is pretending to be you, there’s the critical and demanding voice that is pushing you around, and then there’s the kind and caring voice, which is your own true voice.

I’m not sure what the voices in your head are (since they seem to be more than 2-3), but if I were you I would get to know them.

I would really dive in there and point each of the voices out and pinpoint exactly what their characteristics are. 

First of all I would suggest that you become aware of how many they are and then describe the voices.

Write these things down, and really get to know them.

What are they saying exactly? How are they speaking to you, in what tone and so on.

Write it all down.

Become aware of the differences between the voices in your head. 

This way you will be able to understand where they are coming from and how many they actually are because they may sound as many but in actuality be only a few.

That’s the cleverness of the ego and its voices. It knows exactly where to strike and how to confuse you. 

When you become aware of the difference between yours and the ego voice(s), it will become more and more obvious to you which one to listen to. 

With this said; I honesty can’t say if this is a mental condition with you (since you hear multiple voices), or if it has to do with the spiritual awakening process.

So please feel very free to after you’ve done this exercise to share in the comments below what you came to realize and see (if you want to!).

That way I might be able to help you to the next level after that.

This article was part 1/3.

Part 2/3 will be published shortly (probably tomorrow) and can be read here:

MariaErving.com/ego-thoughts-bombarding-you

ego voice
Which voice is the most obvious one to listen to? What makes most sense? The ego voice or the voice of Truth?

 

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Here’s an old audio recording (40 minutes) that I created ages ago where you can learn about some of the differences between the ego and Spirit:

MariaErving.com/who-runs-you-life-ego-or-spirit

By becoming aware of how you relate to the differences, where you find yourself in them etc, your life can become much more clearer to you, and you will know yourself better.

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Comments

  1. Dave

    Hi Maria,
    Thanks so much for creating this article. I looked over it and it seems very good.
    I do want to clarify a few things though. I am not actually hearing voices. I do understand that there is the ego and within the ego I think there are various parts to it. I think those are the board of directors so to speak. I think it is one thing (ego) with a variety of faces. I think my ego is very good at keeping me tied in knots and creating an enormous diversion to listening to the other voice of my heart.
    You are right, I do need to really get to know those parts and find out what they want and what their motivation is. I will start doing some journaling on that.
    Let me give you an example of what I am talking about.
    I am currently unemployed mostly by choice at this point. I have a job opportunity show up in my previous field which was technology. One voice says go Dave, you need to get out there an strike it rich. Make good money. Another voice says, woooooah, technology isn’t spiritual. You remember the last time you were here you kept wanting more and more and found it was never enough. Then another voice jumps in and say Ok, lets go look for something like helping people. Then the other voice jumps in and says yes, but I want money and status and challenge and this just goes on and on. While it is going on in my head, my body is reacting and being pulled in a myriad of directions. One minute its excited, the next its down, the next it wants to go get high.
    I know this sounds absolutely insane and it feels that way but I assure you I am not.
    I actually have a Masters degree in Counseling Psychology as well as 18 years work experience in the technology field.
    I am seeing a therapist as well as having a spiritual teacher of some sort.
    I am thinking maybe I have had a little too much of myself by being unemployed with lack of direction and that I probably need to get some direction and let the spiritual stuff happen as it should. 🙂
    With regards to the suicidal stuff, I have never actually been truly suicidal and never attempted it either. Its just something that crosses my mind when things get very tough. I am sure many people who use your site have been there.

    Thanks again listening.
    Dave

  2. Yes, that’s exactly what it is; the ego with different costumes on to confuse you.

    Mostly expressed in two ways; the ‘wanter’/needy/fearful ego, and the authoritarian ego, the negative and criticizing ego.

    And then the arguments between the voices. That’s what the inner turmoil is about. It’s a war inside of you.

    And they can drive the observer (you) insane and keep you up at night and have you run around in circles!

    But you can leave the room and let the voices die out as you remove yourself from their presence.

    What I meant by suggesting that you get to know them was not so that you can understand their motivation and so on, but more about becoming aware of their falseness/ego-ness.

    Then it will be easier to disregard them and ignore them.

    And it seems like you’re already aware of what they are doing to you.

    The suffering comes from you listening to them.

    They are actually not doing anything but existing because of your attention to them.

    When you see through them and know what they are they can’t continue to bother you anymore.

    So that’s the work; the seeing them for what they are and then stop paying attention to them as you realize what they do to you if you listen to them.

    What you described is very common.

    The authoritative ego voice is the one that is demanding you follow the rules and regulations of your programming.

    The programming can be something from childhood, cultural, society rules, religious rules (and spiritaul rules as in your case) and so on.

    A few other examples (besides from the ones you have) could be:

    For people with religious programming it could be (and often is) about sex and/or masturbation.

    The voices usually say something like this:

    “You shouldn’t think about sex, it’s wrong”
    “You should be celibate and preserve you energy to other things”

    Yet you do think about sex, because its natural, but because of the religious programming there’s a huge inner conflict, a lot of shame and guilt etc.

    In Reality, all Life wants is for you to simply enjoy sex (because it’s part of being a human being).

    It’s the other voices that makes it such a big deal.

    Another example:

    “You shouldn’t be thinking about making money, you have to think about ‘helping people’ because that’s spiritual and noble”.

    In Reality it’s human to want to be self-sufficient an independent.

    And maybe your true expression is one of enormous wealth.

    It’s the ego voices that makes money-making wrong.

    In Reality; the true voice is always pointing you towards the truest and highest expression of yourself, which could involve making lots and lots of money.

    That Truth just is.

    Again, it’s the other voices that makes things wrong.

    And what many women experience is that the voice of the ego is stressing her and telling her that the biological clock is ticking.

    But some women feel intuitively that they are not meant to have children, and maybe they don’t even like children that much.

    Then the ego voice says “but I don’t want to be alone! What if I don’t have anybody and stay all alone all my life!”.

    And the authoritarian voice says “you should want children, what kind of a woman are you??” (=”Society rules and expectations should be followed”).

    No wonder people are in such inner turmoil!

    It’s the ego voices that make the woman feel bad and selfish and not woman-like, and it’s the ego voices that makes a person running around in circles wanting and not wanting and feeling bad for wanting and then becoming excited and then feeling bad again etc etc etc.

    IF she/he listens to the voices!

    If a person is strongly in alignment with the Truth of their being, they don’t have these problems.

    They just live their lives, do what they are intuitively guided to do and they enjoy life. They are in flow.

    So the thing to do, is to see through the voices and stop listening to them.

    And when you know them, when you know that they are the ego voices, voices of your programming etc, it becomes the most obvious thing to listen to the true voice within instead and ditch all the others.

    So you don’t sound insane to me.

    You’re just (currently) trapped by the ego voices and that can be fixed 🙂

    Beliefs need to be questioned and seen through (beliefs such as “technology is not spiritual”, etc etc).

    Maybe we should have a session.

    Think about it.

    Stay tuned for part 2/3 in this article series which will be published shortly.

  3. Alyssa

    Hi Maria! I am currently under major assault from my ego, as I am becoming more aware of its workings in me. SO MUCH FUN! I have yet to read parts 2 and 3, but from this part and the comments I am wondering a few things.
    I have never been good handling stress, and for the past year or so it seems that whatever ability I have had, is lessening greatly. Maybe its part hormonal (I am finally getting around to looking into that), and part (or all?) may very well be due to spiritual awakening. In any case, while what i am about to explain/ask presents itself in many ways, with many (or nearly every) issues/decisions/perceptions, I will use this one as an example…We have a few chickens that we keep for eggs. Caring for them (which I do overly) has been very hard on me. Especially in the last year, as they are older, and have health problems more often. We consider finding a new home for them to help ease this particular stress for me, but I have many concerns (for their sake) that keep me from doing that. Mainly, i am afraid that whoever we give them to will kill them when/if they get sick or if they get sick often enough. Or that their life wont be as good as the one we give them (though they dont have an ideal life now either). i feel it is unfair for me to not consider such things, being I am responsible for them, and they are living things, whos fate will be determined by me. Yet, they remain in my life and are a continuous stress on me and my health/well-being. So, is this ALL my ego/critical voice?! And I “should” just get rid of them with no regard for them, but only for myself and my needs?! As I typed that, THAT sounds like ego. It may sound silly, but this is one of the many battles I deal with on a daily basis, that are all so similar and distressing. “Do I do this or that?! But this is wrong! I dont like/agree with it. If i do this or that I dont know what will happen and that scares me, believing it will end up badly.” And how does any of that get worked out when it seems whichever way is taken, it will be harmful to self (and possibly others)?! I guess thats the battle between voices you speak of and suggest leaving the room, not giving them the attention. And while I understand that for self (though it still poses quite difficult), i dont understand it regarding others, when they are my responsibility and I care what happens to them.
    If the ego makes something wrong, then nothing is truly wrong?! So, people dying or getting sick or hurt because of others actions or inactions is ok and its just the ego messing around to think/feel/believe otherwise?! I am referring to other things now, not the chickens. Its all so tortuously confusing!!! Sorry for the rant. I even feel like the answers to all this were probably in this article and comments, and maybe i just cant see/hear them over my screaming ego. Im trying to understand it, to overcome it…now i recall you saying something about that being a spiritualized ego…am I dealing with that maybe?! Maybe you will answer me here which would be great, but maybe there is more that touches on this stuff in the next 2 parts. And maybe it’s just part of my growth/path to suffer the battle until it all becomes consciously evident. Hopefully it wont kill me in the process! 😉

  4. Alyssa,

    You are being human!

    Of course you care about your chickens and I can totally understand your inner battle with this.

    I’m a huge animal lover myself and I couldn’t imagine a more difficult decision to make than if I would have had to give away my beloved pets to someone else when I had them.

    That would have been soul-wrenching to me too. Like having to give away your kid or something, so your reaction is completely normal and has nothing to do with your ego.

    Please look away from all the ego stuff with this and look into your heart instead and listen to what your spirit is telling you.

    Your chickens needs a new home, or you need to do something about your ability to handle stress, those are the options you have (unless you get someone to help you out with them).

    I think you have come to the decision that you have to give them up, so focus on that.

    Forget about ego this and ego that.

    Just be a human being and ask within what you can do.

    Ask for the solution, not the reason why you have this challenge/crisis right now.

    Maybe you can contact a 4-H club (farm) or an organic farm somewhere close to you that is family run and that you can go and visit and then talk to them directly about your concerns.

    I’m sure your chickens will get a good, new, loving home if you just look for one for them and you go and actually see the place and so on.

    I hope this was helpful to you.

    It might sound like the most obvious thing but sometimes people get so caught up in all the ego stuff that they forget that they are just being human beings.

    Sometimes it’s tough to make the right decisions but it’s part of being a human and being responsible for other beings and so on.

    So tomorrow morning when you wake up (or this evening before you go to bed), make an intention that you are going to find a good home for your chickens and trust that Life will guide you to them and them to you.

    Every normally functioning human being can relate to your concerns for your chickens and so will the people you contact too.

    Many organic farms for example have the same love that I feel you have for your chickens so get in touch with them and eventually you will find someone that really clicks with you.

    It may even be the very first place you get in touch with!

    Follow your gut and heart and you will be shown the right place for your chickens.

    Please let us know how things go.

  5. vik

    hi maria

    1) i do believe that my ego is becoming spritiualized – is this a bad thing – because now it will want to use all its EGOIC tactics in my spiritual world – i find myself getting frustrated sometimes during meditation – i know its the ego doing this – is this a bad thing ?

    2) what is the authoratative voice inside of us ? is that part of the egoic mind ?

    3) handwritings – i find myself switching my handwriting all the time – sometimes 4 times per day – and each time i do – i feel a certain thing – sometimes powerful,sometimes happy, sometimes an action taker etc etc – i have noticed that if i dont follow the handwriting i am feeling at the moment – the zest of life is gone – is this the ego doing this to me ?

    4) do you believe in calling upon angels for help – do you have a specific way you call them – i feel like sometimes it works and sometimes it doesnt

    5) Changing a limiting belief – do you have a method to changing a limiting belief ? i have some beliefs that are not serving me anymore and i would love to change them – do you have a way to do this ?

  6. 1.) The spiritualized ego is one of the strongest and most dense versions of ego’s there are.

    The “spiritual ego”, and the religious ego are very strong and dense (and very similar).

    But since you’re aware of this it means you’re on to it, so that’s a good thing.

    2.) Yes, the ego can have many voices.

    The authoritative voice is usually formed by the society in which we are brought up, like for example the cultural rules and traditions and so on that we have been conditioned to live by.

    3.) I don’t know what you mean by “handwriting”..?

    In any case, as I’ve already mentioned before it’s important that you really get to know the ego and how it operates in your life.

    Only then can you become free from it.

    4.) Everything is an aspect of yourself.

    Again, as I’ve also already mentioned in other replies to you; don’t be needy about things.

    Be sincere and open in your way to relating to and communicating with the Universe.

    Not like a clingy and obsessive child.

    5.) I don’t recommend ‘changing’ beliefs as much as recommend getting rid of them all.

    The less beliefs you have, the better off you are.

    Reading my website and doing the different exercises I suggest will help you see through them.

  7. vik

    1) handwriting means writing using a pen or pencil – i write out my to do lists and when i visualize – i do writing as well
    i keep changing those handwritigngs – does the ego have anything to do with this ?

    i find myself switching my handwriting all the time – sometimes 4 times per day – and each time i do – i feel a certain thing – sometimes powerful,sometimes happy, sometimes an action taker etc etc – i have noticed that if i dont follow the handwriting i am feeling at the moment – the zest of life is gone – is this the ego doing this to me ?

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