Learn how to stand up for yourself (Take No Shit)

“How do you deal with judgements from others?”

Hi Maria,

Despite my increased awareness of the ego and its games, I still find myself in the grips of ego at times, particularly when it comes to the judgements of other people.

Yesterday for example, I was walking down the street and someone shouted something out a car window at me.

I have no idea what it was, but that tormented me all day.

Why would someone shout like that? What did he think of me? Does he think I’m ugly?

What does this say about me? Etc.

On one level, I am aware that the ‘one’ who is asking these questions and affected by the opinions of others is the false self, and the ego.

Merely a story constructed through years of conditioning that is overly concerned about being rejected and neglected, and who defines herself excessively via how she looks.

However, this knowledge doesn’t stop it being painful and causing a barrage of anxious thoughts and feelings of isolation and insecurity.

Even though it was something shouted out a window and I don’t know what it was, it felt startling and threatening and made me cower.

It brought back feelings from childhood of rejection.

I was wondering how you would recommend dealing with negativity from others and how to live life without defining yourself through the stories and judgements of other people, even strangers.

Thank you in advance Maria.

My reply:

The short answer to your question, which was:

.. how you would recommend dealing with negativity from others and how to live life without defining yourself through the stories and judgements of other people, even strangers” is this:

I just don’t give a shit.

That’s how I deal with it.

And that’s what I recommend you do as well. 

You asked:

Why would someone shout like that?”

Because of their level of consciousness.

They are immature and probably insecure so they need to do these things from the safety of their car windows.

I’m assuming you’re talking about men giving you unwanted attention, so I’m going to reply with that in mind.

If your question is more general then let me know in the comments below and we’ll continue the discussion there.

I’ve had those experiences as well.

Most of it is cultural programming.

When I lived in Costa Blanca many years ago the Spanish men there found me (and any other blond woman) attractive so they were always whistling at me wherever I went.

They didn’t mean any harm by it, that’s how they treat women in their culture, they even whistle at grandmothers!

For me as a Scandinavian woman I was just annoyed by it but learned quickly that it’s best to just ignore it instead of responding as I would have if a guy in Scandinavia did the same.

In the Scandinavian culture men whistling at you is looked upon as childish/immature and/or sleazy and usually done by men who are just like that. 

The men here in Costa del Sol are very different, more mature and friendly (everybody is, it’s a different vibe here altogether) and I haven’t run into any issues at all during my whole stay here.

But in India I experienced a whole different thing; the ogling men were everywhere.

It was so easy to see how repressed they are by culture and even looking them straight in the eyes telling them to stop staring at me (which I did a few times) was basically pointless.

They honestly thought it was okay to drool openly while looking at me, undressing me with their eyes (yuck!). 

A couple of times I had to literally cause a scene to get them to understand that it was uncomfortable and disgusting how they behaved, following me around and so on. 

So some things you have to address (if you feel threatened or stalked for example) and some things you can just let go of immediately (like men yelling something from a window) because it only shows their level of intelligence so why even get upset.

You wrote:

What did he think of me? Does he think I’m ugly?”

Yes, maybe he thought you are really ugly. So what?

Would you really, honestly, want him to think you’re attractive..?

Would that change the fact that you felt uncomfortable?

Speaking of that;

Forget about the whole ego thing.

This is a human thing.

Of course it’s not fun when people do those kinds of things; it’s a kind of bullying really.

So when you asked “What does this say about me?”, I’d say “nothing”.

It’s them, and their insecurities and issues.

You wrote:

.. concerned about being rejected and neglected, and who defines herself excessively via how she looks.”

This is something you need to work on and not just dismiss as an “ego-thing”.

It’s a real kind of suffering for you, so what is called for is self-love and building up your confidence and independence (not having the need to be liked/accepted and so on).

Maybe working with a confidence coach or a counselor or something.

Other things you can do: 

What you can do for example is to look at the situation again with a pair of fresh eyes and think about what you would do if the same scenario happened again.

Would you cower again as you did in this particular situation, or how will you stand up for yourself the next time if it happens again?

Run it through in your mind and even practice in front of the mirror to build up confidence to address this type of behavior towards you.

Some things you can ignore (=not give a shit about them), while some situations calls for some kind of response.

I think with you this is a great growth experience where you can learn to stand up for yourself and let people know that you won’t take crap from anyone. 

It may not be the easiest task for you if you struggle with confidence issues, but what other option do you have?

Either let yourself be treated this way or do something about it.

And if you weren’t able to address it because they drove off before you had the chance to say something, then rehearse the scene in your mind and pretend they stopped and then you tell them off.

Make yourself feel strong and confident in your mind and that will help build up your inner strength and power.

You can also write down a list of a few women who you respect and admire and pinpoint the reasons why you admire them and see what they have in common.

They probably have something you wished you had, so work on implementing that aspect into your own personal life as well (because you do have it within yourself, it has just not yet been expressed).

Ask yourself how they would handle the situation.

What would they do? What would they say?

How would they conduct themselves in a similar situation? 

You can even pretend they stand on your side, cheering you on to stand up for yourself.

This goes for men too of course. Not only women experience these things.

Find someone you respect and feel their energy within yourself as you connect with them in consciousness/in your mind and then play with it until you find your own voice and expression.

Hope this was helpful to you.  

GIF via GIPHY

Life has a magical way of clicking into place once you get in alignment with it.

Once you’re freed from the past and blockages are released and dissolved, a sense of renewal and liberation comes over you and you’re able to move forward in life with a new sense of aliveness and inner joy, peace and confidence.

You have been an amazing addition to my life!

Thank you for all of the wonderful light, and love that you send out into the world. You are indeed an inspiration even though we are half way across the world – isn’t that wonderful! It is a privilege that is not taken lightly. Thank you Maria! 

Ruby Coleman Professional Musician and Actress, Memphis, Tennessee, USA

Comments

  1. Jenny

    Hi Maria,

    This was tremendously helpful, thank you. I am often torn between knowing my reactions are coming from a place of ego/ false self, and feeling the anxiety and fear associated with them very vicserally. This seems to increase my anxiety: when it seems that something I understand to be false feels very real. In the case of these boys shouting out the window, I don’t think it was positive in any way. In fact, it felt quite violent as they shouted whatever the heck they shouted. I was with my boyfriend at the time and he just went on with his day with no attention paid to this idiocy. I, on the other hand, spent the day feeling low, worthless, with fearful and threatened thoughts sticking to me like velcro. I very much wish the unconscious actions of others did not have such a great impact on me, and that I didn’t define myself by how others see me or treat me. Perhaps you are correct in saying I should speak to a counsellor or confidence coach in order to work on my self-mastery and not rely on external conditions for a sense of who I am, good or bad.

    Thank you Maria for taking the time to respond to me so fully xx

  2. Glad you found it helpful.

    Yes, you always feel in your gut if it’s there’s a valid reason for the uncomfortable feelings or if it comes from the ego, it’s just a matter of learning how to differentiate them.

    If it comes from your inner self, it’s more like a prompting that tells you that this is something you should do something about or pay attention to.

    Regarding getting help with your confidence issues;

    I think maybe a counselor is the best thing for you (=deeper work), and not a confidence coach, at least at this point.

    A coach does not address old stuff and would only help you build a confident ego (since you don’t have a healthy self-image at this point), while a counselor helps out with stuff connected to your past, from where I think your issues might come from.

    Let us know how things go with you.

  3. Jenny

    You’re so right Maria. My past seems to hang around me like a bad smell. I do feel that once I have overcome these issues, I will live a more free life. I have tried counselling before but haven’t managed to find a counsellor I click with. Perhaps I will start my search anew. Thank you again for all your suggestions and input.

  4. You can also skip the whole past-thing if you go full throttle into the dedication of finding out and discovering who you really are..

    When you know who you are, the past can’t bother you.

    But sometimes people need to work those things out before they can go even deeper, especially if they are “fragile” somehow (as I was when I was a drug addict and needed to sort those things out before the awakening process could take full swing in my life).

    If a person is fragile somehow then the need can be there to build up their inner strength before they can go even deeper, to the ‘real stuff’.

    It’s highly individual, and if you decide to go for counseling as the next step from here, I wish you all the best and I hope you find someone that resonates with you quickly so that you can start the new journey and move forward in your life.

  5. Jenny

    I agree: the past has less of an impact than it used to, but sometimes when I am hurt or insulted by another (or at least, I perceive that they have hurt or insulted me), I feel a sharp stabbing of anxiety reminiscent of past hurts and insults. Just when I seem to get a glimpse or insight into who I am, I lose it again and all the anxieties of the illusory past and future overwhelm my being. I can understand what you mean by being ‘fragile’. I don’t know why I am so sensitive but it feels like I am affected by the smallest things sometimes, and I’m not even aware of what specifically needs to be figured out before awakening can be the main event. Something that should be so simple is somehow so confusing…

  6. It’s really a process, not an event, and you can begin it by simply saying that you intend to find out what the Truth about yourself and life is; that you want to know, and that nothing but the Truth will satisfy you.

    You can write about it (journal) and ask what the next step is for you to take/thing to do, and then it will be shown to you.

    And then you go from there. That’s really the best place to start.

    But you should know that once you have stated with a sincere heart that that is what you want, prepare for a roller-coaster of a ride.

    People say they want to awaken (or to “become enlightened”) but they have no idea what they are getting themselves into.

    They think it’s going to be about “Love and Light”, and then when they realize that it’s not going to be about those things, it’s too late to turn around.

    So make a conscious choice, because when Life hears your sincere desire for Truth, it will take you up on it and not let go until you ‘get what you want’.

    You will always be prepared and groomed as you go but the saying that you are ‘never given more than you can handle’ is not true.

    Many people find themselves at some point even suicidal in their pursuit for enlightenment.

    Therefor sometimes it’s better to build up a somewhat strong foundation of “self” (that you ‘heal yourself) before they get themselves full throttle on the journey and process of awakening.

    So the bottom line is that if you’re not already (and you could very well be) in the process but want to be, then all you have to to do is to make that statement to yourself and Life and you’re on it, instantly.

    You may already have done this in some way or another.

    Even if my process was hellish at times I would still have gone through it despite of what I went through, but I know 100% for sure that I would not had been able or strong enough to go through it while I was a drug addict, or when I was still in rehab.

    That was my preparation time (=my healing journey) for what was to come; the ‘real thing’, which was the spiritual awakening process.

    And also I might add; I have always been “spiritual” (ugh, don’t like that word, but you know what I mean), and my awareness of a different life was already apparent and clear to me at a very early age.

    So in a way I was being prepared already then.

    You might be as well, I don’t know much about you, but I want you to know that if you already are in the process of awakening Life will put it ‘on hold’ until you have gone through your healing process.

    That’s what happened with me.

    I have had spiritual awakening experiences already years before when I was an addict and especially at a time when I had a period of 9 months where I didn’t do any drugs at all.

    So feel very welcome to share your thoughts about where you think you are and what you think is happening with you and I will try my best to give any guidance I can to help you progress and move forward.

    And PS: Don’t let my words scare you, there will be incredible bliss and joy, love, oneness and all that stuff too, not just pure hell.

    But it’s not an “easy” process, that’s what I really wanted to say.

  7. And the more you trust your path and surrender to the process, the easier it will be!

    When you have an awareness of it and can deepen your understanding about it (through the experiences that I have shared here on my website for example), the easier and smoother it will go.

    That’s the great thing about this time and age compared to what people had to go through before the Internet and phones etc existed.

    Now there is support and help to get, you no longer have to walk to the other side of the earth to meet with a mystic living in the mountains somewhere! 🙂

  8. Thank you so much Maria. The roller coaster ride you describe is definitely what I have been experiencing! I decided early this year that my life will be about searching for the Truth and that I would give up basically everything I have in order to find it. I have been journalling since then (albeit infrequently), mostly when I have had flashes of insight. Since I decided to take this path, as you very correctly stated, my life has been in turmoil, to the point of deep depression and anxiety, interspersed with flashes of insight that make things so clear and overwhelm the depression with peace and stillness. Those are relatively infrequent, but exactly what I aimed for when I began this pursuit. I can understand why people may become suicidal in their pursuit. It can be draining, tiring, depressing and take everything. Then, all of a sudden, there is an intense focus on the present moment and life just seems so beautiful. It is the ultimate contradiction.

    I believe the statement you refer to in your comment was my first journal/ blog post that I made on 1st January. I realised that life as I was experiencing it was not aligned with the Truth and that suffering was a very prominent feature of my experience. Like you did, sometimes I curse the day I began the spiritual path, sometimes I even wonder if I’m on it or it’s all in my head, and sometimes I feel it’s the best and most insightful path I could have taken. It does, however, feel like I am more sensitive to things I was already sensitive to, that my anxieties are stronger and depression deeper. You are absolutely right that it is not an easy process, if even I am going through a process (sometimes it just feels like I’m hormonal and anxiety and depression are part of my character rather than part of a process…it’s hard to describe).

  9. Thanks for sharing Jenny.

    I don’t know what statement you are referring to though as I don’t have the pull to go and read your (or other readers) blogs (so I haven’t read yours).

    I prefer having a fresh, up to date, direct conversation here on my website instead, so please no more links.

    What you can do (as I removed your link from the comment) is to go to your profile and add it there where it says “website”.

    You can add your Facebook etc there as well if you want to.

    I have already added the link to your name in your comment so if you click on it it’s going to your blog post if anyone wants to read it.

    Moving on;

    What I’m feeling from our conversation thus far is that there is a calling that you need to answer and when we don’t listen and take some kind of action, things tend to get more and more difficult and challenging (until we take the action).

    It could be hormonal, it could be spiritual, it could be about past stuff coming to the surface because they need to get healed and resolved.

    It could be many things, but the most important thing is to start implementing some action steps.

    Hormonal imbalances for example can be helped with eating a healthy diet, ditching coffee and sugar etc, and so on.

    And if it has to do with past stuff it would be a good time to really do your best in order to find someone that you can work out those things with.

    As you wrote that your anxiety gets stronger and the depression deeper and you even start to think it might be part of your character (it’s not) this tells me that something needs to be done, now, before it gets worse.

    When someone is deeply in depression it can get really difficult to get up again, so while you have the strength, use it.

    You don’t want to end up laying in bed all day and isolating yourself (or worse).

    If you are dedicated and have your oomph left within you with the commitment to see it through, I’m open to take you on as a client even though I don’t normally work with people who are depressed.

    My decision is intuitive and only for you so if you feel that you would like to book a private session with me, I’m here for you.

    If this of interest you can learn more here:

    http://mariaerving.com/spiritual-awakening-guidance/

  10. Jenny

    Thank you Maria. I won’t add any other links, I just wanted to confirm that I had indicated my intention to move towards the Truth via a blog post early this year. For example, I said the following in my post: I have lived 31 years of my life in an almost-constant state of anxiety and enslavement to the chattering mind. My intention for my life from this moment on is to be directed towards Truth and freedom, as I have no wish to continue down the same murky path any longer, constantly banging my head against a brick wall and feeling completely stunted.

    I agree that there is a call going unanswered and it is constantly ringing in order for me to address it. Although I do believe hormones play a part, there is rarely a day throughout the month when I don’t feel this way, so I think if it were entirely hormone-related, this feeling would fluctuate according to my hormones. I feel today as if it is a call to be rooted in the present. That seems simple enough, but I meditated earlier and found my attention constantly drifting from the present. When I was able to get in the flow, follow my breathing and focus exclusively on the feelings and sensations arising in this present moment, rather than my mind imagining a future event, there was silence and equanimity that is so rare for me. I am always drifting towards some future story, but when all stories were dropped, all need to do or be anything else but presence was also dropped.

    Perhaps I do need to speak to a counsellor, but I think the source of my anxiety is in imagining the worst happening in every situation: that I will fail at my job, that my relationship will end, that people will reject me. The present is almost always overlooked in favour of some story that is entirely fictional and fear-based. Please don’t think I am always depressed. Depression only presents itself infrequently, but anxiety is almost always there. With this in mind, I would be interested to know how you feel about taking me on as a client? From my side, I will certainly look at your link and consider it strongly.

  11. I’ll reply later Jenny, I have an appointment with a hairdresser now that is coming up here to the mountains to give me a haircut and she’s here now 🙂

  12. Jenny

    That sounds lovely Maria! I am also going out now but looking forward to hearing from you soon.

  13. I’m back, looking all beautified and all! 🙂

    I just read your reply, and yes, now I remember you have mentioned these things before.

    And I remember other things too now that we have talked about before.

    It sounds like you are in the process of awakening, and to be in the moment has a way of releasing you from anxiety, but it’s also important to look deeper into the reason for the anxiety.

    Sometimes people use meditation as a way of escaping their troubles and issues.

    I’m not saying you are, just mentioning that that is sometimes what people do, so they never grow beyond their issues.

    It could be that your ego is feeling its looming death and is therefor creating massive inner turbulence for you, but it could also be about some past issues that needs to be resolved.

    Sometimes these things can be resolved with healing.

    Of course I can never make any promises that it will always work out that way, but I do know that healing can be a great help and assist you in the awakening process and I have had clients that has experienced a release from the past after only one session.

    After all you described and the dedication I feel from you I think we would be a great fit working together.

    You know where to find me if this is something you’d like to do.

  14. Jenny

    Thank you Maria. You mentioned that it is important to look deeper into the reason for your anxiety in order to resolve them. Alternatively, the ego could be feeling its looming death and then creates massive inner turbulence. How does one determine which is the case? How can I determine whether I am actually experiencing a awakening whereby the ego is trying to assert itself and shout as loudly as it can, or if I do in fact have more deeply-rooted issues that require further work and analysis? It is very difficult to tell! And when you mention healing, what kind of healing would this involve? You are so right: I am indeed absolutely dedicated to this.

  15. This is where I can help. I can see the ego immediately and know exactly what is happening, it’s kind of my super power 🙂

    Of course you can find out for yourself too by growing spiritually on your own.

    If you choose this route it’s impossible for me to tell exactly what you can do (since I don’t know the details of your life) other than to ask within for deeper understanding and to be shown the next step.

    When you develop your intuition your awareness increases as well and that will help you understand what is what and what is going on.

    You can continue submitting questions via Ask Maria too about specific things going on in your life and so on.

    Remember; there is no limit to how many times or how often you can use that option so keep ’em coming as freely as you’d like 🙂

    Regarding healing;

    I have developed my own kind of healing throughout the years so I don’t call myself anything special.

    I do hands-on-healing sessions and also distant healing sessions.

    You can learn more about the distant healing sessions here (it’s an old post but you get the idea):

    http://mariaerving.com/distant-healing-experience/

  16. Lizzy

    Hi Maria –

    This is all hitting a nerve. Recently a very close work relationship with someone who I believe is my friend (although our friendship is only experienced at work) has been sending mixed messages, and I realize since I’ve known this person, has been doing this all along.

    Over the years, we share a lot of personal things with each other. Things we don’t share with anybody else. Through cards and letters we have let each other know how much we appreciate each other. But this person’s behavior baffles me sometimes and hurts me. This person who professes to appreciate me so much as a person, will also turn cold towards me, while being friendly and attentive to others at work. In the beginning, I would ask them constantly if there was a problem or ask if they were angry with me. The answer was always no, and they assured me if they were upset with me they’d tell me.

    If we are in a situation at work that is outside of me standing at their desk and talking one on one, ex: if there are other people around, ex: a training, a luncheon, they ignore me. They will be attentive to others, more animated. When this happens, I feel like the life is being sucked out of me.

    I too, keep trying to pass this off as an ego thing, and have been working “spiritually” on it, but finally realized it is a “human thing” and it is time to take action and also realized I don’t feel safe with this so-called friend. I also question why this person’s attention is so important to me. I think there is an expectation on my part that a friend doesn’t act this way. At least I don’t.

    I don’t feel it is in my best interest to share how I’m feeling with person as I do have to work here and don’t want the stress if the conversation doesn’t go well.

    This too feels like something I’ve been experiencing for years in some way. I think it has to do with expectations, but I also feel that because I’m not a person people feel they have to tip-toe around, they may not take me seriously. Either way, although this person’s words are lovely, and true to a degree, their behavior at times speaks something much different, and while it hurts, it’s good to know.

  17. Jenny

    Thank you Maria, this is really very helpful. I know I have a lot of work to do in terms of anxiety and would probably benefit from working with a counsellor or healer, as ‘I’ feel constantly under threat. When I inquire as to what exactly feels threatened, it is always the ego/ false self: the body, personality. I don’t know how to break this pattern. It does indeed feel as though, in doing this work and becoming more aware, the ego is fighting hard to retain its unconsciousness. All of a sudden, anxiety overwhelms ‘me’ and the Truth is completely overlooked. I am not sure how, when I am panicking in this way, to bring it back to ‘what is’ other than to focus on the breath. Maybe this is something I require more of. As you know, I recently lost my job but when I am in a better position financially, I will proceed with a session with you. Thank you.

  18. @Lizzy; yeah, it’s a human thing and it sounds like you’re outgrowing each other, or as you say, that you’ve realized that she’s never really been there fully in a way and that you don’t really trust her.

    And since it’s a working place maybe the best way to distance yourself from her is by fading her out by not investing in the relationship anymore.

    She might ask you why you’re not available for her anymore as you used to be and then of course you can talk with her if it feels like the right thing to do.

    Fading out someone is sometimes the best way if you’re in an environment where there’s a possibility for unnecessary drama and friction.

    What you do is that you simply disconnect yourself from her mentally/emotionally/spiritually and as much as you can physically too and stop investing in it.

    If you have to work close with her then that’s another thing.

    It’s important that you can remain peaceful within yourself and so that it’s not evolving into some kind of avoidance game.

    That would be an exhausting way to spend your time while at work!

    What would you say is your biggest challenge now moving forward with this?

  19. @Lizzy; to have minimal drama about it, if she asks you why you’re distancing yourself from her you can say something in the line of:

    “We’ve just grown apart, I’m sure you’ve felt it too. And it’s okay, those things happen in life don’t they. Nothing serious” and then give her a friendly (sincere) smile and walk away saying something like “I’ll see you around”.

    Hope this was helpful to you.

  20. @Jenny: I understand your situation, and I’m here as much as I can for you through my writing, so whenever you have something you’d like to share of ask, just comment somewhere or use Ask Maria 🙂

    You mentioned that it’s the pattern that is the most challenging to break so to help you with that, I would suggest that you learn as much as you can about the ego, because when you know the ego, the real you will make itself known too.

    As I’ve said many times before, not sure of I’ve said it to you, but awakening is not about finding yourself, but about finding out about who you are not.

    Then everything will all become very clear to you, the whole ego game, who you are, the whole shebang.

    Breathing is always good, so if that helps you come back to the present moment then continue doing that while at the same time (when you’re out of the panic/fear attack) you go after the fear (which is ego).

    Fear should be confronted and gone after, under rigorous examination, because as I mentioned before, fear is ego/ego is fear.

    So write down your fears and examine them; hold them up to the light and suck the wisdom out of them and discard their husks in the trash.

    This is one thing you can start doing right now.

    Write down your fears and examine them.

  21. Lizzy

    Thank you, Maria.

    Distancing myself is exactly what I’ve been doing. I’m still polite and civil. But I no longer take it upon myself to involve her in conversations. As of lately, she’s been coming to me to initiate talking. And while I respond, I no longer will initiate contact other than to say hello or when I have to talk about a work related issue.

    And luckily we don’t share an office anymore. But it’s taken a long time to get to this place, and I just got tired of playing the victim role. It felt awful. Making a decision on my own behalf instead of waiting for someone else to somehow come around and make me feel better is a much better choice.

    I don’t feel I need to avoid her because there is enough physical space between us and she normally doesn’t seek me out so much so that I would feel I have to avoid her.

    I don’t feel particularly peaceful within myself, but I do feel a resolve not to put myself in a situation with her that feels hurtful. And if I am, I will remind myself that I no longer will expect anything from this person that they obviously cannot give. I won’t look for this person’s attention in order to feel o.k.

    Work has seemed challenging lately, as I see this behavior playing itself out with another person, who showed me tons of attention, and I can see that I’m now being “neutralized” so to speak. And this is a person who I was quite taken with.

    This must be popping up for some reason, and hopefully I will learn from it. Maybe I need to learn not to let my happiness ride so much on the external, and really start paying more attention to the internal. It has been forcing me to examine and practice what I’ve learned “spiritually”.

    I’ve actually felt suicidal during this whole thing and I think the reason it feels so intense, is because I’m not living a life that feels full and meaningful, and filled with things I love and am passionate about. Lately, I’ve been thinking, I have to re-write my life. Because this isn’t working. I recently read that there is an increase in suicide in middle-aged women. I think I understand why.

  22. Lizzy

    By the way, I’d never commit suicide. I just think if I don’t have much going on in my life, these situations might feel worse because there is nothing to balance them out. Just wanted to clarify.

    Thank you!

  23. Jenny

    Wow, thank you Maria. I knew that the ego ‘had’ fears but I have never considered the ego to ‘be’ fear. Learning about the ego is a good idea. I feel quite differently when in the grips of the ego and the rare moments of being in touch with the Truth. In the former, I feel anxious, constricted, like there is no release, no way out and the future looks completely and utterly desperate and bleak. When aligned with the Truth, there is stillness and no moment matters but this one. The latter doesn’t happen often though as it seems anxiety is my normal state. The ego can feel so powerful, so strong. A good example is trying to overtake someone in the car who keeps cutting in rather than just observing, allowing it to happen. Or fighting back when someone insults me, rather than letting them own their opinions and realising they are about them and nothing to do with me. Although intellectually I know a great deal about the ego, actually living this knowledge seems almost impossible. With regards to listing my fears, I would say it would take far too long so I would list them under the heading ‘other people’. I’m not afraid of heights or planes or snakes or spiders. All my fears seem to revolve around the opinions of others, which pretty much indicates the strength of my ego!

  24. @Lizzy; Sorry for the late reply, something came up unexpectedly and then I had to travel.

    Yes, it’s definitely the best thing to do to simply let go of expectations and to accept the fact that you can maybe have a casual work related relationship that is ‘okay’ but that it can never be ‘great’ and that you’re okay with that.

    Being open to the learning experience of it as you mentioned yourself is what will help these things to not show up in your life anymore.

    Yes, do rewrite your life! 🙂

    Reinventing oneself at times throughout your whole life is absolutely what more people should enjoy doing!

    There’s so many things yet do discover for all of us, so many different aspects of oneself yet to be expressed, so why limit oneself 🙂

    Regarding the suicidal thoughts, no worries, I know exactly what you mean and many people who are in the awakening process goes through those things as well so you’re definitely not alone.

    And I also understand what you meant by not actually doing it, but that the thought has been there.

    I look forward to hear more from you later to hear how things unfold for you now that you’ve put the old away and are ready to move forward in life again.

  25. @Jenny; Something came up so I haven’t been able to respond until now.

    You wrote that it sometimes feels like an impossible thing to see clearly what the ego is and how it operates.

    It’s not impossible but you need to be very diligent and willing to see it in all its facets and the more you come into the light of You, the lesser and lesser of the ego will there be.

    It’s like scale almost and with your spiritual growth and (self) awareness your consciousness/Life will just come to be more and more on the side of Truth and then finally skip over there completely 🙂

    But in the beginning it’s hard, difficult and challenging for everyone.

    Remember, it’s a shift/switch of perspective/”source” (although there is only one source, not several) from where you live your life so not an easy process especially since the ego resists and fights the process with all it has.

    Also remember that the more fighting there is from the ego you can be assured that you’re also on the brink of a breakthrough.

    I would still suggest you write down the specifics of your fears (about other people and their options about you) and rigorously examined them.

    You will see why when you actually do it.

  26. Lizzy

    Thank you for your reply.

    Even though this has felt painful, it’s also empowering to “know” what really is going on even if it goes against how I would like things to be.

    I don’t feel great, but I feel this is a new chapter and has given me greater determination to live a life I truly want for maybe the first time in my life.

    Thank you again.

  27. @Lizzy; And exactly that determination and inner empowerment will take you out of any situations that you’ve either outgrown or which has served its purpose in your life and move you forward to where you’re next chapter can take off.

    Exciting times ahead – maybe a bit scary, but also exciting! 🙂

    Keep me updated and please let me know if there’s anything I can help you with.

  28. Jenny

    Thank you Maria. I see that this may be a long process! However, I’m also becoming aware that anything referring to ‘me’ or ‘I’ is merely a story since ‘I’ in the mind’s interpretation does not exist. It’s confusing yet so simple. I will indeed write down all the specifics of my fears. I imagine there will be a theme throughout. that will make the ego rather uncomfortable!

  29. Oh, it doesn’t have to be Jenny! A long process that is.

    Sometimes those kinds of beliefs/thoughts is what makes it more difficult than it has to be.

    Keep me updated 🙂

  30. Dave

    Hi Maria,
    I signed up with your site a bit ago and have just found my way back again.
    Basically I feel I am in this in between place and not really sure what is happening.
    I feel like I have shed a lot of my defense mechanisms (ego) and fear but nothing up ahead is showing up if that makes any sense?
    Its like the things that would validate me before (external) no longer work and I don’t want them to but nothing on the internal is showing up and providing me the validation I am so seeking. My self worth was validated by external things such as getting bigger job, more money, more things etc but those things are not working anymore and as I said I don’t want them to but internal things are not working either or are not present.
    I just feel I am in this barren plain with lots of depression and irritability. I am not sure where else to go? I am not waking up in the morning ready to write a book and go on Oprah. I am seeing a therapist but he doesn’t really get into this type of stuff.
    Any advice would be greatly appreciated! 🙂

    Dave

  31. Welcome back Dave! 🙂

    Have you read these two articles?:

    http://mariaerving.com/back-to-ego-consciousness-spiritual-awakening

    http://mariaerving.com/spiritual-waiting-room

    They are very old so I don’t remember exactly what I wrote but they came to mind as I read your comment.

    Are these things something you can relate to, the things I describe in the articles?

    Maybe they resonate with you, have a look.

    You might have reached a plateau where nothing seems to happen before the new path opens up.

    It can be a frustrating place to be in, especially if you’re a ‘doer’ and love being active and inspired/engaging in life.

    I had challenges with this myself because I’m a ‘doer’ by nature and when I went through my periods (which could last for ages!) it felt as if nothing would ever start to happen and it was scary because life felt completely, well; lifeless.

    Which reminds me of another article:

    http://mariaerving.com/no-life-flowing-through-me/

    (I think this one is for members only though, not sure if you’re a member or not)

    and this one:

    http://mariaerving.com/not-knowing/

    There are plateaus in the process of awakening and they are there for a reason.

    When everything seem to be stagnant it’s actually not, it just feels that way.

    You are being prepared for the new, and the sooner you can accept where you are and that you have no clue what will happen next, the faster the change can come about for you.

    But it takes a sincere surrender, not the kind of surrender that is full of resentment and feeling defeated and bullied by life (you know what I’m talking about, we’ve all been there).

    Surrender to the flow of your life as it looks right now while also asking within what the next step is, what the next action is, and so on.

    “What is mine to do; what’s next?”, and then listen.

    Maybe you have already done this and if so, keep doing it but with a more detached attitude.

    Don’t throw your hands in the air but be willing to be naked and empty until something starts to move you from within.

    Something will start to move, actually it is already moving, it’s just that you can’t consciously feel it yet, it has not yet surfaces to your conscious awareness.

    But Life is always moving, even when it feels like it’s not.

    The flow of your life is moving quietly but powerfully now and the agony in this is the resistance to the emptiness and quietness.

    Trust that when it’s your turn to do something again, you will be prompted to act and then you just move with that, you go with it.

    Then the next step will always become apparent to you as you move forward, flowing with life.

    What you can also do right now is to ask within (and journal about it: http://mariaerving.com/writing-a-journal/) for new, fresh influences and insights that can help you move forward.

    Sometimes people get stuck because they expect a certain way of things happening when in reality something entirely new wants to come forth.

    So to open up for that you can state it out loud to ‘the universe’ that you’re willing to try something new, see something new, understand something new.

    That you’re open to something that is currently outside of your awareness.

    When you do this and release the whole matter some new influence or inspiration will soon come your way that will help release you from where you are now so that you can feel Life flowing through you again.

    Hope this was helpful to you.

    PS: One last article that I think will help you as well:

    http://mariaerving.com/spiritual-awakening-surrendering/

  32. Dave

    Hi Maria.
    Thanks so much for your response. I have been going through what you wrote and reading the articles you referenced. Very good information.

    To give you a little more about where I am at. 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. 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 Cornel 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. 🙂

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