Can Mindfulness help prevent hurting your Ego – Self Image
Almost every day or every second day we come across a situation when someone says something to us which is not very agreeable, or we chose to perceive it to be so. In either case, we feel insulted and get upset. In some cases, we react and display our feelings. In some, we don’t. In either case, the result is a depreciation (decrease) in our happiness index. Why does this happen? It’s because you have created, an image of yourself in your mind that does not match with how the other sees or perceives you. You believe you have been insulted and you get upset.
As long as people’s perception of you matches the image that you have created inside your mind of yourself, you are content with them, but as soon as the opposite happens, even if it is to a very small extent, you become disturbed, because you are attached to that image. The more the attachment, the greater the hurt, the disturbance or reaction. You could examine this phenomenon very closely, taking place inside yourself every day. This kind of attachment mentioned above is called ego. That’s why in common language, we call it, ‘the hurting of the ego’.
We commonly use the terms – my ego got hurt or I think your ego got hurt. You hurt my ego is nothing, but you hurt or harmed the image that I carry of myself with me each second every day. Because I carry it with me all the time, I have become attached to it.
Ego might help you get success, but it always prevents you from enjoying it.
If, on a particular day, you reach home late from office and your wife, who is angry with you, accuses of not being a family man and one who doesn’t give enough time to her and the children. Your reasons for reaching home late may be genuine or not, your wife may be right or wrong on that particular day.
In either case, you carry an image of yourself, all the time, as being a very loving, caring father and husband, who has been responsible for the all-round growth and development of the family in all respects since the family was created. Your wife’s words basically pinch that invisible image, as a result of which you feel insulted and hurt and you react angrily, not necessarily in front of your wife, but it could be in front of someone else or even just internally. This phenomenon happens many times, in many different situations with different people throughout the day and every day.
Why do you feel hurt or react?
The image that we all carry of our selves is made of various traits or characteristics, obviously the characteristics of each one’s self-created image are different. These characteristics of the image may or may not actually exist inside the real self, but whenever someone challenges any of those characteristics or tries to suggest to us that one of those characteristics is not ours or does not exist inside us, we react or feel hurt.
What is the solution?
Be mindful. The moment I switch on the awareness of my mind, I am able to energise my thoughts and entire body, I start accessing the qualities of peace, love and joy that lie hidden inside my consciousness. Since these are not physical treasures, they are limitless. Now, I choose not to be hurt and not to react.
Workshop Exercise – The breath of a true life is enthusiasm.
My belief: To live life, to live each moment with enthusiasm is to really live life. The quality of life, the quality of the work done, the quality of relationships, everything is enriched through enthusiasm. Where there is enthusiasm there is maximum recognition and usage of everything available. Enthusiasm spreads to others too, gives them the courage to do their best and enrich their lives.
My experience: When I am enthusiastic, I am able to enjoy everything that comes my way. The biggest obstacle seems like a game for me, and I pass it by easily, without experiencing any difficulty. Confidence builds up in me and gives me the courage to be the best in all I do. I slowly increase my own potential and steadily move on towards success.
How do I achieve: To achieve true life sensation, I practice mindfulness meditation, which in turns gives me better awareness of myself and things round me?