…I made a conscious effort to think like a person who doesn’t put himself at the head of the universe. ~ Sam, in “Skipped Parts” by Tim Sandlin
I’ve been thinking about this post for quite some time. I’ve done a little research on “ego vs. healthy self-esteem.” Little is the key word here. I even listened to a Q&A session with Eckhart Tolle in which he discussed this topic. I find him rather difficult to listen to even though I do respect his writing and his opinions. There is a great deal of information “out there” about ego. So much, in fact, that my mind got boggled by it all. Alright, I admit it, it doesn’t take a great deal of something to rattle my brain. I read a little and came to the conclusion that my opinion is just as valid as some of those I read online. Hehe. How’s that for ego? Or is that self-esteem?
- self-esteem–How much you respect and accept yourself. Your concept of how worthy, valuable, lovable and capable you are in society.
- ego–An inflated opinion of yourself often accompanied by a belief that you are superior to others.
I’ve been trying to understand how or whether ego contributes to or causes divorce. I think it could do both. (I’m in way over my head here and I’m trying to find a graceful way out.) The best I can tell, healthy self-esteem is a good thing. Ego is not. And if my self-esteem goes too far in either direction, the ego takes over. Once my ego takes over, I do things that are not good for me. If what I’m doing is not good for me, then it’s probably not good for my relationships.
So…When D started to have an affair with S, he started avoiding and neglecting me. Over a period of time his inattention eroded my self-esteem. Once my self-esteem became wounded (unhealthy), I started acting in a way that further damaged our relationship and our marriage. That’s one scenario. Another might be that I was already operating on too much ego and that might have been the reason he strayed. Or maybe not. I don’t really like that scenario. (Ego?)
Bottom line–I can’t analyze, in retrospect, the ego of D, nor of S, nor even my own with any degree of accuracy. Therefore this exercise in self-esteem/ego is a waste of time. To quote an elderly priest D and I used to listen to when we were on the road together: “It matters not how the donkey got in the ditch. Just get him out.”
I hereby promise myself that I will give up the search for what caused it and just get myself out of the ditch. I mean it!
Hi Pat. Just catching up on my reading. I love this post. I run a series of workshops on self confidence building and it always hurts me to see how many women are stripped of their self confidence by unthinking others aka men. I am sure you are on the right track and with your friends in the blogosphere cheering you on, you can’t fail 🙂
So much has to do with feelings. Let me tell you, Pat, how I handled it when I felt neglected. First of all I felt terribly unworthy. Then I was told, God loves me. So if God loves me, how can I be unworthy? I think, this consept gradually built up my self-esteem.
Thank you, Uta. I have a friend who tells me that on a regular basis. And I, too, have to remind myself often. I also try to remind myself that God also loves those who hurt me. Not an easy concept at first, but the truth, nevertheless.
Thank you for reading and commenting. It means a lot.
–I love your last sentence…
“”I mean it!””
Excellent. :)) X
Thanks, Chicky. I borrowed that line from Helen of “HelenandMargaret” blog fame. I think I gave her credit the last time. I think it’s a great line. If you’re a left-wing liberal politics junkie, as I am, check her out. She’s hilarious.
Actually it’s margaretandhelen.wordpress.com
“It matters not how the donkey got in the ditch. Just get him out.”
This is a wonderful quote, and very true 🙂
Good luck with getting the donkey out 😉
Hi W.R. Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment. You’re always welcome here.
I think I’m finally ready to “get him out.”
Now I’m off to check out your blog. 🙂
It’s interesting to read your thoughts on this Pat. So much stays with us as we go through these things that are hard to put down without feeling we’ve fully understood them. In the end though we can really only understand them from our own perspective – and that’s only part of the equation. For some reason, although not connected your post prompted me to remember a story about two monks walking along by a river. They passed a young woman who needed assistance to cross, so one of the monks lifted her up and carried her across the river. The second monk questioned the monk about his actions stating at length that he felt that it was inappropriate for him to have helped the woman. The monk listened as they walked and when his monk friend had finished he simply said – I put the woman down back there on the bank, it’s you who is still carrying her around.
The monk story reminded me of how I was for a long time about my life with my ex – I was that monk who was still carrying ‘it’ around as I walked along the bank. If I recall at the time it felt like a bloody long walk.
Onwards and upwards to you. Oh and if you need a hand with that donkey just shout 😉
I’ve read that story too – just recently – a whole book of metaphors
And Pat as I’ve been reminded again today. We each have our own map of the world which we’ve created, based on how we learnt things as we grew up and the experiences and filters we apply, so there are no truths only the truth as we see it. Which won’t be the way D sees it as his map is different.
You’re right, Caroline. There are three “truths” here; thus there is no truth. And the truth is I wish it didn’t take me so long to learn the truth. Now I’ve sidetracked my brain as I wonder how many times I can use the word “truth” in one sentence or paragraph. Okay, okay, enough already.
Thanks for your keen insight.
Hi Jacqueline. I love the monk story. Some of us (me) have to carry it longer than others. Eventually we get used to the load or we make a decision to unload, get rid of it. I’m consciously choosing the latter. It takes vigilance. It’s so easy to fall back–comfort in our misery or something like that.
As always thanks for your thoughtful comment.