…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!