Most people do not know that it is possible to live without ego controlling our emotions and behavior. Transcending the ego is far easier than living with it—it’s just that people don’t know exactly what the ego is and what it does.
So here are my top 12 signs that a person is stuck in the egoic state of existence:
- You are afraid. Worried thoughts that are believed cause panic and fear, which leads to stress, loss of sleep, ineffectiveness, and exhaustion.
- You get angry or attack. If something that someone else does causes your heartbeat to accelerate, pulls you into an argument, or leads to any sort of mad reaction, then you’re still giving control of your life to the ego.
- There is someone you have not forgiven fully. Non-forgiveness is always the ego’s attempt to blame something external for the suffering that, in fact, it is causing.
- You don’t enjoy the present moment. Your mind keeps pulling you to problems or situations of the past or to worries and hopes about the future. Now never quite feels good enough or right.
- You experience wild emotional swings of ups and downs. Every thrill or high (which you usually get from an escape or boost to your pride) is followed by a low that is even more severe (depression).
- You feel the need to change the world to be happy. You tend to control other people and situations—and get frustrated when it doesn’t work.
- You are jealous, suspicious, and afraid to trust. You are taking personally what other people might choose to do for their own reasons. You feel that someone is going to cause you harm—that they are against you.
- You attach a set of rules and expectations to love. That isn’t love; it’s an arrangement. Real love is unconditional, open, and accepting without any limits.
- You break or avoid relationships. The ego always seeks salvation by separating from others. When your ego gets bruised, you run.
- You are frequently ill or suffer from an addiction that makes you feel lousy.
- You feel a need to be right or better than others. The ego will argue, debate, brag, or do whatever it takes to prove superiority. Obviously, this is harmful to relationships.
- You lie. The ego believes it can keep its own reality hidden. Of course, lies are always eventually exposed and, in reality, do not work.
This is not a perfect list. In fact, I could easily add 12 more symptoms of ego—all of which are considered perfectly normal in this insane world. Nonetheless, anyone can see that the ego causes problems that nobody would want if there were a choice. There is a choice.
If I recognize any of these signs in me, I observe it, acknowledge that it is ego, and re-commit to aligning my thought system to perfect love. Others choose a conscious practice of present moment awareness. A practice of always telling the truth and wanting only truth will also destroy the ego.
If you can break any of these habits, then the ego is losing its grip. If you can love unconditionally, if you can eliminate fear, if you no longer feel anger or jealousy sweeping over you, if you no longer feel the need to debate, if you can forgive everyone by seeing error and trying to lovingly help the correction—then you are one of the millions of people in the world who have awakened from the ego, which has been the cause of all the world’s problems for several thousand years. By merely look at ego and recognizing the illness, we can evolve beyond it.