The words of French philosopher and Jesuit priest Pierre Teilhard de Chardin have become a New Age cliché: We are not humans having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience. Unfortunately, what gives us the opportunity to have a human experience is the ego-mind separating us from our divine essence. So what good is it to know that you’re a spiritual being if you don’t get to actualize this truth in the unfolding of your life?
What difference does this concept make if you can’t transcend the sensory perception to which the ego attaches, pushing you to act in ways that not only further disconnect you from yourself, but also lead to outcomes you don’t want or dynamics that alienate those you love? As long as the ego-mind is in control of your perception, your choices will be triggered by unresolved emotions, intense desires, and unconscious impulses. You want loving relationships, but it’s difficult to control the reactions that often lead to arguments and result in anger, disappointment, and self-pity, which later also bring guilt and sadness.
Most of these negative impulses come from wounded needs, that is, needs that weren’t met while growing up: to be loved, nurtured, heard, appreciated, guided, and so on. Why? Because your parents carried similar wounded needs and rather than taking responsibility for their own healing, they unconsciously expected you to fulfill them—just like their parents did, and all family generations before yours. Once wounded, your needs distort into compulsive behaviors and responses to compensate for the lack of love you carry from the past.
Your soul chose, in perfect synchronicity, the best environment to help you continue evolving on your journey, by healing the past and resolving negative tendencies. Your parents became the vehicles through which you reactivated those you shared with them, as your ego-mind was formed in early childhood. But this didn’t end there; that was just the beginning of a series of repetitive, painful dynamics bringing you back to the same unfulfilled emotional needs.
Keeping you in these mental loops is how your ego-mind remains in control of your perception. You get triggered when a wounded need is poked, then you react from that emotional place, expecting others to heal it for you with a behavior that would counter what caused the wound; but since they’re acting from their own wounded needs, your expectations aren’t met and you experience the same feelings of childhood, which reinforces your wounded needs again and again.
Of those wounded needs, the need to be right is at the forefront of your ego-mind’s sabotaging strategies. What distinguishes ego from your soul, or your human experience from your spiritual being, is the need to control—other people, past circumstances, behaviors, life itself, and of course, your self-perception. Even if you can’t change anything on the outside, this need turns into projections, judgments, and imaginary acts of righteousness.
It also becomes a destructive tendency compounded with all your other wounded needs. If you weren’t loved or heard or appreciated, there must be something wrong with you, so now you have to prove everyone else wrong by being always right. If you think about it, this need is behind most religious, moral, political, judiciary, and educational systems in the world, since the world is ruled by ego.
The problem is, if you want to experience peace and love in your life and relationships, you have to nurture your wounded needs yourself, to develop a more mature and flexible self-perception. Control goes against the flow of life, and unresolved needs go against the flow of love. You may feel strong and proud to be ‘right’ in the moment, but you’ll also pay the price of alienating those you care about and blocking what you really yearn for: your divine nature, which is love, light, and freedom.
Truth is individual calculation based on individual experience and perception. To open up to the possibilities of more enjoyable relationships, in creative cooperation and balanced responsibility, you must let go of the ego-mind that wants to be in control. Here are a few signs you can use as reference points to recognize when you’ve slid into ego-mind territory during a discussion or argument, fueled by the need to be right:
- You raise your voice or talk over the other person.
- You tend to use the words ‘never’ and/or ‘always.’
- You stop listening and make it all about you.
- You point the finger or dismiss the other person’s opinions or feelings.
- You focus on who’s at fault rather than finding a solution or mutual understanding.
- You curse, swear or lash out.
During an argument you’re likely to notice these read flags in the other person as well, because once you’re both in ego-mind territory, you’re pulled into similar patterns where the need to be right takes over the issue at hand and your individual feelings. So it’s time to take a deep breath, step back to look at the bigger picture, and ask yourself, “How can I lead the conversation to a peaceful outcome without being pulled into old, self-defeating patterns?”
The answer is simple: with openness, love, and empathy, but this is difficult to implement until you resolve your own need to be right. Otherwise, it will continue to drag you to anger and judgment, as well as the disappointment of old expectations. Thinking you can change someone else’s behavior to meet your needs is a delusion of the ego-mind meant to keep you in a wounded emotional place. So contact me today to start the self-exploration and healing needed to develop emotional and spiritual freedom, and create a life of love!
© 2018 Yol Swan. All rights reserved.