It’s the strangest of things really. In my last blog I talked about the fact that I am not religious ‘per se’ but that I have spiritual leanings. After this blog I experienced my first hateful comment since starting writing back in 2013. This highlights how some religious people can be judgemental. I hid the comment and Chris told me not to take it personally. But I did take it personally. Not once, since losing Rowan in that horrendous accident back in 2012, had I consciously ever been critical of others in my writing. I have discussed all manner of things but have always been open to others’ views. This tiny comment set up a huge physical and emotional reaction in me! I can fully understand how religious wars begin!
Why did this one-sentence comment hurt me so much? I have thought about it long and hard. I think it was my ego that was dented!
This drives me to search out the word ‘ego’. What is ego? The definition of Ego in the ‘Urban Dictionary’ appeals to me:-
Ego – The part of you that defines itself as a personality, separates itself from the outside world, and considers itself (read: you) a separate entity from the rest of nature and the cosmos. Perhaps necessary for survival in some evolutionary bygone, in modern times it leads only to (albeit often disguised) misanthropic beliefs and delusion.
In short, “I.”
Ego is responsible for hate, fear, and delusion.
Yes, it was definitely ego that made me react so intensely to this one-liner!
I started writing this blog because I was told that it would be therapeutic for me to do so. I was also told that my experiences just might be able to help others travelling a similar journey. Ego didn’t come into the initial equation; I started this writing to help me process my grief, to try to help Chris and Francis, and if it helped others along the way then this was a pleasing spin-off. My intention was, in no way, to be acclaimed as a font of knowledge; to have people hang on my every word and believe them! What I write is just personal to me.
I have read that there are seven distinct features of ‘ego’:-
• Self-depreciation (undervaluing yourself)
• Self-destruction (sabotaging/punishing/harming yourself)
• Martyrdom (believing yourself to be persecuted/victimised/oppressed)
• Stubbornness (resisting any form of change in your life)
• Greed (selfish overindulgence)
• Arrogance (overvaluing or inflating yourself)
Have I changed since I started writing this blog some seventeen months ago? I suppose I have. I feel like I have learned a lot. This learning has helped me to come to terms with the death of one of the five most important people to have ever been, or whoever will be a part of my life. The death of a child cannot, in any way, be compared to the death of any other family member. I was devastated when I lost my father; he died early at the age of sixty and I was very close to him. I was devastated when my mother died at the grand age of eighty two; she was my very best girlfriend and life-long nurturer. But I still cannot put into words the total and complete pain, anguish and torment that Rowan’s death caused me. There aren’t words enough to describe the agony and ache this has caused.
Rowan’s death has helped my ego though. The stubbornness of resisting any form of change in my life disappeared with him. What could be more life-changing than losing one of my three beautiful boys? I have adapted and the fear of change has dissipated. Arrogance is not something I suffer from; self-depreciation maybe. Perhaps this writing has given me a feeling of worth; a feeling that I might be able to help others. Self-destruction could have been a bi-product of Rowie’s death but I chose to take the other turn in the road. Greed; selfish overindulgence – yes I am guilty. I can never satisfy my desire for bacon! I enjoy food and I enjoy feeding people. In this instance my ego and I are comfortable with each other. Martyrdom; why yes! The other day when I hid a comment on this blog I did feel victimised – but I have worked through it.
I am learning that spirituality and ego can walk hand in hand – it’s just a matter of encouraging that ego to be a positive influence in my life.