A HEALTHY EGO –
allows me to flourish
PREVIOUS: Healthy S & I – #2
See ACRONYM page for abbrev.
EGO: The way Spirit has of expressing its uniqueness, so without Ego you as an individual would not exist. Therefore they go hand in hand. It’s “the Individuated consciousness of Infinite Being…. and a distinct personality apart from universal consciousness”, says Enoch Tan, in Dream Manifesto
To successfully S & I we need a HEALTHY EGO. It’s the source of our overall physical, emotional & mental health, in relationship with ourselves & to others. Modern psychologists often replace EGO with “confidence, self-esteem, self-awareness”.
➼ It’s unfortunate that most people misuse Ego to mean ‘arrogant, self-centered, conceited, limiting’…. & therefore a bad thing! Since it’s almost always incorrectly equated with the real problem of adult narcissism, its original meaning has been forgotten. We hear this in 12-Step programs, therapy, ‘spiritual’ literature, even famous people – talking about the pitfalls of ego, such as ‘Oprah’s Lifeclass: The False Power of Ego’
These labels are not correct. The ‘character defects’ being referred to come from our PP or WIC aspects. Neither of those internal ego-states have healthy egos! Wounded people are said to have damaged egos, split-personalities have multiple egos & psychopaths have fractured egos. NOT having a strong, clear ego causes us to be victims or absers!
NOTE: AA’s 3rd Step says: “Made a decision to turn our will & our lives over to the care of God, as we understood Him”.
In this context, the focus is on the word will. What will? Who’s will? ACoAs are afraid of this Step because it feels like volunteering for slavery to yet another authority figure – in this case the “ultimate” one.
It’s one reason why so many of us reject all religious or spiritual connection, or are drawn to paths that don’t include a specific God-person. The WIC is still functioning from the feeling that “God is an alcoholic parent” & therefore unsafe
• Before Recovery (& even during) ACoAs don’t have actual free will – no matter how headstrong, arrogant or genuinely accomplished. As long as we’re still run by the Toxic Rules, our will is not our own, controlled by the Negative Introject, which the WIC is passionately devoted to.
So, the point of S & I is to find & express our True Self, by no longer obeying the PP.
• A NORMAL (healthy) EGO is the ‘eyes’ we use to see the world. IT IS the :
🌱 aspect that lets us become strong, loving, valuable, contributing members of society, both at work & in relationships – the foundation for “emotional intelligence”
🌱 adult / reality part of ourselves, the “I” that chooses what to think, feel & act
🌱 part that’s separate from our own thoughts, & from the Self of others
🌱 natural capacity for attention, concentration, memory, motor coordination, language & perception. It is NOT something to get rid of!
• According to Freud, EGO functions on the Reality Principle, ‘sitting’ mainly in the pre-conscious & conscious, but its strong ties to the id means it also interacts with the unconscious. (id = socially or spiritual unacceptable desires)
Ego is the part of the ‘psychic apparatus’ that works to achieve a balance between the id’s anti-social wishes & our personal standards via the superego. It prevents us from automatically acting on id-urges, while working to satisfy them in realistic & appropriate ways. This is done through a variety of defense mechanisms, in 4 levels, from worst to best: —-> Pathological, Immature, Neurotic, Mature. (MORE…. )
Healthy Ego mediates conflicts between the demands of the:
• id – the chaotic, impulsive, unconscious part of us, which is instinctive & totally unreasonable (young narcissistic child)
• superego – the incorporated values of family & society which become our own Conscience & Ideal Self (Loving OR Bad Internal Parent)
• reality – the current social & physical environment
EXP: If someone cuts you off in traffic, the Healthy Ego :
✨ prevents you from chasing down the car & physically attacking the offender (altruism)
✨ tells you that reaction would harm you & the other person, which is unacceptable (identification), that —
✨ there are other more appropriate ways of venting frustration, & is in control of your choices (sublimation)
Psychologist Kit Yarrow says: “A person with a healthy ego is able to see their flaws, learn from their mistakes and forgive themselves. They allow others to know them, rather than only see their surface. Because they do – they feel loved. They act purposefully rather than react emotionally to stressful people & situations.”
NEXT: S & I – Ego, (Part 2)