Ego - The Spark that starts Worry
Four times this week I had "anxiety flare-ups" and every time was because of ego. I define an anxiety flare-up as anytime I have the feeling of being scared for no reason. It usually lasts only moments but during these times the feeling is felt deeply and completely.
At these times, thinking "Wow look I don't feel good right now. Hey, Stuff-Happens", actually keeps me from making things worse (projecting into the future that I will always feel this way and getting worried and depressed by the thought). However, I started to dig deeper as to why these useless feelings arise in the first place.
I'm not that important - Actually I'm not important at all
Ego is usually defined as "distinguishing oneself from others". Basically thinking "I am God. I am the center of he universe". I have found this seductive mental position to always be destructive and that my anxiety is directly related to my level of perceived self-importance.
To say "I am not important at all" is a statement few would agree with, however, let me ask you, how important are my problems to the rest of us? Ok that's not fair because perhaps we think that my ruminations about my problems can be helpful to us (see it's all about "us"). What about my problems last week that I have no intention of ever blogging about? Ahh now we have found something that "the rest of us" really find totally unimportant.
So if *I* think that my "problems" are important, it really is just an "artificial world" that I have built up around myself where, because I am so important (it IS my world after all), that any problems are "Important".
This would not be a problem if it were not the cause for my anxiety and worry (yes these are both the same thing).
And what are my problems? My problems are all in the future. ALL of my problems, no exceptions. Wait, isn't the fact that I did not pay the rent a problem from the past and a problem right now? No, the "problem" is in he future, right now I am perhaps standing on the sidewalk surrounded by all my things after getting evicted. Any worry I have is over where I will sleep tonight, in the future.
Right "Now", I am standing there holding my cat and a a lamp. If I worry, I am trying to "predict the future". I "predict" that I will end up cold and hungry tonight and that my cat will be angry at me.
however, it turns out that I will simply spend the night with friends and my cat will only be mildly upset at me.
Taking ourselves too seriously is why we feel we deserve to know the future
I think the root of our fears, is that we may feel that things will change and something - anything, "bad" (something we don't like) will happen (this of course is the opposite of Stuff-Happens).
Author Daniel Gilbert points out "What We Don’t Know Makes Us Nervous", meaning, it's not the bad news, but the fact that we may get bad news, or rather that we cannot say for sure that we wont get bad news, that makes us worry. But, why do we feel as if we SHOULD know wether we will receive good or bad news at all?
Isn't this our Ego rising? Perhaps I need to recognize that if I do not accept that I cannot see into the future, I am suffering from an inflated Ego?
Currently this site gets no visitors
Seriously, this site has been up for over a week and currently this site gets no visitors. I mean none. If you're reading this, you're probably the first person to read it other than me. I am enjoying this because I don't have any popularity to maintain, so I currently don't have the problems of maintaining it (the lack of popularity I mean). The site is just a place for my thoughts.
One day this may change and I will need to suppress my Ego so I can avoid worrying about "falling in popularity". Or maybe I will never have any problems because I will never have any visitors.