GrasshopperNotes.com - Thoughts for inspired living


March 11, 2008

MY-ism

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 8:39 am

I never fully appreciated until last night how the concept of “My” is so painful.

I was watching the Eckhart Tolle and Oprah Winfrey webinar at Oprah.com last night and received an AH-HA moment. While waiting for the class to begin, they were showing footage of a woman who was discussing the end of a long marriage. Her husband left. She said she had been resisting the break-up for a long time and had finally found some peace with the situation by reading Tolle’s book, A NEW EARTH.

Then the program began. The discussion was about the ego and how it forms in us as little children when we associate a form – a person, place, or thing with the word “My.” It then becomes part of who we are. In the case of a child, the association with “my” could start with a toy. When the toy is taken away or lost, the child experiences having a piece of its identity taken away. This separation causes suffering.

Fast forward to being an adult. These associations become “my husband,” “my wife,” “my garden,” “my car,” and so on.

The word “my” also denotes ownership which is helpful in sorting out the neighborhood trash cans after a wind storm, but is less functional when discussing something which we have married our identity to.

The enlightening moment for me was how much emotional pain is associated to “my” when it is no longer “yours.” It reminded me of a phrase my mother used to use. She would say, “Children are only lent to you.” You could substitute anything from the temporary world of form in place of the word “children” in my Mom’s quote and have a spiritual mantra on which to meditate.

All forms are temporary and when we make them a part of who we think we are, we suffer.

I finally recognized the source of the pain that had been so prevalent in me for a long time. It came from the concept of “My.”

The structure of every ego contains this concept of ownership and the identification with persons, places and things as being mine.

This is not a treatise on eliminating “my” from the dictionary or our everyday language or to renounce your possessions. This is more of a signpost to recognize the workings of the ego. Recognize that it is a false identity pretending to be you. Every time you add another “my” to the ego’s collection, you strengthen it. Then every time a “my” says “goodbye” you suffer.

You are not your thoughts or collection of possessions. You are the witnessing┬ápresence that can observe the ego at work. Each time you notice, you create a little space for more of the real you to come in. This presence doesn’t require the universal cocktail known as “My-High” to feel alive.

All the best,

John

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