At various times yesterday I felt a growing sense of panic or dis-ease. Each time I would stop and ask myself, ‘where is this coming from?’ There was nothing in my day that should have caused those feelings, so I was stumped.

Over several hours, though, I was able to come to an understanding of the forces beneath the many layers. I was feeling unsettled about our housing search. Not about the house we were placing an offer on…but about whether we could put together the needed funds for downpayment and closing costs. And whether we were worthy.

And that’s where my thoughts about Ego began. Ego, it seems to me, drives us to be overly concerned about perception. I realized that I began to worry about how I was being perceived by our realtor and the various loan officers I was speaking with. Why? because I was asking lots of questions and being very upfront about my concern over having the right amount of funds for closing.

Apparently my Ego-self worried about how they would perceive me because of this. And it wasn’t even that I worried that they would think us poor. We are frugal. Frugality allows to live on one income. If someone wants to judge us as poor because of this, let them.

Nope, my ‘fear’ was that I was being seen as foolish. This is a big one for my Ego-self…I hate to be seen the fool.

But as I dissected this, I came to see that I needn’t care. If another person sees me as foolish for asking questions and being honest, so be it. I am not responsible for the perception. I am responsible for living an authentic life.

Ah, the stress started melting away.

I will endeavor, through this process and beyond, to speak my own truths about the choices we have made for our family. If a person wishes to view me as poor or foolish or just plain wrong, what does it matter to my own sense of self?

Am I on the right path for myself and my family? That’s my only question.

The Ego is all about control…control of perception, control of situations, control of variables. Desire to control everything leads to stress. Inability to control everything leads to more stress. Need to control everything speaks to a basic distrust, of oneself, of others, of the universe. The Ego believes that all of life is a zero-sum game and that one must always struggle to get enough before others use it all up.

That is a sad way to live. It is a way I reject. 

I am grateful that when my Ego attempts to exert control, I feel dis-ease. Because it is my early warning system. And balance can be regained.

peacefully and prayfully,
Mary

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