Step One and A Dance with the Ego

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An ego response is always an inadequate or even wrong response to the moment. It will not deepen or broaden life, love or inner laughter. Your ego self is always attached to mere externals since it has no inner substance itself. The ego defines itself by its attachments and revulsions. The soul does not attach nor does it hate; it desires and loves and lets go.” Breathing Under Water Spirituality and the Twelve Steps

Truth…a few years ago, I was a total ego centric self centered ass. As in, I thought I had it sooooo together, and I was sooooo enlightened, and sooooooo impressed by accomplishment, and soooooo into what other people of thought of me and the appearance that I gave. Ego…the royal suchness and soooooness of the Ego.

This manifested in all sorts of unhealthy ways. Embarrassing ways…self serving, grandiose ways. Fast forward two years later, a few break down type moments (yes…I experienced a panic attack for the first time), and the career that propelled me into a new and different understanding of myself, people, addiction, and the false precepts that most of us are running around with.

To admit powerlessness is the scariest thing in the world…and strangely peaceful. It feels very much like the time when I almost drown at the age of 9. There we were in the ocean, my family was off with my brother a few waves over. A storm was coming in and the waves kept hitting me down and finally I got pulled under and I couldn’t get up, the undertow was so strong. I remember very clearly the utter terror of not being able to breathe, and struggling, then a moment when I realized, I was going to die, and I let go and opened my mouth to breathe in the water and the strangest calm came over me. And after that, whatever was holding me down, let got and I popped back up to the surface and swam to the beach and vomited up sand for several minutes.

I go back to that memory much these days…powerlessness and the act of surrendering to that, to something greater then myself, probably saved my life. Maybe that’s one of the great lessons here, to save your life…you have to give it up.

“There is only one thing you can change…”
“Yourself.”
“Yes serenity prayer.”

S smiled at me.

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