I am a creature in transition. I am somewhere between a fictional version of myself that I have created to keep Love away, and the real Self that I truly Am and was Created to be. This is a precarious position. For I know the beauty of the person I am becoming: his confidence, his appearance, his lifestyle, his masculine grace. When I finally become the Man I am inside, I will be happy and truly at Peace. I will be a “success,” both in the material sense and within myself, as measured by my personal, innermost yardsticks. I will be perfectly conformed to Love, and this I will love everyone and everything. My life will be absolutely filled with Love.
And yet, I suffer because I cannot completely relinquish the old “me” so that I can be fully Myself. While working through my pain, I find that time and again I need to numb it with something: a bad habit, or a self-denying/self-destructive pattern of thought, or throwing myself into some job or other context that I really don’t intrinsically enjoy or care about. Inevitably, I displace myself such that I feel the need to grow a shell of falsity. I adopt the patterns and mannerisms of my present context such that I “fit in” while denying some important side of me, serving to hold me back from being my fullness. In short, I habitually compromise Myself.
I do this out of Fear. Deep inside, I love everyone and I am afraid to be something that they cannot love in return. Some misguided part of me thinks that the only way to secure love is to reflect the people whom I want to love me. This is only true for the incredibly egotistical. Indeed, these are the people whose love simply is not worth the effort. Those caught in self-absorption are not capable of loving outside of themselves in a satisfactory fashion. They must examine themselves thoroughly, either to discover who they are, or as an obsessive effort to keep from discovering who they are. Either way, they are so tuned into themselves that they simply cannot pick up other frequencies. I know, because I’ve been there, and this is the very pattern to which I return to keep from really connecting with the people in my life. I re-grow my ego.
Ego can be very adaptive. Surely, if we all went around being completely emotionally present and in full Selfness, we could not maintain our very depressing present reality. We would be forced to love ourselves and each other such that we would cease to torture ourselves altogether. For whatever reason, we seem to feel as if we cannot, as a species, handle that yet. We’re not ready for the Truth, so to speak. We’re not ready to be happy, in Love, and at Peace. And so, while we continue to subject ourselves to misery, we develop these coping mechanisms that enable us to persist through soul-crushing circumstances. We find ways to ease or numb the pain. We produce second-selves that act as our personal utility vehicles for the road of Life. We do not have to worry about speedbumps or even pitfalls, for we are secure inside a big machine with a hard shell. As long as we stay inside, nothing can truly hurt us. Our very existence requires that we suppress our pain and carry on when we really need to break down. We cannot take the time to take care of ourselves when there are mouths to feed and bills to pay. And so, we build a plush habitat that allows us to continue playing the Game while we slowly kill ourselves inside of it. It’s what we “have” to do.
But in reality—Reality—we never have to have an ego. It’s always a choice. Truth be told, it’s always a bad choice. For Ego is the ultimate Enemy, the Devil Himself, if you will. It is the enemy on the inside, the “treason from within,” in the words of Lauryn Hill. She continues that it “won’t be happy ‘til it sees the death of Me.” As you persist in ego and continue to deny your Self, you will inevitably adopt self-destructive habits that outwardly display your inner suicidality. In you completely relinquish yourself to ego, you will eventually quite literally self-destruct. Submitting to Fear is submitting to Death, in the truest sense.
And so, ultimately, becoming yourself requires that you kill your ego, before it can kill you. This is not an easy task, and it is the one I have adopted as my present ultimate goal. I can tell you that it is quite a tumultuous process, and one that can make you feel absolutely insane. One moment, you are completely filled with Love, being your true Self, and serving as a beacon of Light and a source of warmth for all around you. The very next you may find yourself in an uncontrollable fit of sadness or anger or some other deplorable state. I go from being a kind-hearted dispenser of Truth to a rotten lying prick, all within the same day. There’s so much instability that I sometimes wonder if I’ll ever feel sane or even real again. This process is a full-time job, and yet I find myself with material, so-called “real world” obligations that distract me from my Self-cultivation. This is not an easy path, and it involves above all else a spirit of sacrifice, but this is My path, and I have chosen to bear My Cross. All the pain is mine and I know beyond knowing that letting it come through me is my only real option.
For pain is the very stuff of becoming, of growing. This process, though agonizingly unpredictable and tumultuous, is the only way in which I can become the Man I am. It is my role to kill my ego on the ground, as a real human being. I must do so gradually, so that the process can be successful and the results lasting. I must fully submit to Self and become a beacon for Truth, Beauty, and Love for all the world to see. By allowing my very being to become a pure expression of God’s Love, I will demonstrate to those who know me and/or experience my presence that they, too, can have the joy and fulfillment of Divine existence. I will remind people of their own divinity, and bring others to the paradise of ego-lessness. Or, rather, I will let the Almighty pull them through me.
And so, I welcome this process of becoming and all of its requisite pain. Indeed, I love it, for this is the very substance of Life. Life is always a process of becoming, and so there is always pain. It is in the Next Life that we will simultaneously know existence and painlessness. Life as we know it is pain, and so I embrace my life and my pain with open arms. I know that these memories that are my present will one day be as precious as treasure to me. When I exist in ego-lessness, all of this will be as a dream. I will lose memory of pain; I will have Heaven-on-Earth.
But for now, I simply am not ready. There is more that I need to experience, more pain that must chip away at my ego as a chisel removes the excess marble to reveal the beautiful sculpture beneath. I am getting there: I feel it, I trust it, and I know it. But there’s no need to rush, and indeed the timing is not mine to decide anyway. The destination is glorious, but the road possesses its own unique beauty. Though I often feel as a weary traveler on a treacherous and impossibly long, winding path, I know that the destination awaits, and all of this will be worth it in the end.
And so: I have learned that in order to simply be, I must first become. And yet, in order to become, I must be. Becoming is a cursed paradox, and the excruciating reality of my present. But one day, I will let go and truly be. And my, won’t that be glorious!