I have not come into contact with anyone who is free of ego. While one of the goals of Buddhism is to understand there is no self, or a being apart from all other beings; I haven’t fully gotten to that moment yet. The intellectual side of my mind understands most of the concepts of Buddhism; identifying as a person with a name and purpose, and having an ego that still wants some recognition has stalled me in my forward momentum. In truth, I reconcile not fully adopting Buddhism as I know I can with the likelihood I am not supposed to be enlightened in this cycle of Samsara. I’m pretty much twisting reincarnation to fit my unwillingness to do what I actually feel is good for me because I’m still clinging to the material world and self. One such clinging takes form in my position as the wise one with my friends, and it’s even pissing me off.
A couple of my friends have expressed agitation with my Buddhist perspective sometimes (click here). They ask me not to be as positive when they are going through hard times because they want to vent and experience that pain in that moment (another article I wrote on the topic). I have respected those feelings because I really only want to be the person that shares my thoughts when asked to. I have become a better active listener, as well as recognizing silent cues to inform me of the next move they seem to want. If all else fails, I just ask them straight out if they are looking for my thoughts or just want to vent, which has saved a lot of time and confusion. But as I see my friends work through their problems, it recently struck me they are using phrases and knowledge I had shared with them a few times before, but crediting either another person or themselves with this discovery, to which I was less than thrilled.
In most of those circumstances I expressed joy on their realization, and I was genuinely happy if only to save me from repeating myself in later pep talks. But underneath I was pretty pissed I spent the time to listen to their problems, drop off pearls I had acquired through dedicated study, and received no credit whatsoever. I am proud I at least was able to stop myself from blurting out my truth, but I am less than proud for feeling the need to at all. Yes, I know the best part of all of this is my friends relief from whatever pain or bad situation they were in at the time, but it didn’t stop me from feeling as though I served no purpose at all.
My purpose, I feel, is to be that wise sage to my friends and those I come in contact with. I’m not saying that as ego, but as a proven experience with many people. I have been told and praised for the advice and knowledge I have shared with many people, causing me to want to continue on that path which seem to fit my essence. If I didn’t admit joy in being helpful, many would be fine with me wanting to move in this direction, and take on this huge responsibility of healer and confidant. But now I’m being honest about my current feelings, and I am upset my friends are finding truth in words I had already expressed to them multiple times with no recognition from them of my helpfulness. As I stated before, I’m not proud of it but the feelings are there and I have to own them to resolve them.
My thoughts now are on my path and why I am a bit strict on said path. I use to be a pretty mean kid and semi adult in my 20s. I felt smarter than most people, and loved mental attacks over physical when I felt threatened. I began to feel the reason for my setbacks were my attitude, and the danger of having someone with such negative tendency in a position to cause more pain. I guess to make myself feel better for not being the success I saw myself as in the past, I constructed a narrative of me needing first to conquer my demons, soften, and then I would be able to continue on my path without major issues. I still feel that way, and with my issues with recognition and ego, I feel I am not moving as fast or as much as I thought before this revelation.
Then I begin to think, why am I so important that the Universe would spend so much time making sure I walk a better path than others. There are many people who steal and con others, who make laws that impede civil liberties, and kill and cause mass destruction. Why wouldn’t the Universe be more concerned with them? Well, it’s not for me to really decide or even bother with knowing; however feeling as though I have a purpose has given me the strength to weather my own hard times. I feel I can and will amount to something, being a help for others, and a light in the darkness for those who might have struggled as I have. The main thing I have to remember is I am a work in progress, allow to fail as long as I continue recognizing I can also adjust and improved my perceived weaknesses.
I want nothing but the best for my friends and all beings on the planet. I pray and meditation on both daily and will until my consciousness reaches Nirvana. I know I will continue to work on my ego issues and nurturing that need to shout my accolades until that need is extinguished. I don’t like using the term I’m only human because it takes away choice to be better than what is thought of in all of us.
Instead I say, I’m working towards my full potential that is made by the Universe.