Are your cravings becoming addictive? If so, you need to know what the ego’s up to.
Today, we live in an intoxicated, stimulated society where the craving for highs and thus lows…have become the norm. This way of life has become so normal and familiar…that we often don’t realize the impact these extremes are having on our life as well as our health. Know this for sure, this state of mind is certainly not our natural, peaceful state.
Generation after generation, we’ve learned to live the ego’s life in all its ups & downs, only leading us toward more suffering. This insatiable ego entity we tolerate, craves more and more 24/7. The ego is so insatiable, it behaves like an addiction. The ego thrives on suffering to feed itself. Any satisfaction it gets is fleeting, and the hunger never ends, leaving us little time for rest or enjoyment.
Unfortunately, we’ve been taught to allow the ego to have its way. Rarely do we tell it no. It’s like allowing a spoiled child to wreak havoc in our lives. Let’s be clear…this is what the ego does. The ego takes us over with its compulsive nature, and this is when we “think” we’re trapped. Because we’re not aware, the ego continues to take us over with its unending desires and we become more deeply unconscious. So much so that most of us don’t know how to stop the thoughts. It’s this unrelenting cycle that repeats itself, over and over again.
Yes…we’ve been conditioned to live in a mind run by the ego; it’s become a habit for most of us, and for some even an addiction. The addictive and compulsive habit of thinking thoughts can be so painful at times, it leads us to escape in any way possible for relief.
We reach for things outside ourselves to sooth the upset inside. Sometimes it’s a behavior that gives us the numbing effect or a high, while other times it’s a chemical we seek. This is what it takes to relieve us of the pain the ego is creating in our lives.
Take a look at some of the common ways we seek relief from the ego: love, approval, chocolate, tobacco, medication, potato chips, ice cream, alcohol, sex, praise, prohibited drugs, gambling, attention, exercise, pornography, relationships, and shopping to name a few.
The ego tempts us with these distractions and more to keep us in this vicious cycle so it can fuel itself, stay alive and in charge. This is how the ego uses us to feed itself. It’s painful and draining. In fact, it has become a nightmare for too many of us. There’s no end to its troublemaking. Living the ego’s life is exactly what causes our pain, craving, and the desire to escape.
“The attempt to escape from pain, is what creates more pain.” ~ Dr. Gabor Maté
The ego constantly reminds us of the past and tempts us with the future. Over and over again, it repeats the same thoughts day in and day out. It feeds on the experience of incessant thoughts that are turned into an endless mind-stream that just doesn’t seem to shut-up. This is where we get stuck in the insanity of experiencing the same thoughts only to get more of the same. We’ve been living the ego’s life for far too long and at a heavy price.
Let’s take a closer look at what’s going on. Notice the egoic behavior is cyclical, so it doesn’t end…unless we recognize it and interrupt. It starts with pain and ends with pain, only to repeat itself.
PAIN – CRAVING – ENGAGE – PLEASURE & RELEIF – NEGATIVE CONSEQUENES – CAN’T STOP BEHAVIOR –
PAIN…the cycle repeats itself again and again.
Remember, we fall for the ego’s lies because we’re tempt-able…or interested, yet we can change our mind by growing beyond the hold the ego seems to have over us. Regardless, we’re not the ego’s victim. It only has the power we give it.
Yes, listening to our thoughts is just a habit we’ve learned to repeat. When we believe the thoughts and identify with them, they grow, and we get trapped in them. So much so, that it’s like we’ve lost our way. Rarely are we taught as adults to reverse the learned childhood process of needing others or things to fill our adult needs. Therefore, we often don’t think we have the permission, authority, or efficacy to take care of ourselves. Instead, we’ve given away our identity and authority to the ego.
Even though it feels hopeless to stop the ego’s thoughts and cravings, the truth is…we were given the power to overcome the world and the ego long ago. We can choose to not go along. And, without thoughts we’re free and no longer under the ego’s spell.
So, how can we interrupt the ego for good? Next time try to recognize the upset you’re experiencing, in the following steps, so you can make the changes needed to be free instead. These steps will be covered in greater detail later in an upcoming blog…as well as in my book published last year (Breaking Free from the Ego). For now, use the following steps as an introduction to practice ego awareness to recognize what’s going on.
5Rs1 – Normal Behavior: 1.) Resist 2.) Reflect 3.) React 4.) Result 5.) Reach
When we resist normal life situations, it reflects in our emotions & heart, and we react with upset resulting in pain. This is when we reach for something to escape by numbing the upset feelings inside with something from the outside.
Next time you’re tempted to go along with the ego’s resistance or upset, recognize the cycle and catch yourself. Take 5 minutes to pause and observe what the ego is up to. Use these new behavior steps to bring yourself back into the present moment.
5Rs2 – New Behavior: 1.) Recognize 2.) Re-Open 3.) Relax 4.) Release 5.) Rise above
Once you recognize the resistance, be sure to re-open your heart, relax and release the ego’s negative energy to rise above these life situations. This is how you can discover the truth to live in inner peace all the time. Awareness is powerful and it will stop the ego in its tracks. Remember to be patient and kind with yourself…because this self-care will nurture your inner growth into a higher state of consciousness to break free for good.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this blog. Please share it with someone else. It may be exactly what they need to hear to be free too. Come back for next month’s blog and…
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About the Author – Trina Carroll-Houk is a spiritual teacher, counselor, and founder of Breaking Free Boundaries, LLC who specializes in self-awareness, mindfulness, and the spiritual dimension of being. Her goal is to help people improve their quality of life so they can experience inner peace, meaningful purpose, and fulfillment. Trina represents a movement focused on helping people release what limits them from transforming into awakened beings with a higher sense of spiritual consciousness.
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“Breaking Free from the Ego: A Course in Finding and Freeing Yourself”
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