Getting Whole ...

kerrya's picture

When the ego is healed and not discarded; when it is held closely to the heart even in its misconceptions and troubles; when its every pain is no longer believed to be the only and ultimate truth does the ego reveal itself to be the Real Self, the connected self."
~ Jason Shulman (

In his talk here on Enlightenment Online, Jason is responding to a question from a member of the community who is inquiring about de-activating the ego. Jason speaks about the significance of the healed ego, akin to the relationship of waves to the ocean, brightness to light. He goes on to comment about the healed ego: "The self that can be intimate with all things."

My AA sponsee and I met over coffee this morning. She feels herself struggling severely because she is flooded with feeling. As she shares about noticing her inner critic and the running commentary about being "fat" and about imperfection coupled with feelings of great sadness, I cannot stop the smile from forming on my face. She looks at me quizzically and says: "What can you possibly be happy about in hearing this?" I respond: "Because you're in touch with everything that lives in you. This is REALLY good." She still doesn't understand. I don't try to explain too much, but reassure her and ask that she be willing to trust that it is.

What I am aware of in this moment is that we alcoholics (and other numb-ers and soothers and destroyers of All-Things-Hard-To-Feel) did/do not give permission to ourselves to experience and allow for the troubles and pains of the ego to exist. So we stumbled around in our drunken stupors with very small, unhealed egos that desperately wanted to come up from the bottom of the glass for some fresh air ! And, once we can put down the bottle, it becomes startling and disarming, as my sponsee is now experiencing, to be conscious and present to feelings that are uncomfortable, that are painful, that feel dangerous or too hard to bear.

As Jason alludes to in his talk, the ocean is brimming with activity: rocks and shells and prickly coral and schools of fish and sharks gnashing their teeth amid the constant turbulence of waves. I really relate to this metaphor in being aware of my ego. I am an alive not stagnant being because of my ego. The ocean that is me has: voices that are disparaging; a little girl that gets scared and afraid she will be left; the prideful one who loves teaching and writing; a passionate romantic; closets and junk drawers of historical crap; a dormant drunk; one who is sometimes in touch with Reality and other times is delusional; sensitivities of all kinds; venomous substances that sting and leave marks; feelings of deep love and longing. No ONE aspect is the whole truth of me at any given time.

Jason's suggested "remedy" for our ego malady is to practice kindness toward it, to be connected moment by moment by moment. This is what brought about the smile on my face in my sponsee's tender sharing ... I felt my affinity for the presence of her ego and, simultaneously, my own.

I also understand why my healer Brenda has suggested I bring my Big Self and my Little One into relationship. To cut one out in spite of the other is to deny the presence of the ENTIRE ego. I'll end here with her exquisite statement to me: "When, our kavannah, our commitment is to Wholeness – then Wholeness is in charge – not our small unintegrated egos that want things to go only a CERTAIN way that we believe will keep us safe, make us happy."