Richard Rohr in his insightful book, The Naked Now, equates ego with the need to be right. He even quotes Dr. Phil: Do you want to be happy or do you want to be right? Those words struck deep.
How many times have I gone to great lengths to be right? How much of my suffering was the direct result of my ego taking a hit? Even in my spiritual life, I wanted to be right: on the right path, thinking the right things, acting in the right way. How often did I use God's yard stick as my unit of measure? Most of the time I used another method - my ego. To stroke my ego, I looked for confirmation from others.
On the surface, I truly thought I was seeking God's approval, while in truth, I wanted Him to confirm that I was right.
The Scripture, die to self equals letting go of my ego. The truly humble are not weak. They are exceptionally strong. Their self-being is not dependent on anyone, on any circumstance or deed. They spend little time thinking about how others need to change, focusing instead of how they need to change.
It is a tall order, this letting go of ego, pride, the need to be right, to be on the right side, the best, the winner. This new spirituality focuses on Being. Being in communion with God and allowing everything else to fall into place. And it will. With Him as my focus, I will naturally care about my family, my friends, my neighborhood, my city, my country and my world.
This change in focus will change my perceptions, the first being judgement. This will be a hard one. How can I not judge what is good or bad? How should we react to injustices? Just determining that there is an injustice is a form of judgement, isn't it? How can I work toward world change if I don't determine where injustices lie and then act?
First, all changes begin very close to home - me. First I change. Scripture speaks of the tendency to see the mote in my brother's eye, ignoring the beam in mine.
This seems daunting, but all journeys begin with the first step. My first step is working on my ego, my need to always be right - in my eyes as well as others. I can't help but wonder how this change will effect my life. Will I indeed be happier? And in due course, will others around me be happier? With a moment truthful reflection, the answer is easy to see.