Why Do We Let the Ego Drive?
Does It Have an Unblemished License?
Our Bodies Are Our Vehicles
The body is the vehicle we use to travel through life in this realm. Who do you want as your driver? It is your choice. Would you choose a child to drive your car? Would you choose a self-destructive, self-centered control freak to drive? Would you allow someone who has clearly steered you wrong so many times, veered off the road and caused accidents? I think not, and these are descriptions of your ego. It’s definitely not the best choice for a smooth ride, a direct path or proper navigation to your intended destination.
In order for there to be order, true higher order in your life where all is in the flow of the energies that will literally carry you along the path, you must choose wisely. You can choose again and again as long as the vehicle remains in working order. You may end up taking those side trips or detours, veering off the road, getting into accidents, losing your way, but you can get back on the road and set your course and choose the driver again at every stage, in every moment.
Do You Obliterate the Inferior Driver?
There is no need to get rid of the ego. It may be a second-rate driver, but it has its purpose or at least its right to exist or it wouldn’t be there. You wouldn’t kick out a passenger from your vehicle just because they were a poor driver. And if you let them drive, it would be on you when they got in an accident (not blame, just cause and effect). You would choose the driver of your car carefully. Why aren’t you choosing the driver of your life—your thoughts, beliefs and actions—with as much care and forethought?
There is actually no such as thing as eliminating the ego while in physical form. The ego is a key part of the human psyche. It can help protect us from physical harm and help with analytical thinking and discernment. (The ego may judge, but you can use it as discernment without blame.)
The Ego as a Passenger
Instead of trying to eradicate your ego, how about you put it in its place? The ego can be a passenger on the ride instead of the driver—like children or wacky relatives. You would still give them a ride. You would still interact with them. You just wouldn’t let them make your life decisions and tell you where or when or how to go.
We don’t need to chuck out everyone who doesn’t know what’s best for us. They can have their places in our lives. You wouldn’t scold your passengers for not knowing where to go or how to get there. They are passengers. They can entertain you, regale you with their stories, and they can even help you get to your destination when tasked with a specific role of following your GPS navigation. This is the ego’s proper place too. It can be a useful sidekick and companion along the journey. But the best choice as driver is you and your intuition, your heart and your internal and higher navigation.
A Practice for Moving the Ego Out of the Driver’s Seat
A friend of mine first gave me the idea of putting the ego in the passenger seat. I thought it was a great visual for taking control of thoughts and feelings—and it works. It’s an instantaneous shift that you can create with a simple visual. When this came up, we were talking about thoughts and feelings like anxiety or fear. It works beautifully for this.
When a feeling comes up that seems to take the reins of control from you, acknowledge it, and accept it. “Okay, I am feeling this feeling.” Then gently place it in the passenger seat next to you. (You are the driver.) You can think of it however it works for you. For example, as you visualize this scenario, you can say in your mind, “Okay, you can sit there in the passenger seat. I am the driver.” Believe it or not, this simple claim works. It is powerful. By doing this, the feeling can sit next to you, instead of feeling like it is you, and you can move forward without the overwhelm or constraints of the feeling itself being in control.
As you practice this, you will begin to see larger decision points where this can be used. You can extend this from thoughts and feelings in the moment to thoughts and feelings that are driving your decisions in life. For example, those times when your ego is trying to keep you from feeling afraid or anxious by feigning safety, when really it is not keeping you safe at all. It is keeping you from excitement, newness, fulfillment and growth, which all entail moving outside your comfort zone. Next time you have a decision to make, large or small, try this practice to set aside the nervousness, anxiety or fear that may be present (and likely clouding your vision). Once you are in the driver’s seat, you can see the decision with greater clarity and make an empowered choice.
Try this practice and let me know how it works for you.
The Evolving Intuitive
Sarah Ann Sporn, Ph.D.