“Ego says, “Once everything falls into place, I’ll feel peace.” Spirit says, “Find your peace, then everything will fall into place.” - Marianne Williamson
by Avery Elizabeth
Peace, many of us are yearning for inner peace; the freedom from disturbance; tranquility. Finding balance and peace is a necessary component if you want to hear your intuition and follow your instincts. But life is full of chaos, we are constantly pushed and pulled in different directions making it hard to concentrate on anything, much less follow the light of our own spirit. Furthermore, there is the mind, where the ego resides, always ready with a reality check interjected with doubt and fear. The two: ego and spirit, seem to be at odds playing tug of war with our lives. Combine that with the noise and distractions of daily life and juggling it all can be exhausting.
What is the Ego?
Ego is a person’s sense of self-esteem or self-importance. Your ego is the part of your identity that you consider your “self.” It’s the way you perceive yourself, ego is the Latin word for “I”. If you refer to someone as having a “big ego”, you are really saying that they are full of themselves. Have you ever met a person and immediately that person begins to talk about themselves? Every sentence starts with “I” followed by tons of information that you really didn’t want to know. You walk away (if you can get away) thinking to yourself- wow I learned a lot about that person. That fits the definition of a person who is egotistical, self-absorbed with an inflated view of their self-importance.
This is one way the ego presents itself if it is not balanced with spirit. This is why the quest of finding balance between the two is so important.
What is Spirit?
Spirit is the nonphysical part of a person, their emotions and character; the soul. It is those qualities that form the definitive elements in one’s persona, nation, or group. This can also be applied to the thought and attitudes of a particular period. The human spirit includes our intellect, emotions, fears, passions, and creativity. In the models of Daniel A. Helminiak and Bernard Lonergan, human spirit includes the mental functions of awareness, insight, understanding, judgement and other reasoning powers.
Spirit is also a particular way of thinking, feeling or behaving. Especially a way that is characteristic of a group of people, an activity, a time or a place. For instance, when you say that a group of people has a “team spirit” that insinuates that they are loyal to each other. Wikipedia states that Spirit is the vital principle or animating force within all living things. The concepts of spirit and soul often overlap, and both are believed to survive bodily death in some religions. Different religions believe in their own version of spirituality with or without an idea of specific manifestations of the/a “spirit”.
However you think of it, ego and spirit are two vastly different things, originating and embodying distinctly within each person. Like it or not, ego and spirit are both part of us all. In order to lead a healthy and vibrant life, it is imperative to achieve some sort of balance between the two so you’re not fighting with yourself all the time. I think of my spirit as my guiding light, connecting with myself spiritually makes me feel buoyant and capable of amazing things. This is the part of me that allows me to believe that anything is possible and dreams do come true.
I think of my ego as the opposing force to my spirit as it is the part of my mind that thinks with reason and apprehension frequently letting anxiety creep in. We have been taught that we must fight against the thoughts that originate from our ego, as if the ego is all bad. However, I’ve come to believe that my ego gives me power if i channel it in the right way. This means I use it to generate the actions needed to fulfill my purpose on this planet. My spirit holds my legacy, my unique message to the world. If I can channel the desires of my spirit as a complement to the convictions of my ego, both working together can help me deliver that message in impactful ways, truly manifesting my deepest desires and use my gifts for good.
The Key to Inner Peace
The key to it all is to find balance between the ego, the spirit through quieting down the noise, the constant chatter in your own mind that tends to deliver crippling criticism so well. That negativity will stop you in your tracks and keep you from positive action meant to propel you forward towards the accomplishment of your goals and realization of your dreams. We must learn to work with our egos, our spirit needs our ego to direct our efforts in a way that will see our endeavors through to fruition. It is finding this balance between the ego and the spirit, both working together that will ultimately help you find your inner peace. And then with determination, perseverance, hope and belief, all the pieces of your exceptional puzzle will take their respective places and fit together just beautifully.