Knee deep into Passover cleaning, trying to rid every nook and cranny of my home from chametz, I also attempt to eradicate the chametz within my soul – the Ego. The Pharaoh that lives inside of us and tries to keep us in shackles, well grounded to our physicality, and distant from our highest self. He’s mighty and strong, arrogant, boastful. Oh, I know him when I see him. Or do I?
I don’t boast. I’m grateful for what I have. I get along with people around me. Where exactly is this ego beast of mine? I’m looking for arrogance and haughtiness, but I don’t really see it. Perhaps our ego is not really the big, boastful, scary beast we make it out to be. Perhaps, I might not recognize him even if he was staring at me in the face.
I try to control a situation with my parents, or my husband. Or, of course, my children.
“But, I’m the mother (daughter, wife)! I know best how things should be!”
“This is how they should be. How could they not understand what is best for them!?”
Control. Ego. Check. Now, I can scrub.
I then see someone achieve something that I achieved, or that I aimed to achieve. I should be happy for them. I am happy for them, right? But, wait, is there a tinge of irritation!?
“It was mine. It is mine.”
She’s stepped into my light!”
Oh oh, Competition…Ego. Check. Scrub.
Or, I hear myself say – the despondent tone all too familiar.
“This is the way I am!”
“Nothing I can do about it. Take it or leave it!”
Oh, Hello, Ego. Now, Yael, scrub again.
He – or rather I should say “SHE” – is quite brilliant, and her disguises are magnificent. Rarely does she dress up as arrogant, haughty, or mighty. Subtlety is her number one skill. She disguises in our most “natural” reactions and qualities – places where we wouldn’t know to even look. Subtle, unnoticeable. But she’s there. Keep looking and keep scrubbing.
Where can you spot your ego?