A Rose by any Other Name

Bartholomew Aloysius Trump III. 

I named my ego. 

But what's in a name?  That which we call a rose by any other name would still constitute a prick waiting to happen.

I just call him Bart, by the way.  He is overly- sensitive, judgmental, harsh,  condescending, rude, belligerent at times, and definitely holier than thou.  He's sometimes like a  ninja, stealth, adept, cunning.  Other times, he's like a child, loud complaining, and selfish. 

I'm not going to tell you that you should name your ego too, but I think you would be wise to consider it.  I offer this suggestion to you as an idea on how to create a bit of separation between you and your ego.   It is that separation, after all, that allows you room to respond to situations mindfully.  It is that separation (or lack thereof),  that distinguishes the mature from the immature. 

This isn't arbitrary musing; I'll give you three solid reasons.  Consider it food for thought. 

1: Realizing and developing a relationship with ego helps us to realize who we are not.

The primary purpose for identifying and naming ego in this way is simple.  It's a way to help create space wherein you realize your natural state as something separate from ego.  Naming the ego, of course, does not correlate to obtaining an enlightened state.  I am suggesting, however, that when you know, and can easily recognize what you're dealing with,  it could help in making that never-ending work of walking the path a bit more manageable.  Start by noticing situations where you feel less than, better than, offended, outraged, nervous, worried or fearful.  Begin to question whether or not there's truth and rationality at hand, and then call it out.  Over time, the act of questioning and naming the origin of illusion and suffering becomes way more natural.   

2: Naming and acknowledging ego is a way of keeping a sense of levity as you walk the path.

This exercise also represents an effort to keep lightness of spirit; not taking yourself too seriously.  As a way of doing this,  point out to yourself the ridiculous stuff originating in the mind.  Call ego by name, then laugh out loud at its folly.  Taking this a step further, consider formally introducing your ego to your best friend(s).  Chances are that they've already met anyway.  Again, call it out shamelessly.  If you ever choose to gossip, let it be about your ego.  Guess what, your friends instantly have a deeper understanding of you; and more compassion for you.  As an added side benefit, they will likely feel better about themselves after realizing how much of a head case you are.

3: This name game sets you up to take power away from the ego.

The third benefit of naming your ego is almost like a culmination.  When you ground in light-heartedness, while at the same time, actively seeking every opportunity to realize who you are not, you end up taking power away from that which seeks power.  You end up diminishing or completely taking importance away from that which seeks importance.  It's a nice cycle, really.  The more you turn your back on ego, the less of an impact it has on your thoughts, your perceptions,  and your life in general. 

When we become used to creating empty space in lieu of reaction, and then filling that empty space with light-hearted questioning of truth, we naturally grow.  When we get used to dismissing negative thoughts and countering them with equally powerful, positive assertions, we succeed in reducing the power of the ego. 

So, whether you're battling Shaolin style, or nurturing your problem child, the first realization is that it's yours.  You too are bound, so you might as well give it a name.  I'm just saying.  

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