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Ego Bashing

GYE Corp. Monday, 26 December 2011

LITTLE INTRO, CRASH COURSE, reminder - This addiction is only a symptom. We use it to relieve our pain. Our pain comes from restlessness, irritability, and discontent in life. Why do we have this R.I.D? Because of our Ego. We can't accept when things don't go our way.

Now, for a few anecdotes I have had about this recently:

1) A few nights ago I had to go pick up something. I left the house and went down the stairs. Then, my wife was calling to me from the window (we live on the top floor of a 4-story building). I HATE yelling back and forth from the street to the window. I wanted to just go and pick up what I had to get. So, I RUSHED up the stairs, ready to yell at my wife for trying to talk to me out the window, which I hate so much. On the way up the stairs (4 flights, I had some time to think) I sensed, "I'M ON AN EGO TRIP!" I realized the absurdity of it. My wife knows I don't like yelling back and forth, so if she did it IT MUST HAVE BEEN SOMETHING REALLY IMPORTANT. Turns out, I was going to pick something up, and she just found out THE PERSON WASN'T THERE. I would have run all around just for nothing.

2) I spent a bit of time at the computer working on something related to recovery. I went overboard, and used up some time that I should have been working. I NOTICED, I DIDN'T REALLY MIND; I HAD CHOSEN TO USE MY TIME DIFFERENTLY.

Then, later on, I was working at the computer, and my wife needed to interrupt me for a few minutes, only a few minutes. I was starting to boil. EGO ALERT! I stepped back and realized, I had cut off much more time from my work before and it didn't bother me. My wife only needs a minute of my time, and I'm getting furious!

SO, IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH IF I'M ON SCHEDULE OR NOT, OR IF I'M ACCOMPLISHING OR NOT. Just, if I'm doing what I want, I'm fine. But if I need to do what SOMEONE ELSE wants instead, I get angry. JUST ANOTHER EGO TRIP!

So, I was able to put the EGO aside, and not get angry with my wife.

3) Last night I forgot my umbrella at Shul. My son agreed to go on his bicycle and get it, which was a big help. Until this morning I noticed--my umbrella got all mangled! Apparently, he had some difficulty carrying the umbrella on his bike. My first reaction was ANGER. Should I penalize him or chastise him in some way? It took me a while (until near the end of davening), but then I realized, first of all, he was trying to do me a favor. Secondly, it's all EGO. Is it worth a few bucks to go ahead and yell at my kid? The same few bucks I would freely spend on coffee or something like that?


4) Also, yesterday I went to kollel in the afternoon. Some other fellows were sitting where I usually sit. Shouldn't they know that? I was about ready to march up to them and ask them to move. Then, I realized EGO EGO EGO! I can move one row back. Big deal!

So, I've been noticing the subtle effects of EGO in my life, more and more. And, baruch Hashem, I've had the siyata dishmaya to put it aside.