Your ego has been hanging out with you for so many years that eventually it’s the only voice you hear. The ego stuffs you into a box where you only feel safe living in fear and playing small. Therefore, whenever you step outside the box and shine light on the darkness, the ego freaks out and amps up its game. Remember, the darkness of the ego cannot survive in the light of your inner guide. So as the light slowly begins to brighten, the ego gets scared and begins pulling out all the stops to put the light out.
Trick One: Dredging Up That Old Fear Talk
One of the ego’s favorite responses to the light is tons of fear talk. When your healthy voice gets strong, the ego will dredge up any old fear from your past to turn down the light. Ego will clutch on to fears of people, money, romance, self-image, being alone, you name it. It will taunt you with warnings like, “this happiness cannot possibly last”, “This relationship is too good to be true”, “You’d better get a job and let go of those entrepreneurial visions”, “Get back together with that guy who hurt you because you might not find someone else.”
Trick Two: Guilt
Choosing to identify with the ego’s backlash always results in feelings of guilt. You experience this guilt because you’ve turned your back on your healthy voice and chosen the ego’s fearful attack. Whether you know it or not, you feel as though you’ve committed a crime against your healthy voice by turning your back on it. Then, unconsciously, these negative thoughts are reflected in nasty feelings and beliefs about yourself. There is an overarching sense of unworthiness. The guilty, unworthy feeling then leads you into self-sabotage mode. The ego will convince you of that because then you’ve denied your healthy voice for a hot second, you’ve lost touch with the light entirely, the journey is over, and now you have no choice but to surrender once again to the ego’s darkness. Your negative thoughts will escalate, bringing you back down.
For instance, if you do not follow your meal plan 100% and overeat, your ego may say, “Well, you failed. Your meal plan is over for the day, might as well go for the gusto!” The guilt about slipping on your meal plan can spin into self-sabotage. To clarify, the guilt is not about not following the meal plan. Instead, the guilt results from unconsciously denying the peaceful voice of your healthy voice. Your ego can grab on to the slightest missed step and amplify it further, which takes you further from your healthy voice.
Trick Three: Denial
Left with anxiety and guilt over turning your back on your healthy voice, your only recourse is to return to the ego for help. The ego makes you think you can be ‘saved’ from this guilt by simply denying it. In order for the ego to survive, it has to convince you that your healthy voice isn’t real and that you must deny feeling guilty over leaving it behind. If you address this guilt, you’ll go back to your healthy voice. Therefore, the ego will start to rationalize your guilt. For instance, the ego rationalizing about not sticking to the meal plan inevitably leads to getting sucked back into restricting, binging or overeating. John Assaraf, author of the best-selling book Having It All, breaks the word “rationalize” into two words to get “rational lies”. The ego is telling you a bunch of rational lies to keep you from staying close to the light.
Trick Four: Attack
Finally, after the ego’s convinced you to deny the guilt of separating from your healthy voice, it will take its tricks one step farther. The ego takes your guilt and projects it onto others. This is a cheap trick because instead of looking inward for a sense of relief, the ego turns our guilt toward other people. This is what is referred to as “magic”. The ego thinks that if we project our guilt onto others, we’ll magically be free of it by unconsciously placing it outside ourselves. This is when we go into attack mode. The ego will begin attacking others in an effort to sabotage your happiness. The ego disguises these attacks as protection. These attacks are merely projections of your own fears placed on the world in an effort to keep you in the darkness. In addition, the ego will attack you. The ego’s perception of you is that you’re unloving and unforgiving. Therefore, when you bring any kind of loving thoughts into your life, your ego will become ‘suspicious and vicious’ and attack. This attack will play out with thoughts like, ‘You can’t love your mother, she totally ruined your life.” You will be made to feel wrong for choosing love because that is not the perception of the ego. The ego will attack anything and anyone in its effort to avoid the light.
By choosing to think with your healthy voice over your ego, life will begin to get better. But, the ego will freak out because it knows it cannot survive in the light of your healthy voice. It will rev up with nasty fear talk. The fear talk will be uncomfortable and will possibly lead you to act out in some way directed by the ego. Then that leads to even more discomfort because you are pushing farther away from the healthy voice in favor of the ego. At this point, the ego knows that the guilt you feel about turning your back on your healthy voice will guide you back to the light. Therefore the ego makes you deny this feeling of separation from your healthy voice by ‘magically’ projecting your negative feelings onto others. Then you go into attack mode by placing all of your fears onto others rather than letting your healthy voice clean them up. The ego makes you attack others with your own fears so that it can keep you stuck in the box of living fearful and small. The attack keeps the fear story going rather than allowing our healthy voice in for cleanup. By this point you’re sucked back into the dark hole of the ego and have turned off the flashlight your inner guide would have used to lead you out.