Ego Death & Decolonization
Ego death and decolonization are two inseparable processes. In decolonizing our minds we can experience a separation between constructed parts of our ego - our fears, self-doubt, defensiveness, pride, and more. When we start to acknowledge the impacts of colonization on our psyche, we begin to understand what burdens are not ours to carry, but to heal. In this process, we begin to notice the false narratives about our culture, about ourselves, and the internalized traumas we are burdened with.
However, once we experience ego death, how do we make sure it stays dead?
What is Ego Death?
To put it simply, it is the loss of self-identity and self-association. People may describe ego death as an Awakening of sorts; an intense Spiritual experience followed by a higher sense of Awareness and peace.
You might experience one major Ego Death in your lifetime, or several deaths along your path.
What Causes this Death?
Ego death often occurs following a deep Spiritual experience or lesson. People have reported having these experiences following deep heartbreak, mourning, or loss. Personally, my first ego death experience happened after recovering from a period of deep depression. Following this healing, my sensitivity to higher Awareness and my connection to Spiritual phenomena started to strengthen tenfold.
How to Disempower the Ego
Although the concepts of inner peace and Awakening can seem like a mystified process, there are accessible steps and exercises you can take to bring more awareness to this healing on a daily basis. All humans have an Ego, but the challenge on our path is to identify how this ego behaves and to refrain from empowering it with any more of our energy.
Here are four mindsets that can help disempower the ego:
"I am not my thoughts and I am not others' thoughts of me." Humans have thousands of thoughts a day - thinking is simply a process and mechanism of the mind. Who we are is not dependant on the thoughts we have, whether good or bad. Who we are is especially not dependant on the thoughts that others have of us - those are projections of their own ego and fears.
"I do not and cannot know everything and that's ok." In the pursuit of Truth, there often seems more questions than answers. Remember that the hunger for knowledge is an insatiable craving. To be truly alive, is to experience human life and find meaning within it.
"My healing is not dependent on helping everyone." While folx Awaken, the desire to push newfound knowledge onto others is highly tempting, but we must remind ourselves that each person is entitled to their own path towards Truth. Our own healing does not happen on a timeline - it is non-linear - so we must respect that this is the reality for others too.
"I'm allowed to be wrong and make mistakes, that doesn't define me." Sometimes the ego acts in a way where we overly identify with our past actions, decisions, and failures. Remember that everyone makes mistakes, no matter how smart or "woke" a person claims to be. Mistakes don't define who you are. You are 100% permitted to change your mind - that's called growth.
"My emotions are valid, they point me towards the Truth." In therapy we work to identify and understand the root of our emotions, so we can come to a place of higher awareness about what we care about, what we need, and what's important to us. My anger is valid because it tells me what I deeply care about. My loneliness is important because it tells me what I need to feel loved. My anxiety can be empowering if I can understand where my fears come from and how I can heal from them.
As our mind and our understanding grows, the questions we carry evolve as well. It's important to never demonize or suppress the ego, but to take an honest look at it and unpack what's there.
Your ego is not you which means it can die in this lifetime... again and again.
May you treat the process with grace and gratitude. You are evolving.