Overcoming Ego: You Are the Gatekeeper

by Todd Schaefer

You Have the Power: 

Did you know that you are the Gatekeeper of your thoughts? You have the power to choose which thoughts you will entertain.

You have the power to have a healthy self-image and believe good things about yourself. Thoughts that do not feel good to you are not worthy of your attention.

Do not entertain those thoughts. Entertain ‘good feeling’ thoughts. There is nothing more important in your life than that you feel good.

Choose New Thoughts 

You do not have to struggle in order to move beyond a challenge. You need not ‘overcome’ any thoughts. You can move through challenges gracefully, and with acceptance of your present situation.

There is no need to create conflict, additional hardship or fear. Simply choose new thoughts. Choose new thoughts as soon as you notice the thoughts that don't feel good to you, and then think on them and feel the new good thoughts.

Struggle Must Be Chosen 

Life may occasionally present challenging scenarios, but 'struggle' must be chosen, and fears must be remembered as a substitution for your real self, whether done unconsciously or consciously.

Often times, the degree of resistance or internal struggle that we feel is determined unconsciously and involuntarily before we are even presented with the situation.

Many so called 'struggles' and even 'triumphs' are simply delusional battles between the ego mind and the person who owns it, played out in an externalized scenario.

Getting Ego’s Approval 

The mental emotional resistance patterns that tempt us to react instead of accept is called the ego mind. It's the built-in survival mechanism we all have which is designed to protect us. The ego-mind resists us when it feels its sense of survival is threatened.

This resistance is the ego's way of saying, "You must get my approval before I will allow you to go any farther."

It then proceeds to hold us back by making us believe that we must appease its programming in order for us to 'triumph,' as it claims we will do. Ego likes to convince us to 'overcome' instead of detach and withdraw its power.

The ego mind’s influence is in motion when we see situations as a struggle or when we make things into a problem. It doesn’t want us to accept things as they are.

Ego’s goal is for us to appease it, to put energy into it, and if possible, to get us excited about the problems it offers us. If we not only identify with it but also enjoy the problem, issue, or situation (i.e, complaining) - ego wins again.

The reason ego’s win is stronger if we enjoy the drama is because ego will function more easily within us if we are unaware that we are happily peddling its agenda. Ego’s survival is then not threatened, and we’re not aware of its control.

How Ego Prevents Us from Achieving Our Goals 

Don’t be deceived by ego’s persuasion that by struggling or overcoming you are accomplishing some grand mission or something special in accordance to your goals (as if the rewards will be greater because you struggled).

You may still accomplish your goals. You may still work hard to achieve them and realize a job well done, but your choice to struggle, your choice to limit your choices, your choice to dig deeper into the problems to try to figure them out is exactly what increases ego’s control over you.

The goal of spiritual growth is to dis-identify and to not struggle. The goal is to let go, to step back - to surrender; to allow the flow of life to move through you with ease.

A life lived in struggle is one where the person’s story owns them, instead of the person owning the story. Another example would be allowing a person’s career progress to determine how they feel about themselves instead of allowing how they feel about themselves to determine their career progress.

These ego identification examples will obviously lead to more self-defeat if the results are dependant upon the ego-identity. In other words, a person may believe himself to be moving forward towards a goal with great resolve despite adversity (which may be true to an extent), but what is also happening is that the ego mind is validating itself throughout the trials.

In other words, while achieving your goals, don’t fall victim to strengthening the ego-identification in you.

We negotiate constantly with ego's agenda as we navigate through life and when we allow it to determine our limitations. The extent to which we are controlled by ego's agenda equals the degree to which we choose to identify with it.

The more of an identification we hold, the more tightly ego holds us in its grasp. Through ego, the worse our career is going, the worse we are feeling about ourselves.

How We Lose the Present Moment 

Did you know that ego's goal for us is to lose the present moment? Ego wants us to bring our past pain with us to create pain in our future. That way, it ensures that whatever we accomplish, it will be through struggle. Our intentions are strong, but our conscious presence is weak.

If we allow ego to cover up the present moment in this way, we prevent ourselves from exercising our spiritual power. If the ego mind accomplishes this, it controls us. With enough time passing under ego’s influence, it can subtly draw more of our presence into unconsciousness (i.e, reactions, defending, justifying, condemning, complaining).

This is what it means to be 'unconscious.' We may have financial power or political power or physical power (all externals), but being unconscious is a lack of spiritual power (internal). Ego's unconscious control over us makes our reactions automatic and predictable.

Power in the Present 

The only true power we have is in the present moment. By exercising our divine right as the Gatekeeper of our experience, we determine how conscious or unconscious our experience will be.

  • Will we allow the ego mind to control us by keeping us lost in past pains or future worries? 
  • Will we react or defend? 
  • Will we hide behind platitudes and other conditioned, automatic reactions? 

It's our choice. As we find ways to be present and express our joy and true nature, as we lose the agenda and reclaim our power, we become the Gatekeepers.

The more we practice being here and now and not dominated by our ‘unfortunate situations,’ the less likely ego will trick us into moving into the past and future where we can have no effect, and thus, lose our All Powerful Presence and Infallible Spiritual Power.

Love and Accept Ego 

Ego is a part of us, an outdated aspect struggling to keep up as we evolve. Watch the ego's programming in you - love and accept it as a part of you, be aware of it - but don't engage it.

Instead of negotiating with ego via struggling to overcome, consider becoming the Gatekeeper. Before your ego-mind convinces you that you must 'work through' the resistance it wants you to face, that some old issue is slowing you down or has some influence over your future, before ego convinces you that you are limited, afraid, incapable, shy or unable to achieve something, close that gate, Gatekeeper!

Before the ego-mind persuades you to react or defend or manipulate or convince you that a justifiable action is helping you to 'move ahead' - STOP.

Choose New Thoughts 

Choose positive thoughts. Notice how the positive thoughts feel to you. You are the Gatekeeper of your experience, and you can experience as much joy or as much struggle as you wish.

You decide whether ego stays inside of the gate or not. Be the one who finds the gift in every moment through graceful acceptance and non-struggle. 

Be the Gatekeeper of your thoughts and watch a new world reveal itself to you. You are powerful!