The ego is a patterned repetitive way of thinking. When we are in ego identity, we believe in a self defined by these impermanent thoughts, beliefs and feelings.
When we awaken out of the lower self, the ego can become more and more subtle. Spiritual freedom comes when we surrender all ideas of a self, and when we stop grasping or controlling. Then we can be in harmony with what is.
Even controllong ego for spiritually “good” reasons is a subtle egoic consciousness. In order to live up to my ideals of love and living from unity, I tried to push myself to a state of relating that is not true of me. I would not accept that what I was feeling was perfect and in line with what is needed for my own growth in consciousness. At the same time, I would not accept how the other was choosing to live – which was easy to recognize as ego in myself and to want to release it.
I beat myself up for not being who I should be. I mentally hold on to how the other should be or should have been. All of these are projections of mind. And they are opportunities for release.
So where am I now? I am not fighting what I feel or judging it. I don’t know how many times my teacher has reminded me to do that! That is the first part of surrender. I’m also not going to try to be some idea of consciousness. The processes of surrender and acceptance of what is are much simpler than that. No efforting. No personal will. No judging the moment.
Even this one.