By Lori Lines
Let’s face it, everyone encounters adversity in their lives. It can be a daily inconvenience, like a parking ticket, a painful or disruptive circumstance like a job loss or breakup, or a life-altering event such as a serious illness or the death of someone you love. No one is exempt; Adversity is one of life’s great equalizers.
So, why do some people crumble under the burden or hardship, with those that never recover, while others seem to withstand the burden, heal, grow, and perhaps thrive? While there can be multiple factors at play, ego dramatically influences how we face, endure, and overcome adversity.
The Many Faces of Ego
From the scientific study of psychology to the intuitive wisdom of spirituality, the ego has many faces. At times vilified, “the ego must die!” Celebrated by others as “the voice of reason and sanity.” With so much divergence, what can be agreed on?
Ego is accepted across disciplines as the conscious part of the personality, a mediator between our inner workings and the outer world. It is who we think we are and often who the world believes us to be.
The ego’s fundamental role is to serve as a gatekeeper between our outer experience and the lower and higher self. Like a switch operator, the ego decides whether it will direct adversity’s call to the lower or higher self. The ego makes this decision, actually all its decisions, on what it perceives as facts about the self.
The types of “facts” the ego believes can be self-deprecating
The Burden of the Ego
Those who are arrogant and self-loathing often bear the burden of ego. For these people, the ego becomes a locus of attack and defense. They often believe that adversity happens to them or at them like arrows flung in battle. They view themselves as either vulnerable victims or superiorly separate from life’s hardships.
Self-loathing people often view hardships as a punishment, at times deserved, for being lesser than or failing. In this way, these people align with their misfortune, embodying it, becoming the suffering itself. This can worsen their hardships, making them harder to overcome.
Self-aggrandizing people often view their hardships as beneath them, rarely deserved, because they are above it all. In this way, these people resist their misfortune, denying it, fighting it, and making the misfortune an enemy. This creates attachment to their hardships, making them harder to move past.
In both cases, the ego convinces the self that when adversity stops, there will be peace. As a result, the individual becomes a slave to the ego because misfortune is inevitable and unavoidable. There needs to be another way!
The Benefits of Ego
Those who are self-honoring often heal and grow from the benefit of ego. For these people, the ego becomes a locus of acceptance and accountability. They view themselves as worthy, empowered, and self-knowing when facing life’s adversities. They often believe misfortune simply happens like a storm crossing the sky.
These self-respecting people often view hardships as happenstance, learning opportunities, karma, or destiny. These people do not identify with their misfortune at all. Instead, they acknowledge, accept, overcome, and release it, neutralizing the adversity and the potential for suffering. This makes it easier to take accountability, learn, and adapt.
In this case, the ego faces adversity with self-worth, empowerment, and self-knowledge.
Facing Adversity with Neutrality
By seeing adversity as
You will no longer become attached to it and stop worsening your suffering by aligning with it or resisting it. When you face adversity with neutrality, viewing it objectively as something unavoidable and unbiased, like the ebb and flow of the tide, you can significantly minimize your suffering or prevent it altogether.
Albert Einstein once said adversity introduces a man to himself. Still, there is more to it! Adversity also introduces us to our higher self. Ultimately, adversity is not just one of life’s great equalizers. It is also one of life’s greatest teachers!
In love and truth,
Author Lori Lines
Disclaimer: Lori is a high-level channel. The information contained on this site is intended for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for advice, diagnosis or treatment by a licensed physician. You should seek prompt medical care for any health issues and consult your doctor before using alternative medicine or making a change to your regimen.