I used to hear this saying all the time in early sobriety. I was living in San Diego then, so it definitely made sense to have a Spanish rhyme become part of the AA mantra that was going around. Through the years, I’ve used this mantra in all areas of my life, not just recovery. What I’ve realized is just how true this phrase is. If you go back and read any of Eckhart Tolle, Marianne Williamson or Wayne Dyer’s writings, they all place a lot of importance on the Ego and how it is such an enemy to the human spirt and mind. I’ve been reading the Illuminata Prayer book lately by Marianne and she talks about how our Ego ruins relationships because folks don’t want to put the time and energy into really doing the work. The work of separating mind from Ego. Its hard stuff and it shouldn’t be brushed to the side. Its where the real inner work of our spirit and who we are come together.
Which made me realize that anything worth having or worth keeping, requires work. Careers, friendships, marriages, and relationships, as well as our physical, mental and spiritual health – they all require work. Doing what we need to, and not just people in 12 step programs, it’s an everyday maintenance program. Some days I just want to take a break from the praying, the journaling, the helping others and getting out of myself. I just want to say Adios for a while, and coast along. However, I’ve done this before and very quickly saw that if my spiritual well-being isn’t being exercised every day – I can get a bit koo-koo and then start trying to manage and control my life on my own. Which turns into a disaster. I realized I can’t sit idle and sometimes I even have to increase my daily regime. I’ve started praying with my husband in the morning, reading a daily passage from a spiritual book and then doing a 5 minute meditation. I’ve only been doing this for 3 weeks now, but so far, I’m feeling so much more fulfilled. (Check back with me in a month!)
During my years in recovery, I’ve learned that the Ego is our biggest enemy. It gives us a very warped sense of self, which in turns leads to an overinflated ego. I can’t tell you home many times I’ve heard, “they relapsed and won’t come back (to AA) because they are ashamed”. Our ego literally kills us and the only defense we have against any of this is that we need to get serious about who we really are. Be true to our inner core and get honest with ourselves. This is the hardest part about recovery. Admitting we have a problem, and willing to be okay with the choices we’ve made in our life. Recovery is about starting over and making new and healthier choices. Choices that aren’t made by our Ego.
I’m so grateful that I’ve walked my path in recovery and yes, I’m not much but I’m all I think about – so clearly I have an Ego issue as well. But if I keep it in check and surround myself with others that call me out on my BS and make me accountable, I end up living a much more structured life – with balance and serenity. My sponsor calls me out all the time because of my Ego and the best thing about it is that I listen and move forward and put “MY” best self to the side so I can reflect on being the kind of person God intended me to be.
At the end of the day, Ego for me is Edging God Out and I know where that will take me. So, yes, realizing that my Ego isn’t my Amigo is the best thing I can do for myself each day.