My ego is a 1920’s flapper wearing tap shoes, dancing like mad, and singing at the top of her lungs trying to pull my attention away from soul work, back to the illusory dream.
I quit school six weeks ago. Life is just now settling down to the new normal and my ego is protesting. Down on one knee singing and pleading with me to just go back to sleep! Just let her lead the way and everything will be all right.
The program I withdrew from was a Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. At fifty-three with a Master’s of Divinity degree under my belt and a Bachelor of Arts in Religion prior to that, quitting school doesn’t carry stress and guilt. I weighed the decision very carefully before I made it, I sought counseling and support for it, and I can always go back to it. However, whereas before I made the decision I was conflicted about staying in school, since having withdrawn, I have only experienced peace and contentment about it.
Here’s the kicker though that has my ego wanting to kick me in the tushie. I haven’t replaced school with anything requiring that level of focus, concentration, and seriousness. I have intentionally and with forethought not replaced school with some equivalent goal and my ego’s been pitching a fit about it. If I’m not striving after a worthy goal, if I’m a Master’s level drop out, I’m “nobody” as far as my ego is concerned.
And, truth be told, I am no-body. Though I haven’t yet had a robust experience of it but have only had tiny glimpses – just enough to get my attention – I know that who I really am is one with God, in unity with all that is. I know that I am not this body or this mind or anything my ego or others can latch onto that puts me in a box with a label. I am not “the striver” or “the woman who’s made a career of returning to school.” I am not the sweet, kind, funny, sometimes silly person people perceive me to be. I am not even “the writer,” “the author,” “the relationship coach” I’ve set out to be. What I am, the thing I’ve tasted every once in a blue moon, is the love that naturally feels compassion for all.
The ego doesn’t like this conversation or the decision to quit school. But the weakening of my ego (the ego’s death) began long before I started school. It’s just that quitting was big medicine – enormous medicine – on this awakening path.
She’s stopped tap dancing…stopped singing at the top of her lungs. She’s sitting on a wooden box with an elbow on her knee and her head in her hand. She sighs and smiles a knowing, mischievous smile. She will accompany me as long as she can and that’s fine. She too is medicine on the journey of awakening from self to Soul.
The photos are of Gilda Grey. I actually developed the metaphors for this entry and then found photographs that were a near perfect match.
Gilda was a Polish immigrant who was a famed dancer in the 1920’s, she created a dance called “the shimmy” that was widely used in theater productions in the Roaring Twenties. F. Scott Fitzgerald references her in The Great Gatsby when her understudy shows up at one of Jay Gatsby’s parties. She went on to have a movie career and has a star on Hollywood Boulevard’s Walk of Fame.
( IMBD. Gilda Grey: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0336660/bio?ref_=nm_ov_bio_sm)