The illusion of ownership
This might sound scary to you but your body consist of two entities, you and your ego.
Most people identify themselves as the ego, they lost themselves and ego has taken over them. Their ego is driving their thinking, their feelings, and their actions.
Most of their desires and goals are set by the ego, but when you find yourself and take control over your mind and body again, you’ll realize that you don’t really need to accomplish those goals because you are already whole and complete.
The intention behind those goals was to get validation from other people that is what the ego wants, not the REAL you.
That inner voice that you hear inside of your head, that voice that won’t stop talking and judging everything and everyone, it’s not you but your ego.
You are just listening to that voice thinking it’s you that’s making the judgments but the REAL you is the awareness that is listening to that voice.
It’s like having a dream. If you are unconscious, you do not know you are dreaming, but when you become aware that you are in a dream, you gain control. Most people are unaware that they are not in control, but once they wake up and realize that they are the awareness that is just observing the ego generating feeling and navigating the body, they can gain control over their life.
One way that the ego tries to keep us under its control making us identify ourselves with our body and life circumstances. People say “I am a doctor”, or “I am a lawyer”, or “I am a dentist”. They identify themselves with their profession, but as soon as they retire, they feel empty and unworthy.
Other ways is by identifying ourselves by the body’s appearance. People say “I am beautiful” or “I am ugly”, or “I am fit” or “I am fat”, or “I am healthy” or “I am sick”. There’s nothing wrong with that but becoming attached to these temporary things is limiting. As soon as the body gets old and lose all that vitality and beauty, people feel worthless.
Other ways are identifying ourselves by our income. We say “I am rich”, or “I am poor”. Many people identify themselves with their financial situation, but once they lose everything, they feel worthless and empty.
“The ego tends to equate having with Being: I have, therefore I am. And the more I have, the more I am. The ego lives through comparison. How you are seen by others turns into how you see yourself.” — Eckhart Tolle
Also people invest so much energy in a fake digital man-made world like social media or games and that drives their life, their behaviors, their choices, and preferences.
Others get attached with their car, or home, or watch, or phone, or clothes. This is a never-ending cycle that the ego gets into to satisfy itself, but those things just generate short-term excitements and then, the emptiness within arrives again.
Another one type of identification that the ego uses to keep us under its control is our race, religion and gender. Religion is something that was given to us based on the geographical location that we were born.
We are not our name, we are not our religion, we are not our profession, we are not our body, we are not our gender, and we are not our race. These are labels that that our egos generate and gets us attached to them.
That doesn’t mean that you have to give up everything and live off-grid, but don’t get too attached to things, people, events, and labels. We are here only for a brief moment so give your attention and energy to things that matter and not so much on fake digital worlds, useless material things, and labels that society creates.
Ego is trying to control us by making us chase happiness and completeness from things out there. Happiness, completeness and worthiness are emotions generated within, so instead of trying to get something from out there and then feel good, why don’t you just feel good now by detaching from past and future and being fully present?
The present moment is where the ego dissolves, as soon as we start projecting into the past or future, ego takes over.
Outgrow your ego by feeling complete without needing anything external. You outgrow it by being fully present and accepting your life as it is now. That’s how you make great things anyway, by focusing on whatever task you are engaged in at the present moment without projecting in the future or past.
That’s the secret of happiness and success.