Thursday, January 29, 2009

Purging the Negativity from Oneself

A doctor friend of mine suggested I read a book called “A New Earth” by Eckhart Tolle and I’m really glad I did. In it, Tolle explains how we are creatures of habit and have evolved into a state of ego sponsored insanity, which explains why we behave the way we do, even when we know better and don’t want to. I have to admit I have struggled all my life with the unconscious negativity that springs eternal from within. I have come to realize that this negative trait is the sponsor of most of my problems which, unfortunately, are self-created. “We are our own worst enemy” and the reason we are is our egos run amuck.

So Eckhart gives us the keys to reversing this plague and I have found myself benefiting immensely from my new found awareness. I haven’t arrived at perfection or the absence of negativity yet, but I have noticed the improvement. Just last night I woke up in the middle of the night and began stressing about my year-end statement from my mortgage holder. Many deep breaths and a bothersome stomach ache later, I went back to sleep. So I too recommend the book and one of the reasons I do is it doesn’t make one a preacher of the new found faith, although you could argue I have been here. Most of what we learn through his teaching we already knew. I know that sounds funny but most of what he says in the book seems very familiar.

So if you are tortured from within and looking for a way out, read what Eckhart Tolle has to say about being present and embracing the now. He even explains in very simple terms how to enjoy what you are doing when you are doing the most mundane tasks of your day.

While I watched the presidential debates last year, I was struck at how little Barack Obama was driven by his ego and how much John McCain was. You can see it in people once you know what to look for. I don’t suggest you do that to observe others; the real benefit is in self-improvement.

Have you had the experience where you go somewhere and have a fitful reaction to something said or not said about you? It’s a big deal to watch your own ego go through such gyrations. The feelings are real too. I’m sure my face was red. I was able to calmly be aware of what I was thinking and be detached at the same time. You come to a realization that you shouldn’t feel the way you do. You might not even really care. But somewhere deep inside -- your ego has an agenda and you go through some severe emotional turmoil. We all do. Well, now at least I notice that I am doing it and I’m getting a handle on controlling it. I’ll be a much more positive, enjoyable person when I do.