A chronicle of the struggling ego
This post is part of the Inner Blocks / Natural Medicine challenge.
“My teachings are easy to understand and easy to put into practice. Yet your intellect will never grasp them, and if you try to practice them, you'll fail" - Lao Tzu.
Yesterday we headed down to the river with a couple from work I was just getting to know. We had a beer and later they pulled out a blunt. I love smoking cannabis but have a bit of a rough time doing it out of my comfort zone, whether it be new people or challenging situations.
This is mainly because everytime I smoke, this voice who knows much about healing, spirituality, magic and the workings of the Universe gets real loud in my head. It gets so loud it's impossible to ignore and there comes a moment when I have to say “ok man, you win, lets talk”.
Of course this means I disappear from the social scene I was involved in before. I go silent and though I make attempts to engage back in some form of interaction they are all weak, which makes me feel I'm faking it. And the voice in my head says, “See? Is any of that interesting? How bout we talk about the important stuff?”
The voice said: “look at the river, see the endless flow”.
I pay attention to the river, and stop worrying about how strange I must be to my companions. There is a dog with us too. She manages to grab my attention every now and at one point starts licking my face, I feel her love.
The couple start saying she is a traitor and a cheater. I laugh but afterwards I get a bit uncomfortable from the situation and close up. Perhaps they were just joking and having fun, but something else crossed my mind. The guy starts telling the dog to stay near him and shows his authoritarian side. The dog obeys and he looks at me with a smile saying, “See? She knows”.
What crossed my mind was that there was a possessiveness that also applied to them as a couple. After a while I detect more possessivee behaviors. Am I seeing what I want to see or am I feeling what's really going on? The girl is cute, I find her very attractive, but I don't want them to notice. I avoid being too nice to her, I avoid being the river because she would be the sea to where I'd flow.
I feel the guy, with whom I've shared a longer time is picking up on my vibes. He constantly tries to display superiority. But I also wonder if it's me who's building a competition where there's none. I really want to stop competing. I also want him to go away, to leave me with her.
Should I go for what I desire or should I tell my ego to shut up? I realize that guy is my ego. He is the part of me who is all about control and fulfilling your desires. I don't want to be a saint, so why do I fight my ego? Why not just embrace it?
I start letting go of the need to overcome this. But a feeling of weakness and vulnerability invades me. I feel raped and I tense up. “Gay”, says a voice in my head. There it is, that machistic piece of shit that lives inside me too. The one who sees everything as a win or lose situation. The one who demands I be a “real man” and get what I want at all times.
I want to be with the girl but I want her to choose me. I don't want to play the macho game. But if she chooses me, what happens to the other guy? Why do I even care? I know he is me. I want to love myself and I know I can’t do it without loving him. I can love them both, there has to be a way.
This is my sickness. Over-sexualization. Everytime I think of love I get stuck in the question, “But would you touch that person? Would you love them completely? Would you allow your body to merge with theirs”? I say no and that tension comes again. Repulsion. Through this, my love gets limited to those I can intimate with.
Every now and then I manage to listen to what their saying but my mind flies off. At times the dog comes to me and shows some love which thankfully I don't sexualize. I decide to chant and expel these demons. I must already seem weird, what's a little more going to do?
I chant my way into some pleasant vibrations and then hear them laughing. The dog seems to be hypnotized by my chanting, she stares at me with her head tilted sideways. I feel cleaner, more open. I decide to share with the guy a taoist audio I've been listening to lately, words from Lao Tzu.
When I propose the idea he says: “what's that Taoism? Is it a religion? A sect? A cult?”. I say, “no, you could say it's a path”. He looks away uninterested and talks to his girlfriend. I reflect on my unsatisfying answer. I look at a shining star and I feel the Tao. The healer in my head once again speaks, “yes that is the Tao, that star and this river”.
My companions get called to go elsewhere. I decide to stay and enjoy the flow of the river.