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May. 5th, 2012 09:54 am
goldkin: goldkin tranquil (goldkin tranquil)
[personal profile] goldkin
Reflecting on my past several posts and the past several years of my life, I'm discovering that I've become alarmingly ego-centric in ways that aren't healthy.

This isn't especially surprising; business classes, social isolation, and the drama of emphasizing myself as the most correct person in the room (in many cases, this was warranted; in many more, it was not) have all led to this boorish attitude towards life that revolves around measurable personal achievement. This isn't how I want to be, and I've emotionally and spiritually exhausted myself by beating myself up over it instead of taking the right steps to fix it, because I simply don't know which those are.

Helpful in this process have been my readings of Tricycle magazine and its related paraphernalia. For example, I subscribe to their Daily Dharma feed and, surprisingly, have read it nearly every single day for two years now. It hasn't been helpful because I'm a Buddhist, mind you (my worldview is much too eclectic for that), but because it offers advice on emphasizing love and compassion, which I feel are qualities I am flatly terrible at expressing. It's also offered advice in working with de-emphasizing the ego as the sole driving force in my life.

I need help, though. Not necessarily from a psychologist (as these matters live at the level of high-functioning actualization with a large subjective and philosophical component), but from people whom understand this process at a fundamental level. I've considered taking more of my now-extremely-limited vacation time off work to visit one of the local Buddhist retreats, because I feel it would greatly help me. This isn't a be-all or an end-all, though, and more help is definitely desired.

Do any of you have experience in the area of dismantling ego-centrism that you feel might be valuable here? Crisp, specific advice with links would be the most help.

Date: 2012-05-05 05:33 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I think a psychilogist WOULD actually help here. They help greatly in changing behaviors by making you do things. Theorizing and meditating or doing whatever the buddism might possibily be about, in my opinion, won't help you much in practice. You need to focus less on the problem and work more on practical steps to improve yourself.

Par example, you could try to lower the ego-centrism by paying more attention to others.. here's one: Try to find a reason to compliment someone, one of your co-workers perhaps, and do so.

Date: 2012-05-05 06:16 pm (UTC)
ext_300726: Dragon talons holding cup of tea. (Default)
From: [identity profile] dragonzuela.livejournal.com
Some of your posts are a bit self-involved, but when I read some of my old posts they sound sickeningly pretentious to me, so I can sympathize. All the way through the end of college I was given the impression that I was this bright shining star who would achieve so much because I was so smart (Top 5% of my class at an Ivy League school! That guarantees me everything else I want in life, right?), but grad school and the workforce have certainly knocked my ego down a peg in that regard. So maybe that has changed me a bit. On a spiritual level it has been gradual internalization of the idea that "I" don't really exist, that the reality is more like we're some sort of meta-entity with illusions of fragmentation. So that has helped. But I've also always struggled with the issue that I want to live my life by love and compassion, but I can have a hard time connecting with people. I think finding friends with whom I could gain social confidence helped.

I don't know how helpful that is, but you aren't alone in dealing with this sort of thing!

Date: 2012-05-06 01:14 am (UTC)
403: Spiral of black and white stones, on a go board. (Spiral)
From: [personal profile] 403
I can recommend (from personal experience) taking up a martial art to help with making a habit of the "it's not just about me" perspective.

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