There was a time when I was certain I had it all together. My old self, or ego, ruled my life with what appeared to be a reliable set of rules and beliefs forged out of my many experiences. My life worked pretty well then, and I loved and revered my ego’s beliefs. They were welcoming, reassuring and reliable, until one day when they were not.

You feel like roadkill

The entire scaffolding that supported my old self come apart when my wife started verbalizing her desire for a divorce. She filed and we were divorced in the fall of 2014. Through series of unexpected events, besides being single again, I became unwittingly unemployed and haplessly relocated to a strange place in Florida where I knew no one.

Relying on my ego, I spent years planning for the day when I would be secure, debt free and live happily ever after. But like the Florida armadillo who confidently crosses the road unaware of the car that is coming, I didn’t expect to get ran over by the forces of change. I felt like roadkill with my guts splattered and the buzzards picking through my carcass. This is a gross image, but major life changes can make one feel splattered and helpless.

The armadillo is a great metaphor because of the way it evolved. This mammal learned over time to surround its body with a hard, well structure armature for protection. Yet, despite all of its centuries of development, it had no way to construct what it needed to survive the force of a oncoming automobile.

The ego makes plans in the same way. It tries to predict our lives and urges us to create a plan of action that will keep us safe, comfortable and static. But like the armadillo, the ego never accounted for the force behind a major life change. When these transitions come, there are no human-made plans that can withstand their power. This is when we discover our ego was wrong and we must develop new ways of thinking and being.

Reverence and appreciation

I am grateful for the changes in my life; they were necessary, even this last one I mentioned earlier. These changes cracked the protective shell my ego had built and allowed the light of my spiritual growth to shine through. New challenges forced my spiritual caterpillar to enter a metaphysical cocoon and transform it into a butterfly.

There are times, specially when the going gets hard, I long for the easier times when my mind dedicated itself to the illusions of comfort and security. I am sure you do the same. This is natural.

I emerged a better person from my life changes and I am certain I have surpassed what my old self had in mind. But I can still remember how much I revered and counted on the former fantasies.

I don’t condemn my ego, for it was my trusted guide at one time. It led me to new lands and kept me alive. I am grateful for its influence, but now realize I must proceed with a new order, a more important way to view the world and my experiences. My ego is like my Moses who led me to the Promise Land but cannot enter it with me.

From my experiences of change, one important lesson emerged; the miracle of our evolution is that our Higher Self rises from the ashes of the ego consumed in the fire of grief and loss. I am grateful for my old self; may it rest in peace.

As always, wishing you a life filled with joy, love and serenity.

Photo by Ryan Gerrard on Unsplash