Being Right at Any Costs
When I was just a little boy, my great grandmother, Mable G. Landry, would always say to me, “No matter what happens, grandson! Always remember to follow your first mind. Your first mind will never lead you astray”.
She was sagacious. Long before self-help technology was accessible, she had what many would refer to as “mother wit.” Mother wit is another word for natural or creative genius. She was in tune with the divinity inside of herself.
Since then, many have moved away from listening to the ancient wisdom. I’m thankful that I never did. I paid close attention!
Of course, as a young boy, I didn’t understand what she meant by “always follow your first mind.” However, it did lead me to wonder that if we have the first mind, then it stands to reason that we must also have a second or perhaps even a third mind.
When she’d admonish me to follow my first, I took it to mean that she was telling me to trust my intuition, instincts, and gut. I believe she was also telling me to trust myself.
As I grew older and wiser, I came to realize that all three senses, and more, are all aspects of the higher facilities of our first mind.
And yes, we do have a second mind. It’s called Ego.
Ego Is Our Second Mind
Did you know that your Ego was your second mind?
In other words, the Ego is not your first choice. Your Ego represents the choices made for you by other people, the world.
Your Soul is your first choice!
That means happiness comes from pleasing Soul and not Ego. If you feed your Ego, then your Soul will starve. You cannot feed both at the same time.
You can’t serve two Gods as once. Thus, far, you’ve chosen to feed your Ego. So, your Ego belly is full, but your Soul belly is hungry. At present, you’re starving your Soul to feed your Ego.
This Society is Soul Malnourished
I decided to write this article because there is a mass epidemic of unhappiness and its evidence that we are Soul malnourished.
Some years back, while vacationing in the Virgin Islands, St. Thomas, to be exact, I woke up to the impact my Ego was having on my life. And my lack of happiness and joy.
It happened rather serendipitously while participating in a fire ceremony led by a guru who had traveled from India to facilitate it. It was an exclusively private affair held on the grounds of one of the gorgeous estates on the Island overlooking the city.
While waiting for night to fall, before the ceremony would begin, the guru came out to greet us before the ceremony.
There we were sitting on pillows in lotus style meditative positions next to the pool. The guru clears his throat and then poses a fascinating question.
He prefaced his question by making this statement: “Throughout the annals of history, man has been willing to give up everything for one thing!” He pauses and then asks. “Can any of you guess what this one thing is?”
Immediately, everyone starts guessing; each thinking his or her answer must be the correct answer. Shouting out responses like “money, love, sex, power, family, and positions, etc.”
Each time the guru responses, “No, no and no!” Before too long, a sense of frustration permeates the air.
Sensing it, the guru utters, “Okay, let me take you out of your miseries,” pauses for a quick second and then says. “Throughout the annals of history, man has been willing to give up everything, TO BE RIGHT. Nothing has proven to be more important to our Ego than being right.”
Nothing Is More Important to Ego Than Being Right
If there were such a thing as a million-dollar bill, then in the realm of Ego, being right at any cost, would be it.
How many of you can relate to this? Can you recall moments in your own life when being right came at almost any cost?
Consider how valuable being right must be to our Ego if it’s willing to exchange everything for it, family, love, money, promotions, business deals, and friendships, to name a few.
That was how my life was during this time. And so you can imagine what impact the guru’s words had on me. I said to myself, Whoa! It felt as if he was talking directly to me.
It landed like a metaphorical arrow – dead center on my forehead. You talk about an epiphany, a wakeup call. What the guru revealed hit home. It interrupted what I had come to think of as just the way it was.
In all honesty, it felt as if the universe had brought me to St. Thomas to hear that one message. I was confident; this was the only reason why I was there.
The fire ceremony was a spiritual ritual used to burn off all the negative karma attached to our energy field as a result of practicing such negative habits as wanting to be right at all costs.
It Felt Natural To Argue With People
I can’t begin to tell you just how many relationships I had destroyed and taken for granted as a result of it.
It felt natural to argue with people, to get them to know that I knew what they didn’t. It was like I was trying to convert them to what I believed. I needed to save them from what I thought of as their ignorance.
When I reflect on those moments, it was through their agreeing with me that I felt validated. When I wasn’t able to get them to agree with me, it felt like I had failed. I was a failure. It only felt good when I could get them to bow down to me.
Back then, there was no real compassion and love in my conversations. The operative phrase here is, at any cost.
The thing is when I found myself caught up in a battle to prove I was right, and the other person was wrong (which happened a lot), I would completely lose sight of my right mind.
In other words, I would lose sight of what I truly wanted.
The only thing that was important to me was winning. I had no concept of win-win. It was always if someone is going to win, then someone is going to have to lose.
I had no clue that there was an alternative to this scarcity-based social arrangement.
Competition Is All Ego Knows
Conflict is Egos nature, and it seeks it in everything, both passively and aggressively.
Ego is not all-wise and knowing like Soul. It does not have access to the infinite database of your Being, which houses all your previous lifetimes of experience.
Only Soul has access to the illuminating endless book of life. There is no heaven for Ego to go to and so, it is in no way interested in seeing you in paradise (happy and full of joy), whether it be on earth or in an after-earth life.
The Ego does not want you to feel healthy, confident, and prosperous.
It would not be until much later that I would start to come out of the hypnotic trance my Ego had placed me in. While under the trance, I would exchange just about anything to be on top.
I would often wonder why no one wanted to be around me. It was easy for me to understand why as soon as I awakened to the Ego. I had not yet developed the ability to see it with my own eyes.
The Ego is Agent Smith in the Matrix. People can describe it to you. However, you have to see Agent Smith for yourself.
Being the one on top and proving the other person belonged on the bottom was worth more to me than both paper and spiritual money.
The social currency that came in the form of me wanting to be right, at any expense, was, in a way, priceless to my Ego. I didn’t realize how fucked up I was both spiritually and socially.
As a result, I was empty. My Ego’s belly was full, but my Soul was hungry. After all, when you value being right over getting what you want, you can’t help but walk away feeling empty.
You’re so committed to being declared the winner and making the other person the loser that you don’t dare admit that you’re miserable as a result of it.
After all, ideally, the person who is always right, must be happy, right? Why else would he or she be fighting so hard if being right doesn’t make them happy?
Talk About Some Cognitive Dissonance, Huh?
How many times have you wanted something, like a simple hug, kiss or acknowledgment from your spouse or significant other? Maybe it was after experiencing a very stressful day on the job.
However, instead of just coming clean and asking them for a warm hug or kiss, you take the Ego route. Aka, conflict first.
You find something wrong. You start to make them feel guilty, pointing out how they’ve been neglecting you lately, and before you know it, you’re in a fight over guess what?
That’s correct, who is right and who is wrong.
When the dust finally settles, your ass is sleeping on the couch by your damn self. You get no loving. You exchanged some transformative spiritual healing for being right.
That’s not all. There have also been times when you’ve traded getting promotions at work for being right.
In fact, at this very moment, there are family members you’re not speaking to because you want to be correct.
Your children aren’t even talking to you, because you need to be the one on top more than feel the warmth and connection of their love. Now your grandkids don’t even know their granddad or grandmother.
You can thank your Ego for that.
How many times have you traded what would make you happy to feel the temporary Ego high that comes from proving your point?
Wanting to be right at any cost is a form of social currency. It’s Ego-money, and you have plenty of it. It would be fair to say that you’re Ego rich and spiritually poor.
I know you attend church religiously, and each time you do, your Ego is present right there with you. When you go to school, your Ego goes with you.
With every sermon and lesson you give your Ego leverage to interfere with your ability to show up as your most authentic self…