Destroying the Ego: Why channeling your ego is better than destroying it

Stop trying to kill it. I used to have this weird understanding of the ego. I used to think of it as this portion of my being that needed to be eradicated else I’d never get closer to God. That once it was destroyed I would ascend to new heights and become angelic. But no matter how hard I tried, my ego wasn’t going anywhere. It was there to stay. The envy, the anger, the impatience, the hunger, the lusts, the sadness, all of it.

I thought I was deficient, like I was a disgusting person that was going against my faith. Why was I being impatient? Why was I so angry? I was reading about amazing people who lived in the past and present that seemingly had eliminated their ego and became sincere servants of God.

That was until I met one of my teachers. He told us that we were given it by God, and why would God give us all of these various emotions except that they are a part of our lives. The feelings of envy, sadness, anger, shyness, impatience, all of them were there for a reason. The issue is when we allow these emotions to control us. The issue is when we are presented with a situation that would be pleasing to God, but our envy, our anger, our impatience, our lusts get the better of us and we turn away from the path of the Divine.

Instead of destroying these emotions and attempting to act as though they do not exist, we should channel them in healthy ways. Envy has its benefits. As a new Muslim I would sit in Quran classes with those that grew up speaking Arabic. We would all sit there, and I’ll admit, I was sad at times that they all could read. But then envy kicked in and for the next 2 years I sat with my teacher weekly to learn the basics. Did my envy cause me to wish that God took His blessing from them? Nope, instead I used it to better my reading. I subdued my ego and used it to serve God.

You’re not a horrible person because of these emotions. You’re human. Master your ego and don’t let it enslave you. Pray to God for His Divine aid and be patient w/ yourself.

What aspect of the ego do you struggle with?

 

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