This is a letter that Carrie Triffet wrote to her own Ego. I thought it was so beautiful and wanted to share it with you:
In honor of Valentine’s Day
I offer this true love’s letter
(sixty years late, but never mind)
To you, the personal identity self,
And to the body we came in with.
We haven’t been friends
For most of our shared incarnation.
You stored my pain
And withstood my abuse
More or less without complaint.
Well that’s not entirely true.
To be perfectly honest
You were sometimes a pain in the ass.
You complained More, rather than Less.
And I blamed you for it.
And the more I blamed you
The worse you behaved.
In my search for relief from you and your bad attitude,
I took up spirituality.
It taught me you were the problem
Standing between me and God.
It said I should kill you,
Grind you down until you say ‘uncle.’
But ‘uncle’ isn’t really part of your vocabulary,
The harder I pushed
The more you dug in your heels.
Eventually I saw it was a battle that couldn’t be won.
The very idea of a ‘battle’
Is your own brilliant creation.
Clever, resourceful you.
So I decided to try and get to know you
On your own terms.
Find out what made you tick.
With patience and acceptance,
With willingness and even eagerness,
I revisited every dark secret you’ve held for me
All this time
In your heroic agreement
To hang onto all my shitty scary shameful stuff for me
Until I was ready to own it,
And to love it,
And welcome it home.
Eventually I even began to celebrate your complexity,
Even your beautiful stubbornness—
Because after all that fearless inner work,
(And the emotional freedom it brought me)
You weren’t the slightest bit fooled
About my true intentions.
You only surrendered ‘mostly’
And then drew a line in the sand.
But this time I chose against the whole paradigm of ‘fight.’
Instead I started to wonder what it might be like
To not only love
But to like, and thank, and admire
This unspeakably inconvenient self
Of thorny personal identity,
That insists on blocking the experience of God.
And what might it also be like, I wondered,
To trust, and love, and accept, and respect
The physical body
That has been my long-suffering companion?
Instead of judging and fearing it?
Just, y’know, because it’s here
In my inescapable daily experience
And probably isn’t going anyplace soon.
What if I just put aside everything I think I know
And completely adore you,
Body and Ego,
I asked my self—
Just the way you are right now,
An ageing, judgey, semi-unsatisfactory work in progress?
It seemed unthinkable.
The lifelong grudges, the cultural biases,
Ran so deep.
But I did it anyway.
Just to find out what it was like.
Yes it’s true in many ways:
The personal identity self
Is a very effective roadblock to knowing God.
The best, in fact.
The spiritual teachers are not wrong about that.
But the key is to love it anyway.
Love all the aspects of your crazy old moon-howling self anyway.
Without direct knowledge of God, you’re all you’ve got.
What is there to lose—
Except your roadblocks?
Paradox, you bet.
Do it anyway.
Do the unthinkable,
Do that which makes no sense.
That which appears to fly in the face of spiritual dogma.
Love the self that has been yearning for your acceptance
All its born days.
Make its dreams come true.
Not because you might be able to fool it,
Do an end run around it and get to God.
(And anyway the personal self IS God.
Along with all the rest of existence.
That’s the grand joke.)
No, do it entirely without an agenda.
Love the self just because
It’s the compassionate thing to do
For one who has suffered so.
And then see what happens.
Here’s how it went for me:
Within two days of truly embracing my whole self
(Without requiring it to change!!)
All parts of this mind and body
Voluntarily surrendered to God
Without me asking.
Hence this love letter
Of awe-filled gratitude
Addressed and delivered to the self:
I’m sorry it took me sixty years.
I love you.
~ Carrie Triffet ~