The Aware Ego in a Nutshell
- The Aware Ego is the ability to stand between opposite parts of yourself, experiencing and understanding both sides, yet not identifying with either.
- It is a place from where you feel the conflict between opposites.
- From an Aware Ego you can choose which side to go with, without leaving the other side out. That does not necessarily mean pleasing both sides, but instead being able to live with and hold the disappointment of the side that missed out.
- The Aware Ego is a process that exists in relation to the parts of your psyche – your selves. It is not a self or entity.
For example, in a given moment I can have an Aware Ego in relation to my Responsible Mother self. I can also have an Aware Ego in relation to my Responsible Mother and an opposite to her, such as my Rebellious Daughter, at the same time. But while my Aware Ego exists between these two selves, all my other selves are still there, layered underneath or interwoven with the Aware Ego.
Exercise to Kick-Start Your Aware Ego Process
Pick two opposite primary selves of yours that you are quite familiar with. For example, you might have a part who loves to exercise but also a lazy part who couldn’t think of anything worse. Or you might have a part who really enjoys your work and an opposite part who would prefer to stay at home and read books all day. Or maybe you have a part who loves playing with your children and an opposite part who prefers the company of adults.
(Note: Do not choose a disowned self; you should have at least one pair of opposite primary selves. If a self is one you use or feel in your life on a regular basis, it is a primary self, even if it is opposite to another primary self.)
Now try to bring in one of these primary selves. Just invite the self to come in; if you are familiar with its energy pull in the energy.
If you are having trouble with this, close your eyes and imagine you are the self. If it is the Lazy self, for example, think about a situation where you are being lazy and feel like you identify with the laziness.
Now decide to bring in the opposite self. Again, just invite the self to come in. If, for example, the opposite is the Exercise-loving self, think about when you are enjoying exercising – be it at the gym, cycling around a park, or simply walking.
Now bring back the original self just a little and let the other one go a little. See if you can find a balance between the two, as if you are in the middle of a see-saw and the two selves are on either end. You are in contact with both but not identifying with either self.
You have now kick-started your Aware Ego process. Use this exercise as often as you like to strengthen your Aware Ego ‘muscle’.
For a thorough explanation of primary and disowned selves, see Hal and Sidra Stones’ book Embracing Our Selves.
Read my post on primary selves, disowned selves and Developing Self-Awareness