When the ego gets bruised PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 21 February 2017 13:04

REFLECTION

BY FR. ROY CIMAGALA

 

HOW would we know if we have a big ego? One way is to see how we react when our ego get bruised, that is, when we are insulted, mocked, ridiculed, humiliated, or when we commit mistakes, suffer failures, get misunderstood, etc.

If we happen to feel very bad because of these occurrences, we already have some signs that indicate we have a big ego. When we spend a lot of time lamenting and complaining about them, brooding and ruing—that’s another sign we can have a big ego.

It can mean that we do not want to suffer, as if suffering has no purpose at all in this life. It can mean that our understanding of our life and its purpose is very limited, and is almost exclusively tied to good things only and nice feelings, victories and successes.

It can mean that we are hooked to a very subtle anomaly called perfectionism or triumphalism. The disorder of perfectionism usually afflicts some so-called “good” and “pious” people, those who are regarded as rightists and conservatives. They are usually seen as being very strict and fastidious, but the truth is they often have a scrupulous conscience that leads them to be narrow-minded and rigid in their ways.

They are prone to make rash judgments and end up bitter and irritable. It would be no wonder that they feel isolated like an island detached from the continent, and any show of sociability is simply just that, a show, an act, a performance, devoid of the proper substance and spirit.

Another sign of a big ego is when we start calculating what we have done to others who seem not to appreciate our good deeds and in fact appear to be ungrateful and even hostile to us. In other words, we keep some kind of scoring card, which means that our good deeds are not actually done gratuitously. They go with a price.

This is truly unfortunate because the patience and endurance, which we so far may have gone through, have broken. We did not make the full course. We did not go the distance.

Still another sign is when we find it hard to forgive and forget, and to move on. What is worse is when we have great urges to make revenge. In other words, we are keeping grudges and resentment. We wallow in bitterness and hatred.

We should do all to fight against our tendency to develop a big ego. And the way to do it is simply to identify ourselves more and more with Christ who went through all the abominations of human misdeeds and yet continues to love us, to forgive us and to be magnanimous.

It would be good if we are constantly meditating on the example of Christ, especially on his passion and death, and to pray for grace so we can manage to contain our egos and be truly humble. We cannot deny that deep within us still lurks the ‘old man’ whose ego just wants to grow and grow endlessly.